Click, click, click. Your ideal customer has eleven tabs open, and is flipping through them, trying to find some information.
Will he stop at your site? Or will he click and make it disappear?
What’s stopping him from ditching your site altogether?
He’ll make up his mind about the quality of your information before he’s even read it, and it will be based on his gut reaction to your website’s design.
If it doesn’t pass muster, he may never read your words. He’ll hover over that big X on the browser, click it, and make your site go away. How can you invite him in and keep him there?
Let’s find out …
The self-centered searcher
In that split second when your site visitor is deciding whether to stay or go, he’s only thinking about himself. What have you got for him? What can you do for him?
Today’s post is all about how you can use design your WordPress website to invite, entice, and engage your site visitor long enough for him to begin to interact with your words.
Because you know all that amazing content you’re generating? It doesn’t stand a chance if it’s presented with a design that makes your visitors click away from your site before they’ve read it.
1. Color your world
Are your website’s colors memorable?
You have the opportunity to invite people into a world of color when they hit your home page. And color functions on a subliminal level that speaks to your visitors beyond what words can say.
Great color sets a tone, and creates expectations. To use it well, remember these two rules:
- Use a limited color palette. Choose and use two main colors in addition to black or dark grey text. Use these colors consistently throughout every page of your site.
- Choose an accent color. If you use your two main colors consistently, you can occasionally draw attention with an accent color that stands out from this limited palette. Trot out your accent color when you want to draw attention to a special offer, a button you’d like visitors to click, or an important announcement.
2. Great fonts speak volumes
Setting up custom fonts on your site takes a little extra effort, but they’re worth it.
When you carefully choose fonts that reflect your brand’s personality, your site will look more believable. Plus, custom fonts help make your site stand out because you’re breaking free from the Arial-Times Roman-Verdana prison most sites are trapped in.
3. Stock up on images to tell your story
It’s easier than ever to find great images to complement your words. There are free sources like Creative Commons images on Flickr, which you can search for using compfight.com. These must be used with attribution, so read the license carefully and give credit where it’s due.
And you don’t have to use the image you find as is. You can take it into a free online image editor like iPiccy.com and crop, combine and customize to your heart’s content (as long as your license permits it — some Creative Commons licenses don’t).
When adding images to your WordPress website, be sure to fine-tune them for the web by saving them at the size you plan to use them, and at the lowest resolution that still looks good. This will help your site load quickly.
Images draw your visitor in, capture their attention and communicate on a different level than words. Learn to use images to hold onto those eyeballs.
4. Format your words for attractive, readable pages
Don’t just spray a bunch of words on your page and leave them lying there. Organize them into subheads, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists.
Use the WordPress formatting bar to provide emphasis and interest. Make the first paragraphs of your pages inviting by keeping them short. Break up your text so you’re not presenting your visitor with big blocks of nonstop copy.
Give your visitor an easy way into your content, and they’ll stick around long enough to read it.
Invite them in and keep them there
Want to make your WordPress website enticing? Keep it simple, uncluttered and easy to read. Use colors and fonts to customize it. Add images that speak beyond your words. And spend some time formatting your pages to make them inviting.
Sure, it’s a little extra effort. But if it makes the difference between an engaged visitor and one who clicks away, it’s worth it, isn’t it?
About the Author: Pamela Wilson founded Big Brand System to empower small business owners with marketing and design information that gives their businesses an edge. Want to learn more about using images to communicate? Sign up for the free 12 Days of Visual Buzz series here.