Mike Vondran: Making a first impression is crucial — on the web

You never get a second chance to make a first impression — even online.

That’s why a great introduction, and maintaining a resonant presence, are crucial on the worldwide web. Website design, development, and management are important elements to ensuring both.

“Your website is often people’s first impression of your business, and you want to make sure it’s a good one, because you can’t do it over,” said Don Farber, chief digital officer at TAG advertising agency in Davenport. “People make an instant judgment based upon the way a site looks, its ease of use, if they can find what they’re looking for, and you want to make sure you get those right.”

Mr. Farber has been designing and building SEO-optimized custom sites at TAG for over a decade, and has a wealth of expertise on web design and management. He offers the following tips on making sure you catch the eye and interest of your potential clients.

“The look and design of the site is a high percentage of people’s first impression of it,” Mr.  Farber said. “Does it look good? Is the design appropriate for your business? But it’s about more than just designing a pretty website, it’s about user experience and user interface.

“User experience is how a user interacts and experiences the website, it’s more aesthetics and practicality — are things easy to find, is it hard to navigate, is it a good experience every time you visit, etcetera,” Mr. Farber said. “User interface is how the user experience works, it’s the tech side —is the interface ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, is it just as easily used on a mobile phone as on a laptop, that sort of thing. Both play into each other and both are equally important.”

There are many details that go into the maintenance of a site as well.

“Just like a car, you have to perform routine maintenance on your website,” Mr. Farber said. “All sites have to be ADA compliant and continue to meet WCAG  (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).”

“In addition, your content has to be regularly updated in order to maximize search engine optimization,” he added. “Google requires you to update your site with new content minimally once a month in order to maintain good standing with them. That’s why TAG recommends the integration of blogs, video and other elements to update regularly. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s worth it. It’s not just about building a great website, but about keeping that momentum.”

Utilizing an experienced web team can help you optimize your site, ensuring it makes a great first impression, and a positive lasting one as well.  

Mike Vondran is CEO of the Davenport-based TAG. He can be reached at [email protected].

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