Curb Appeal is a term borrowed from the Real Estate industry that describes the instant impression that a buyer gets when pulling up to a house on the market. A good impression can cause someone to fall in love with a house before they’ve seen the inside. A bad impression might cause them to drive away without even stopping. Curb appeal can manifest itself the same way on your website, when a first-time visitor lands on your website and decides if it’s the right place or not. This article will discuss five things you can do to increase your website’s curb appeal.
Fresh and Relevant Content
Nothing kills curb appeal like a stagnant website. If someone arrives on your home page and the newest article is more than a few days old, they are already subconsciously downranking your website. I’m not suggesting that you publish content just for content’s sake. Useless content can have the same effect as obsolete content. What you might do is brainstorm some ideas and then rough out a schedule that returning visitors can become familiar with. They’ll come to know that you update at some regular interval and start to visit based on that.
Active Forums & Comments
It’s a viral effect, when a reader sees new comments, they are more prone to comment. It may be a cheap trick, but while your site is freshly launched, you would do well to aggressively solicit comments from friends, family and professional associates in the right circles.
Desired Content Up Featured Up Front
If you are a retailer, that means your top products. Your newest, best or most popular items – the items that most people are there to find – should be given special priority on your site. If you run a blog, it means new or popular articles displayed front and center, with an easy way to find articles that someone might reference.
A Design That Communicates Effectively
A user’s perception of your site is influenced by the design, but not wholly based upon it. A nice aesthetic may help communicate, but a sloppy design might also get in the way of your content. Keep in mind that almost nobody truly cares about the design of your site. People want the content.
Validation of Your Position as The Expert
If you want to be perceived as the expert, you’re going to have to do your part to grab that title and hold on to it. Although your site needs to stand on its own merits, a savvy marketing will also encourage growth and acceptance by promoting their site where applicable. Try going after some of these things as ways to establish yourself or your site as a leader:
- Positive reviews from users and customers
- Professional endorsements from market or industry peers
- Client list, featured here or success stories
- Guest authors, co-contributors and 3rd party content displayed on your site
- Good press from 3rd party sources – “voted #1 tech site by webmonkey” etc
- Award and Citation graphics