“You only get one chance to make a first impression.” I’m sure your mom told you this many times and even though it is an old adage, nowhere is it more true than with your organization’s website.
For many people, their first interaction with a brand is a visit to its website. This makes the website the brand’s virtual front door, especially in the case of the first-time visitor who may not have developed a connection prior to the web visit.
Think about the places you visit most often: your home, your workplace, the gym, the grocery store, other retail stores, the local library, etc. Do you remember your first impression from your initial visit to any of these locations? Chances are that first impression was pretty good or you wouldn’t keep going back. The same is true for website visitors.
Consider these statistics regarding website visitors:
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. 4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones and 40% of people will choose a different search result if the first is not mobile friendly.
- You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave.
- Once your page loads, users form an opinion in less than a second.
How does your site fare on those metrics? If any need work, then your virtual front door needs renovation.
Whether consciously or not, we all judge a book by its cover and a building by what we see first: its entrance—or front door. As to your virtual front door, a website visit generally creates one of the following ﬁve impressions for the visitor:
- It reafﬁrms existing positive feelings about the brand – “preaching to the choir.”
- It creates new positive feelings about the brand – “expanding the choir.”
- It reafﬁrms existing negative feelings about the brand – losing an opportunity to turn bad feelings around.
- It creates new negative feelings about the brand – the most damaging to your brand because a visitor who previously liked your brand no longer does or thinks less positively about it.
- It did not impact feelings one way or the other – again, a lost opportunity.
Because most web visitors say that the first web visit often creates new feelings – either positive or negative – about the brand, it is imperative to provide the most attractive and useful front door possible, to be effective at meeting customers’ needs, engaging with patients and prospective patients and reflecting the organization’s brand. And for a mobile site, an attractive and useful front door requires tangible utility – immediate, practical usability for short-term needs and easy functionality for longer-term visitors.
What does your front door look like? For more information about improving your organization’s virtual front door, download our white paper, Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue Part 3 - Does A Better Digital Experience Lead To A Better Overall Brand Experience?
You can also request a demo of gSightSM
, a tool that can help you better understand how your online user experience is impacting your brand’s health.
 Greystone.Net and Klein & Partners. Improving the Digital Brand Dialogue: Does A Better Digital Experience Lead To A Better Overall Brand Experience? September, 2016.