Your website is the face of your business. It’s where your audience goes to find you. It’s where they learn about you and grow to like and trust you. The vast majority of the time, your website is your very first interaction with your prospective clients.

In the pre-internet age (also known as the “olden days”), business owners met with prospects face-to-face in networking and in meetings. It was vital that they come prepared, knowing who they were pitching to. They needed to look and sound intelligent and make a good first impression. That impression could make or break a sale–and a business.

The same is true today for online businesses. Are you making a bad first impression with your website?

Chances are, you’re not making the impression you want to. And here’s why:

You’re Talking Too Slow

In today’s fast-paced world, people want information and they want it now. They don’t want to wait around for an image-heavy website to load. Sure, it might look pretty. But if takes more than 2 seconds for your site to load, no one will wait around long enough to gaze at the lovely graphics. Which also means they’re not going to read the text on your site—and they’re not going to buy from you either.

To make sure your site is up-to-speed, images should be 200kb or less when you add them to your site. This means you can’t simply download a stock image and add it to a blog post—you need to resave it at the right resolution so it doesn’t bog your site down. One or two large graphics won’t cause a huge issue, but the more images you add to your site the slower your site will perform.

Your Suit is Wrinkled

Visual presentation was important back “in the day,” and it’s just as important now. You may enjoy working from home in your yoga pants, but don’t forget that your website is your real public “face.” It’s what your audience sees first. So make sure it’s presentable.

Your prospects will click away from your site if it’s difficult to navigate or cluttered with ads, icons, buttons and too many fonts and colors. It needs to be clean and polished and not look like something your 14-year-old threw together after baseball practice. Having a biz bestie or an independent eye take a look at your site to make sure it’s looking good and easy to get around is key.

You Don’t Present the Dotted Line

When you meet in person, you seal a deal with a handshake (okay, and a contract too). But does your audience know how to do that virtually? You have to tell your prospects what to do when they’re on your website—and make it easy for them to spend their money.

Make sure your contact information is in multiple locations, including the header or footer and a contact page. And if you’re selling something, say it loud and proud! Include a “Buy Now” button where it’s easy for your audience to see. They’re looking for a call to action—to be told what to do. Make it easy for your audience to take the next step with you.

If you’ve got a business today, you have a website (and if you don’t, get on it!). But a website that doesn’t put your business’s best foot forward isn’t going to leave a good impression on your audience. Give it a refresh and make sure that it’s performing like it should, so it can give you the return on investment you’re looking for. If you don’t think your website is giving the best first impression, let’s chat!

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