The old saying about first impressions certainly holds true for online marketing.
Many of our marketing efforts, from emails to PPC ads to social media posts, are designed to generate website traffic, but that’s just half the battle.
Once you get people to your website, you’ve got to win them over with a strong, positive first impression. You’ve got to dazzle and delight them. If you don’t, they probably won’t stick around, nor return to the website. Why would they?
Dazzle and delight aren’t necessarily easy to deliver, but these four steps can point you in the right direction:
1. Create relevant landing pages.
A common misconception is that anybody who visits your website will come in through the front door, accessing the home page. This isn’t necessarily the case, nor should it be.
Say someone clicks on an ad you’ve placed on Facebook, Twitter or the Google Display network. They’re going to want to see information on the product or service that snagged their interest.
You’ll always want to send people to a landing page with relevant, targeted, obvious information. Precisely honed landing pages are a great way to capture and maintain interest.
2. Deliver readable content.
You want your content to be well conceived and properly worded. Make sure it’s also well formatted.
What happens if you visit a website and see a huuuuuuuuge block of unbroken text, without any spaces or bullet points or room to breathe? You’ll probably navigate away pretty quickly.
Let that be a lesson. Format your website content so it’s easy for your visitors to skim it and to locate the information they’re after without feeling overwhelmed.
3. Provide calls to action and contact information.
Of course, every page of your website should include a clear call to action. Every page should include contact information, too.
No matter how people access your site, and no matter when they decide to reach out to you for more information, you want to make it easy for them. It’s never a good thing when a website visitor wonders: How do I get in contact with them?
4. Reassure visitors by offering clear page headings.
Have you ever clicked on a link and then realized it wasn’t quite what you wanted?
You want to help your visitors avoid that fate, and one way to keep them on the page is to offer reassurance right out of the gate. Make sure each web page provides a clear heading, making it obvious what the page is about. Always convey the relevance to your end user.
A version of this post first appeared on the Grammar Chic blog.