The Value of Your Site’s First Impression

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  • November 1, 2011

Throughout the history of this blog, I’ve often emphasized that the design of a blog or website is one of the most important factor in drawing in potential readers. People tend to be drawn in or turned away by their first impressions of a website.

Let me share with you a brief quote from a recent article that makes this point:

The problem is that every visitor that hits a less-than-amazing blog ends up leaving before even looking at the first post titles. Visitors never even make it far enough to see the ‘amazing’ content that the blogger has put together. First impressions are, after all, lasting impressions.
~ 15 Irrefutable Qualities of Successful Blogs

First Impressions are Lasting Impressions

When a user stumbles upon your site it only takes a few seconds for them to decide if it is worth digging into your material or not. If your site isn’t making a powerful first impression then you can probably rest assured that you’re losing potential readers and subscribers every day.

There are two ways to increase the number of visits to your site each day. First is to get out and attract as many people as you can through advertising, dropping links and telling your friends about your site. The second is to have such a great site that a large percentage of your visitors decide to return day after day.

If you only focus on attracting users and not on keeping them, then you are wasting a lot of energy. What’s the purpose of getting people to view your website if they immediately click away because they aren’t interested in your presentation? The answer is simple. There is no purpose to that.

Practical Guidelines to Control that First Impression

In 5 Irrefutable Qualities of Successful Blogs I gave this advice which really sums up this very important point, “Search some of the popular template clubs that are available like Elegant Themes and Theme Forest. Google search for unique themes. Stand on the corner of the street and shout if you have to but find a beautiful template for your blog.”

Take your time and carefully browse through many themes before you settle on the one that is right for you. Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions so it’s incredibly important to find something that really stands out.

If you are blogging for profit like many bloggers then you should be willing to spend a few dollars to secure an above average layout for your blog. At Elegant Themes and Theme Forest you can secure some pretty amazing templates for between 20 and 75 dollars.

For more great information about your website’s design, click on the tassle at the top of this page and spend a few moments exploring the categories listed under Brilliant Design. I assure you that you simply cannot underestimate the power of a well designed blog.

Group Discussion: What do you think about first impressions? What sites can you think of that provided you with a great first impression? Which ones were lousy? How do you think you can improve on your site to make it more appealing?

About Nicholas Cardot

It's my personal quest to enable every person that I can to unlock that dormant potential concerning their online influence. Also, I'm a geek.

14 Comments

  • david k waltz says:

    Nicholas,

    In your experience, what street corners are most advantageous if we were to try the “stand and shout” method?!

  • tushar says:

    Your post scares me. I am using a free theme the design of which is not that great and i hope my first impressions are not going bad on first time visitors

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      It should scare you. It scares me also. I’m constantly pouring over my design trying to come up with faster ways to load the page, more efficient ways to guide people’s eyes where I want them and more. I admittedly go a little overboard.

      I think that design is part of a three phased strategy toward success. The three topics I would challenge folks to work on would be their content, their design, and their influence (you can see those if you click on the tassle dangling from the top of the page). I always tell folks to rate themselves in each category on a scale of 1 – 10 and then multiply your answers together to see your success potential. If you have a content that is a 4, design that is a 2, and influence with your community that is a 5, you can double the effectiveness by improving your design to a 4.

      4 x 2 x 5 = 40
      4 x 4 x 5 = 80

      So I’m all about identifying your weakest area and building on it…and, of course, build on your strengths as well. It’s really all a balancing act.

      What do you think?

      • Veronica says:

        Whoa I’ve never seen so much calculated mathematical approach to improving your blog! That being said, this blog is gorgeous… from the stand-out sub heads in your posts to the “Post Author” on your comments down here. Great stuff!

  • Ava Jae says:

    First impressions are SO important. I can’t say how many times I’ve clicked on a link because the post sounded interesting, then closed it before reading the post because the blog design was just…unappealing.

    When I first started blogging I paid a lot of attention to blogs that I liked to see what it was that I liked about them. When it came time to design my own blog, I had a good idea as to what I wanted. It was definitely worth the day I spent updating my blog design.

    • Nicholas Cardot says:

      I’ve done the same thing and we’re fooling ourselves if we think that there isn’t a demographic of people out there who are doing the same things to our blogs. People do judge a book by it’s cover and when we steer people away from our awesome content with a poor design, it’s like writing a masterpiece and hiding it in your basement instead of publishing it for the world to see.

      I do the same thing. I look at blogs that are better than mine, and in a friendly way, I think to myself, I can make mine better than theirs. And I study theirs and learn from it and improve myself. That’s the way to do it.

  • Aaron says:

    I agree that first impression is very important in all field. And truly when I first visit on your blog I was amazed to see it. I think your blog is very beautiful and really put good first impression. :)

  • Mel Melhado says:

    Keeping the readers engaged is the most challenging task for every blogger. There are various reasons which draws visitors to a site, eg, a catchy title but the visitor may never visit again if the site lack in quality.

  • Mel Melhado says:

    First impression lasts forever and its applicable to blogs as well. From the content to the design every minute details about the blog matters to a first time visitor.

  • Noel Addison says:

    First impression is very important especially when branding online. First impression can make or break your marketing strategy on the web therefore you really have to work on your design and make sure that it conveys the first impression that you want to display.

  • mmmmmwww says:

    Here is a film that has something to do with first impressions. Here is the trailer http://americanbearfilm.com/ Check it out!

  • Noel Addison says:

    Always keep in mind that people have a little attention span so you have to make the most of their 1 second, that 1 second that visitors will take a glance in your blog. First impression can make or break the success of your blog.

  • Alex says:

    “First impression lasts”…This saying is somewhat true just like the value of one’s site. I think websites must have a very creative way of expressing their products and services to people,to grab many prospects customers through internet marketing.

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