Have you ever wondered what potential customers think about your business website? Do you know they have already formed an opinion of you and your business based on what your website looks like? Your website may have everything a client needs content-wise, but their first impression of your site is always based on what it looks like. Does it still look like it did six, ten or even twenty years ago?

The first time a user visits your website can be compared to the way we sweep and clean our homes when we are expecting a very important guest. Your potential customers should be treated like your very important guests. They are the reason you have a business and you should do everything you can to make them feel welcome and comfortable.

How Quickly Users Judge Your Site

In 2012, a Google research publication confirmed that it takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form an aesthetic opinion about your website. It went further to say that some people's perceptions of your website are formed within 17 milliseconds.

Your website is probably one of the easiest places you get to shine and tell your story, therefore make the effort to make it count. According to a Pew Research Center Study, 58% of Americans have done research online about the products and/or services they want to buy. In fact, the number jumps to 85% for B2B customers, as reported by brainrider.com.

Furthermore, research has shown that 75% of users admit to making judgments about your credibility based on your website design. This research, carried out by Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility compiled 10 guidelines based on three years of research that is still useful today. These guidelines move beyond the visual attractiveness of your website to how customers access your site, the quality and accuracy of your content, ease of use and much more.

Don't Get Lost in the Sea of Business Websites

Almost every business has an online presence today. How your website fares within the sea of business sites is truly up to you. The first step in acquiring potential new customers is to clean your house. It is time to update your website with a more current look and feel.

There are a number of online tools and services you can use to grade and rate your website. I suggest running your website through services like website grader and nibbler to see where your pages rank and use any suggestions to help improve your website ranking. They cover important things like security, SEO, readability and more to help your website be the best it can be to attract customers. 

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