Make a Great Impression with your Website in 15 Seconds or Less

By Sergio Aicardi on March 15, 2016

Most people cruising the Internet are not web designers, but they do make flash judgments on a website based on the first 15 seconds; if not much quicker. Many components can make or break a website’s success. This means that whether you are selling a product or representing an organization, your website needs to catch your visitors within those first few seconds, especially with the amount our culture relies on the Internet – expectations are high, and if not met you won’t see those visitor conversions you’re expecting. If a website is slow to load or the content isn’t clear and concise, most people will click the back button before you can show them your platinum content. Pulling your visitors in and leading them to content based on your brand and communication plans all starts with a killer website.

Here are a few tips to convert those visitors to customers, stakeholders and supporters:

  1. Good design

A webpage with sleek, clean and easy to follow design wins visitors over in a snap. Good design involves unique photos; concise and interesting content; practical design and a focused mission, vision, and brand for your company. A simple, easy-to-understand design will play well to all generations of web surfers. Who is your audience? What do they need to know when the first land on your page? What do they want to know? What do you want them to know? Ask yourself these questions to first, build your website for your audience, and second, to provide information about your company that you want your visitors to know.

Note: Keep in mind that hiring a web design company may be your best option to meet your goals if you don’t have any web design experience. Make sure you convey these thoughts to your company if you do decide to go this route.

For example, MailChimp simply explains its purpose in the header, shows an example through a graphic, offers a sign up button twice on the page and points users in the right direction for special features, pricing, support, their blog and miscellaneous. Understanding your users needs through website data and analytics will set your website up to cater for your audiences needs. Below is a screenshot example:


  1. Graphics

This is going to be short and sweet – make sure your graphics load quickly and are saved in an appropriate format. Check out some suggestions here. Make sure those graphics are unique and interesting while you’re at it. Nothing is worse than a boring stock photo. Have photos implementing your brand. Make your graphics (photos, videos, infographics, etc.) work for you by getting creative and taking some time to come up with images that are unique.

  1. Highlights

Get a great customer review? Highlight it on your website! Customers can sell your product or service better than you can. Potential customers trust their peers – if HockeyRulez818 loves this product, I probably will too! Customer reviews are free advertising, so rather than bragging about why your product or service is the best, have your customers do it for you. Customers are honest and potential customers yearn for honesty from companies trying to get their business.

Testimonials are also a great way to highlight what people are saying about your company. These types of highlights are sometimes also called credibility markers, which you can learn more about here.

  1. Mobile

It’s 2016, your website needs to be easily accessible on the go. According to a comScore report, 60 percent of online content comes from mobile devices. Twenty-three percent of that traffic comes organically from Android or iPhones users. Websites with responsive design are the best for this because the user never leaves the original website, such as a website. Responsive design is when the website grows or shrinks to the size of the device in use. Responsive design restricts some capabilities with some products, but it’s worth the change – your site looks clean and user-friendly on any and every device.

The example below shows how a website may look different on different screens. A responsive design will do this automatically. Notice how the images change location and the text shrinks to the size of the screen.


  1. Freshness

Keep your website fresh and update content regularly. Your visitors want to see new content and improvements every time they visit. Try linking your fresh content to different areas of your site – if something is buried three clicks deep that you want your visitors to see, link it from the homepage and watch the magic happen. Current content will bring visitors back to see what your company is up to. Converting visitors to loyal customers will increase your website visits like no other. Tie that in with your social media accounts and loyal customers will check in often.

  1. Direct users to the right pages

It may not seem like this is something a user would notice in 15 seconds, but this is actually a way to make sure that users are landing on the right pages in the first place. If you can make sure this happens, then you can make sure you even have a chance to make that impression in the first place.

When posting content elsewhere, don’t just link to the homepage, link to pertinent content that can direct your visitor to other similar content. Direct users where you want them to go – you have the power to promote your content and get your audience there. Use it. Article pages should have links to similar articles or pages of your website, whether it’s to apply for a job or find more information on how the company is innovative. Use your website to your advantage. The more you cross-promote your own content, the more clicks you will get.

The Takeaway

Your website is the main hub of your company profile. It’s where people can go to research your company, learn what the company has been doing via articles and press releases and hopefully create repeat customers and fans of your product. Using the Internet to your advantage is the best way to reach customers and this is the time to do it. Smart design, beautiful and interesting graphics, engaging and fresh content, and especially a mobile friendly website are easy steps to create a website that will keep visitors interested.

Do you have any tips you would add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

Feature Photo Credit:

About The Author

Sergio Aicardi
Sergio Aicardi /

Search engine marketing is what I am passionate about and enjoy doing. I feed off of the knowledge and the fact that SEO is always and will always be changing. Remember, when it comes to SEO, always think like a search engine and you will succeed.