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They say that first impressions count, and when it comes to website design, it certainly holds true. In fact, since Google’s introduction of the web page preview option in search results, website design has probably become more important. The general theory is that you have less than 30 seconds to convince a visitor to stay on your site – that’s probably down to five seconds when it comes to Google Preview.

A quick check of your website stats will tell you how long traffic is staying on your site. If a high number of visitors stay for less than 30 seconds, and they don’t click through to other pages, then you need to start thinking about why – is it your website design that is at fault? There are a number of issues that you should be analyzing. These include:

  • Overall look – does your website look too busy? One of the biggest issues that users complain about is how busy a site looks. From a user’s perspective, they just don’t know where to start.
  • Navigation – is your navigation easy to understand and in plain site, or is it hidden towards the bottom of the page?
  • Content – visitors come to your website because they are looking for something. Is it there in plain site, or is it hidden in amongst a myriad of ads?
  • Advertising – speaking of ads, are visitors blown away by the number of ads that hit them, especially in the ‘above the fold’ section of your website?
  • Friendly – how friendly is your website? Does is welcome your visitor and encourage them to stay awhile? Color, graphics, and issues like font size all play a role in making your visitor feel at ease.

While it may seem to be easier and cheaper to create your own website, the reality is often the opposite. If your website is not up to scratch, then it could be costing you money. While a professional website design team may seem costly initially, over time their work will repay you many times over. You’ve got 30 seconds to convince your visitor to stay – does your website achieve that?

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