Making the First Impression, Website Edition

June 6, 2012 Laird Rixford

The adage 'always make a good a good first impression' still applies to today's consumer. You now just have multiple ways to reach them. Whether you reach them in person, by email, by phone or via the Internet, you need to make sure that your first moments count.

Take a moment to do a quick test. Open the website of your closest or strongest competitor (don't worry I will wait here). Look at it for three seconds, and then close your eyes. What do you see? Do you see a well-designed website with clear call to actions? Do you see a professionally designed logo that sets them apart? Do you see ways to easily access information in a limited number of clicks? Now do the same for your website. How does it compare?

Three seconds are all you will get with some Internet visitors before they decide that your website is not worth their time and effort. So how do you make a first good impression on your website?

Eye Candy

Make sure that your website provides visual eye candy that draws the user in. This includes professional logos, designs and colors. I talk often about the importance of good content; however, visitors cannot read good content in three seconds. This means the design needs to stand on its own. Be mindful that eye candy does not always mean videos and animation. Some visitors are turned off by website elements that automatically flash or talk at them.


Provide an easy to navigate, intuitive interface that the user will instinctively understand how to operate. This includes clear call to actions for the primary functions of the site, such as 'Get a Quote', 'Phone Us' or 'Contact Us'.


Make sure that your logo is professional and prominently placed. Remember this is the brand of your agency. Prospective clients will be seeing this throughout your marketing cycle, and it needs to be memorable.

The Pitch

You need to develop and condense your elevator pitch down to a short blurb that can be read in those crucial first moments. This can be as simple as 'personal service, competitive prices.' Tailor it to your agency and your goals.

Make these first three seconds count, and your website will see more visitors, more page views and longer time spent on your site... all of which will translate into more business.

About the Author

Laird Rixford

As CEO, Laird Rixford is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the company. Rixford has a proven executive management track record and has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and insurance technology. An expert in insurance technology and marketing, Laird is a recognized public speaker and has presented at industry events across the United States.

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