The Crucial Ingredients of a First Impression33
It is a fact that on the web, users have a ruthlessly short attention span. You might have as little as just a few seconds to sell your blog to the heartless reader, so how can you make the most of those precious seconds?
What do they ‘need’ to get from the first impression?
Everyone is searching for something, a certain piece of information they need. There are billions of web pages online, and the vast majority of those pages do not have the information they need. In the few seconds before they click off onto the next page, you need to convince your reader that you have what they’re after, not just a lot of adverts. This comes down to only two pieces of information:
- What this blog is about.
- What this page is about.
What is this blog about?
This question is the one most often forgotten by blog owners, for the sole reason that you are far too familiar with your own blog. How could they not know that the blog is about baking secrets? Have you not been writing about every type of pastry under the sun for the past two years?? Well, yes, but they don’t know that.
How Can I Tell Them?
You have two main weapons in your arsenal; the blog title and the blog slogan.
The blog title has the ability to convey your entire blog’s purpose in just two or three words, if it has been chosen well. The mistake that many blogs make is that they consider the blog title to be akin to a name. It should be snappy, memorable or witty. Yes, those are all good things, but why not have a blog title that gets straight to the point? For instance, if I were to link you to Daily Blog Tips, you wouldn’t need to click that link to work out what the site was about. The title says it all.
Of course, the blog title doesn’t have a lot of room for flexibility once the blog has been created. You aren’t likely to change the name after a year online. In that case, you turn to the blog slogan. The blog slogan allows you to take that witty, memorable title we mentioned earlier, and expand on it to include the blog’s purpose. Let’s take another example, this time Flee The Cube, by Cesar Gonzalez. Upon reading only the title, I bet that not one person could get the blog’s purpose in the first guess. Is this a poor title? No, it’s actually a very clever title which Cesar explains in his About page, but in order to clarify the blog, Cesar has added the slogan, “From Employee to Entrepreneur,” beneath the title, and with those few words, the mystery is solved.
What is This Page About?
The weapon here is an obvious one; the post title. There are many tips to write a great headline, but in terms of design, the one thing you need to do is to make the headline visible. There are countless different ways of making a headline stand out, with the most common being:
- Using a larger font size.
- Using a different colour of font (Often the same colour as the links in the article).
- Using a different font altogether.
Different blog styles will require different approaches. Do whatever you think is right for your blog, so long as the title of the article draws attention from the very first glance. One tip worth experimenting with is using the fold to make the most of your first impression.
You yourself are too familiar with your own blog. If you truly want to assess how well your blog’s design holds up to an impatient first-time visitor, try to find someone who has never seen your blog before, load it for them, then close it again after a few seconds. Are they able to tell you exactly what the page was about? If not, you’ve got some work to do!
Enjoy this post? You should follow me on Twitter!