First Impressions Do Count
Books aren’t the only thing judged by their covers. Whether or not you want to admit it, your website gets the same treatment. Upon arrival, viewers won’t give your inn or bed and breakfast a fair chance with a poorly-designed or outdated website after the initial glance. A good website suggests to your viewers that you are professional.
What kind of a first impression does your website give to your potential customers?
Here we have summarized a few principles found on good websites.
A good appearance
- Visually appealing websites make good use of color (but not too many colors) and easy-to-read fonts.
- Backgrounds and colors enhance rather than detract from the message. Basic principles of design are followed.
- High quality photographs and images help catch the eye and show you are a
professional business instead of an amateur.
- Simplicity is your friend. Websites with simple designs allow the reader to focus on the message and not feel bombarded with too much info at once.
- Too many elements or colors on a page make your reader feel like several people are talking to them at once. Remember, less is more.
- A good website has content that is concise, organized and current.
- A page contains all information relevant to one idea.
- Text has been made easy to skim with subheadings, bullet points and shorter paragraphs.
- Errors in facts decrease credibility.
- Everything “works,” including links, videos and signup sheets.
- Contact information is correct.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Main navigation kept to a minimum with more sub-navigation.
- Links describe where they are taking the reader (and it helps with SEO).
- A well-designed website works on many devices including a computer, tablet, or mobile device and across multiple browsers.
- What’s going on under the hood? It is important to have search engine-friendly, specific keyword terms in the text and the code.
- Research proper key words, titles, and headings.
- Get as many reviews as you can from TripAdvisor, Google Places, and other directories. Search engines find these reviews important, which will help your SEO
All of these factors create an experience for your viewers. What experience does your site create? Do the emotions elicited encourage viewers to book a reservation or click off the page to your competitor?