Why First Impressions of a Website can be Harmful

First impressions are important in the society we live in today. If you are about to meet your partner's parents for the first time, if you are going for a job interview, or if you're meeting the person of your dreams, first impressions go a long way! Luckily, we often have time to make up for a bad first impression, however, websites don’t have this luxury.

Why First Impressions of a Website can be Harmful

You want your site’s visitors to have a fast loading and user-friendly experience while on your homepage. Your website might be selling something everybody wants, however, if the site's design doesn’t appear to look good, potential customers will probably leave. The site design counts for 94% of how the visitor's first impression is formed. The product you are selling is likely to be available on your competitors’ websites, so making sure your design is on par or better than those you compete with is vital.

A Website Must be Mobile-Friendly

Most web searches nowadays are made with a mobile device. Smartphones and tablets have become extremely popular over the last decade or more, so make sure your website is mobile-friendly is a necessity.

Making your site mobile-friendly is not only important for the website’s visitors so they can easily access the website and navigate through the pages, but it will also affect the site’s ranking on major search engines.

In the past web developers created sites for desktop computers, however, due to the rise of mobile devices, they are forced to rethink their designs so that their websites function with smaller screens. A recent study showed that 85% of people claim that a mobile site should look similar if not better than the design made for a desktop computer.

Many web designers spend long hours making their designs look great, but they must take into consideration other devices that people will view their sites on. Links must be easily clickable, buttons must be working correctly, images must be customized so that it looks and functions great on all devices.

A Website’s Navigation is Critical

Web designers must not underestimate the importance of how the user is supposed to navigate through the website’s pages. Websites that give the visitor too many options can cause confusion. The more choices available on a website the longer it takes for the visitor to make a decision. Maintaining a site that is short, simple, and to the point will prove beneficial.

When a web designer is creating navigation for the site, keeping the options short, and making it as easy as possible to jump from one page to the other is vital. Experts recommend that web designers only have seven navigation options or less.

The easier it is for a visitor to navigate themselves through a website’s pages, the better chance they will stay on the website. If the navigation is not user friendly, the page is more likely to have a high bounce rate. A bounce is when a visitor only visits one page on a website, instead of viewing other pages on the same site.

A Landing Page needs to make a Good First Impression

A landing page is a single page with one main purpose. A typical homepage has lots of different purposes such as links about the website, contact details, blogs, products, and services, etc. So if you are looking for a specific action, for example, if a person has clicked on an ad that sells specific shoes, the link directs them to a landing page that sells those specific shoes rather than the whole clothing website.

If you have created a landing page for your site, and you feel there is room for improvement or perhaps it didn’t appear the way you had hoped, you may have made some mistakes. A poorly designed landing page can hurt your ranking and reduce visitors’ satisfaction.

Visitors that click on a landing page tend to make their mind up very quickly. Google claims that visitors to a webpage will have their minds made up on the site within 17 milliseconds after they click on the link. So if your landing page doesn’t offer the user a good offer, or it is slow to load, or it’s not clear in what it is offering the chances are the visitor will leave the site. It might leave the potential visitor with a bad, long-lasting impression on the site.

Unbounce offers lots of different packages that can help your landing page. The unbounce pricing tends to vary and they also offer free trials so developers can see the benefits before they spend their money.

The Website’s Loading Speed

Page load speed is another very important factor to consider when designing a website. Pages that take a long time to fully load the page’s content tend to have a high bounce rate. Users find sluggish websites frustrating and very few visitors tend to spend a long time on these sites.

Not only will a slow website increase the site’s bounce rate, but it will also affect the site’s ranking on Google. Google recommends that each page takes less than 2.5 seconds to fully load.

Web developers can use these tips to help them improve the speed at which their website loads:

  • Optimize images: Sometimes the images used on a webpage can create a delay in the loading of the page. Designers are advised to optimize and resize these images to help the page load faster. There is a wide range of imaging tools available to help you optimize images.
  • Change your server: If the server that you are using is slow to respond to your visitor’s request you might want to consider changing your hosting provider. You might also consider upgrading some of the hardware that you are using.
  • Consider removing plugins: Plugins are a great tool to allow your visitors to interact with your site however they often take a long time for them to load. Make sure your plugins are up to date as outdated plugins can cause your site to slow down.
  • Alter third-party scripts: Often it might not be the coding or content on your site that is causing the delay. A third-party script like a popup ad can cause your website issues. Consider changing your ad provider if this is causing problems.

The faster your website loads, the better for the user and your ranking on major search engines.


Having a well-designed website can help make or break a company online. The average internet user doesn't take long to make up their mind, so website owners better are prepared to have their site looking great and to the point to make sure they compete with similar sites.

Well designed sites will allow you to boost your Google ranking, allowing you to gain a larger audience and a better chance of gaining more potential customers.

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Why First Impressions of a Website can be Harmful