Think back to the last time you went on a first date with someone. You probably put a lot of time and preparation into your hair, clothes, and makeup, right? Finished chewing a piece of minty gum or crunching a wintergreen Lifesaver as you walked in? If this sounds familiar, it’s because you understand this simple truth: first impressions matter.

Your landing page is your first date. In clicking on your link or advertisement, a consumer has agreed to give you a chance. But if you show up looking sloppy and unattractive, no matter how winning your pitch or product is, it’s unlikely that you’ll be deemed “relationship material.”  If you’re a software or mobile app development company, visitors expect to be wowed by your online presence.

So how do you create a good first impression? You want to (1) capture the visitor’s attention in order to (2) maintain their interest so that you can (3) inspire action. Now let’s take a deeper look at each of those steps in a little more detail.

1. Capture their attention

  • Please the eye. Don’t overwhelm your visitor with a Game of Thrones-sized wall of text without any eye candy. Instead, rely on attractive imagery to convey your message. Color schemes and professional photos are critical to achieving a clean aesthetic that won’t scare a visitor away. Whether you’re a single developer or work at an app development company, web browsers expect better from techies.
  • The power of the bullet. We’re not talking about lead projectiles (though these are also quite powerful), but the mini-paragraphs that will make your landing page easily interpreted. One popular format is to include three bullets, each one representing a benefit of your product.
  • Remember what you promised. The link or advertisement that brought a visitor to your landing page probably had a value proposition. If you guaranteed unbeatable life insurance rates, don’t try to sell flood insurance on your landing page. No one likes being misled.

2. Maintain their interest

  • It’s a matter of seconds. The average web surfer has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. Test your landing page by having a friend look at it for eight seconds (if you can’t keep them on task for that long your page probably needs a serious revision). What did they take away in that time? Were they drawn to your call to action button?
  • No need to navigate. Take your navigation bar off of your landing page. You want visitors to do exactly one thing: click on your call to action. Anything else clickable on your landing page is a distraction. Your call to action isn’t “Contact Us.” Though it can be tempting, especially for a software development company, you should resist the urge to create multiple links and pathways off of the page.
  • It’s not a census. Limit the number of fields you ask your visitors to fill out. This is especially important considering that since 2014 more people access the web via mobile platform than desktop computer. The explosion of android and ios app development leading to reliance on smartphones has one downside – the frustration of a cramped touchscreen keyboard may prove too much for some visitors.

3. Make ‘em click!

  • Create cues. Remember, everything on your page should be geared towards getting that click, or your call to action (CTA). Visually channel the visitor’s eyes towards that button. Arrows are one obvious method, images of people directing their field of view at the button is a bit more subtle.
  • Spell it out. Unless you’re seeking world domination, your call to action isn’t “Submit.” So, there’s no reason your action button should say so. If you’ve promised the lowest rate, your button could read “Save!” To create a sense of urgency words or phrases like “now,” “free,
  • and “limited opportunity,” can impel action.
  • Make your button a button. Forgive us for this painfully obvious advice, but this is an absolute deal breaker. You need a button that stands out, pops, and is clearly clickable. If visitors have to guess where they should be tapping or putting their mouse, you’ve probably already lost them.

So there you have it, the three steps to making a great first impression with your landing page.

Happy marketing!