When it comes to first impressions, we tend to think of our appearance. Clothes, posture, body language… they’re all in the mix. These days, chances are, your first impression is being made via your website.

What’s the first thing you do when you want to know more about someone? You Google them! We all do it and sadly, our websites have the power to turn people off or make them disinterested within seconds.

And hey, I’m not pointing fingers here. When I first started my professional writing business, I didn’t really have a solid direction and call to action on my website. You have to know your message before you can put it out there. So, while people might have visited the site and thought I sounded like a fantastic writer, they probably clicked off within seconds because in their mind, they thought: “great, so what?”

If you’re not asking people to do something and your website reads like one big CV, it’s only natural people will tune out.

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t need a website that costs thousands to build and looks like it’s been built by Bill Gates. You need something that is clear and makes sense to the majority of people.

Fact: you may be the most talented person out there but there are a lot of talented people in the world. You need to make yourself stand out from the pack.

So, how long do we have to make a first impression? While research varies and indicates it’s anywhere between seven seconds to 100 milliseconds, we know it’s not a long time at all.

If you know your website could be better, ask yourself these 3 simple questions.

#1 – Does my website make sense?

Now, when you answer this question, don’t just consider sentence structure, spelling and grammar. Does your website make sense to the average person reading it who may have no idea about your industry or area of expertise? So many times, I land on websites and give up trying to make sense of the jargon-riddled text and over-complicated language.

If you’re not sure (it’s always hard to take a step back), get a family member or friend who’s not in the same field to take a look. And don’t just ask someone who’s likely to tell you everything is magical and wonderful. You need constructive criticism here.

#2 – Is there a clear message?

Confusion never goes down well with people. Sometimes, websites contain too much information for people to take in. Too many options, too many things to click… too much of everything!

Personally, I’m always suspicious of websites where people claim they can do everything under the sun. How many people do you know who can write, design, drive your SEO, dance, sing, juggle and so on? I’ve gone down the extreme route here but people who are experts rely solely on their expertise to prosper.

Look at your website from an outsider’s point of view and ask yourself if there’s a clear message or direction for people. What do you actually want your ideal client to do?

#3 – Have you shared your story?

Before I hand money over, I always want to know more about who I’m handing it over to. Your story or journey is a really valuable asset to you but not many people actually use it to their advantage.

There are thousands of lawyers out there. Thousands of accountants. Thousands of almost every job you can think of. What makes you unique is your story. Don’t waste it.

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