What can you accomplish in 50 milliseconds? Turns out, unless you’re a red tights-clad superhero, not much. However, you might be surprised to learn that your website visitors can do a lot in 50 milliseconds (or less!), including forming their first impression of your homepage.
In the realm of FinTech (financial technology) and SaaS (software as a service), digital onboarding is on the rise, meaning that a potential customer’s first interaction with a brand is increasingly happening in the digital space. And, in the midst of a global pandemic, many consumers who would traditionally prefer speaking to a financial advisor or visiting a bank in person are now looking for online solutions that meet their needs. These discerning visitors will quickly evaluate your homepage and make an unconscious and instantaneous decision about your brand. In that moment (or millisecond), you can hook them… or leave them high and dry.
The hard truth is that ugly websites finish last. Luckily, we’ve got tips on how you can build an attractive and inviting online storefront for your FinTech or SaaS brand, and how you can maximize every millisecond of their attention to make the best first impression.
Build Your Website’s Foundation on a Strong Brand
The first step in boosting your first impression is getting back to the basics of your brand. While FinTech and SaaS companies exist on the cutting-edge of new technology and cloud-based innovations, their brands can at times feel stodgy or dated, or lost in a sea of emerging tech startups. Rebranding for FinTech or SaaS is much the same as any other brand, in that it’s important to consider your buyer personas and the buyer’s journey in creating a website that appeals to their needs and creates a positive user experience. At First Page, we recently worked with a direct-to-business loan company, originally called Sky Bridge, to help build their brand and ensure that web visitors would want to do more than window shop. Now called Revenued, the company started with a major rebranding… and it majorly paid off.
From the Revenued Case Files: After an in-depth brand audit, our Brand Expert concluded that it would be just as labor-intensive to create a whole new brand as it would to fix some of the existing brand’s problems. Those problems included overwhelming competition from similarly named or branded companies, poor search results and low web traffic. For the same amount of work, we were able to build a modern, updated brand that set Revenued apart from the FinTech crowd.
Hook Their Attention with Logo and Color Palette
A good FinTech or SaaS logo should feel fresh and modern, while evoking feelings of trust. The average website visitor will spend more than 6 seconds looking at your logo and evaluating it against any other brands they’ve interacted with, so it’s important to nail it. Vibrant colors and logo designs that convey growth and prosperity are especially key to FinTech brands.
From the Revenued Case Files: We brought in our Design Expert to update Revenued’s logo and brand colors with modern, 21st century appeal. The logo design, featuring leaves stretching upward, indicates growth and success, and appeals to their target consumer – business owners looking for financial options to help them achieve more.
Hold Out for a Hero (Image)
After setting sights on your logo, web visitors typically spend close to 6 seconds on the page’s hero image, and this is where they truly begin to form their conscious opinion of your brand. For some time, image sliders and carousels became standard practice, but we now know that bold, legible, single images perform better when it comes to conveying your brand and value proposition.
From the Revenued Case Files: In creating Revenued’s hero image, we had to take into account that even on web pages, most people view content the way they read – top left to right. We designed a bold, animated image that made clear the product and service Revenued offers to customers, and positioned it toward the left side of the page, well above the fold.
Flight of the Navigators
Should you focus on design or user experience when refining your digital storefront? The answer is both! 77% of marketing agencies say they believe poor UX contributes to negative first impressions, and eventually, visitors leaving the site. This is where homepage navigation comes into play, and it’s equally important to consider both form and function.
From the Revenued Case Files: We wanted to create clean navigation that directed visitors exactly where they needed to go. That meant resisting the temptation to create multiple layers of dropdowns, conflicting forms or data collection points, or duplicate menu items. Instead, we designed a simple main menu with one dropdown each, improving user experience and minimizing clutter and confusion.
CTAs That Actually Inspire Action
A strong call-to-action seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised to find out how many websites fail to include them, or bury them so deep within their content that visitors never make it that far. Your users want to know what you expect them to do upon visiting your site, and unless you tell them clearly and directly, they’ll move on to a brand who will.
From the Revenued Case Files: CTAs housed within content can be effective in the middle or at the bottom of the asset, as you use this tool to move them through the sales funnel. But on the homepage, you want the CTA to shine. For Revenued, we included a CTA within the hero image, so visitors wouldn’t have to work too hard to figure out what their next move should be.
Optimize for Mobile
Websites no longer exist merely on a 15” (or larger) screen. Now, they fit in the palm of our hands. 85% of consumers say that they expect a brand’s mobile website to be just as good or better than the desktop version. And with more consumers accessing FinTech and SaaS brands from their smartphone, mobile optimization is more important than ever.
From the Revenued Case Files: When designing Revenued’s mobile site, we wanted to create a seamless experience across devices. We scaled the mobile site to improve legibility and create a comfortable scrolling experience, and simplified the dropdown menu for easy navigation.
Troubleshoot Common Problems
94% of negative website feedback is related to design, so even if you have killer content and a great value proposition, it won’t matter if you don’t snag your visitors’ attention in those first 50 milliseconds. Some of the most common web design problems include:
Busy or cluttered layout
Boring, dull colors
Print that is too small or too text-heavy
Hard to find navigation
Pop-ups and other distractions
From the Revenued Case Files: These were among the first issues we tackled when rebranding Revenued and revamping their website. What you will find now is clean, modern design that is easy to navigate, and utilizes plenty of white space. We said goodbye to lifeless, uninspiring colors, text walls and a stuffy, corporate feel, and instead created a site that would catch visitors’ attention in a flash.
You can read the complete case study on Revenued to learn how we also built out their content and inbound marketing strategies. And if you’d like to see how we can help your FinTech or SaaS brand captivate an audience in 50 milliseconds flat, our Brand Expert is here to help!