Slater’s Website Creates that Critical First Impression

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Jan 03
Slater’s 50/50 landing page

Slater’s 50/550 landing page provides three gateways into the site.

Do you remember the last time you met someone and took an instant like or dislike to them? Have you ever bought a book because your first impression was so strongly positive? Regardless of what decisions you’ve made based on first impressions, we all do it. In sales and marketing, it’s long been known that we make our first impression on a prospect in the first 20 seconds. If it’s not positive, we may never get to make a second impression.

First impressions are more critical in Internet marketing than they are in business because people can click off your site and onto another almost instantly. In fact, research shows that you have 1/20th of a second to make that first impression. Nobody makes a decision that fast on the content. The first impression your website makes depends all on the appearance, which includes pictures, white space, and graphics. I personally find examples help me understand concepts better so I’m going to analyze Slater’s 50/50’s website to show how this works. With his website, Scott Slater continues to demonstrate a good understanding of marketing. For my purposes, it’s instructive that he misses a few more subtle points, which I’ll mention as we go along. Overall, Slater’s 50/50’s is a good example of what a small business can do to promote itself.

Strong first impression graphically

Their landing page (the page where you first enter the site) comes before you get to their Home page. This is different from most websites. I find it is both positive and negative.

What I like about it is that the landing page loads fast. He uses this instead of a flash video as the gateway to Slater’s 50/50 website. It loads immediately (compared to flash video landing pages); plus it has good graphics and lots of white space. Thus, it serves up a strong positive initial impression based on appearance.

Slater’s 50/50 landing page

Slater’s 50/50 landing page lets you choose area you are interested in viewing.

Slater’s makes clever use of pictures to link to the area the visitor wants to see:
1. Restaurant
2. Order Now
3. Sports Bar

Headlines and content are the basis for staying longer

It’s in the second area where people make the decision to stay or leave, content, that this landing page shows up weak. As there is no content on this page, it might cost them some visitors. Nevertheless, people are largely visual so I feel the lack of content works all right on this page because the pictures and underlined words make it obvious to anyone used to the Internet that they can choose where they want to go. And two of the three choices have good, simple content. The third one is obviously an order form or shopping cart.

The downside to no content on the landing page

There are, however, two other considerations here. They provide a definite downside to having no content on the landing page. First, the search engines rank pages using content or written descriptions and discussions. Thus, I suspect this landing page adversely affects the site’s page rank in generic searches. The second issue is that I could find no alternate text on the pictures. If someone is surfing the web without graphics capability – and some people still do, they will see nothing where the pictures are. Additionally, if you are using dial up, alternate text shows while the pictures are loading. Finally, the search engines see nothing where the pictures are. For these reasons, when you load pictures onto your website or your blog, it’s wise to invest the time to fill in the Alternate Text.

Slater’s 50/50 has a really attractive website that is proving popular and contributing to their business. I suspect that they are not losing any visitors due to lack of content on their landing page because the overall look is so clean and attractive and because the three pictures provide links to pages the images present. On the other hand, search engines “crawl” the Internet reading the content on web pages. Also, those people who do not use pictures so as to get better speed would see nothing due to the lack of alternate text to represent replace the pictures.

What do you think?

Because this is such an attractive and interesting site, I’m going to continue my analysis by discussing other aspects of Internet marketing with your website later this week. Please come back to read my next post. If you follow me on Twitter, you will be able to also tell when I’ve posted again. I would also like your comments on whether you agree or disagree with what I’ve presented here.


About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.