If you think your website visitors are paying much attention when reading your content, think again. There is a high chance that they aren’t.
When it comes to the web, here’s a fun fact — People scan; they don’t read.
Most people will simply skim through a web page to find keywords that are relevant to the information they’re looking for. If your website isn’t optimized for this type of quick consumption, the valuable few seconds a site user will spend on your page will end up getting wasted.
Typically, more than half of your visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on one of your pages. That’s really not a lot of time to make an impression. Even those that do linger on your site will read only about 20% of the content that’s on the page.
Furthermore, visitors will skip over short words that only have 2 to 3 letters, and will almost always fixate on the longer words, which are more likely to be relevant to what they are searching for.
Going by these statistics, if you’re still reading this, you’re doing more than most people!
Where the Problem Lies
Unfortunately, most businesses spend a lot of time trying to stuff as much information as they can into their pages and blog posts, but nowhere near enough time figuring out how to get people to read it. This is obviously a grave error.
If you want to be more successful at converting website viewers into prospects or customers, you must first find a way to make them stay longer on a page. You also have to structure your content so that it can accommodate both skimmers and readers.
Fortunately, there are lots of web design tricks you can use to keep that small window of opportunity open for as long as possible.
The Left Side Matters
Viewers spend an incredible 80% of their time reading the left-hand side of a web page whereas the right-hand side only gets a mere 20%. This makes sense considering most of the world reads from left to right. In addition, most of the time, people were only focusing on the right side to look for the scroll bar.
A good website will make sure it has its most eye-catching statements to the left of the page to ensure maximum exposure when someone visits.
People Read in an “F” Pattern
The first few lines of text get the most attention. The next few lines get less. And the further down the page a viewer goes, the less attention each line of text gets. This results in an “F” pattern of reading across the page.
What businesses should take from this is that they should be placing their value proposition and hard-hitting statements at the top of the page. Menu placement should be carefully thought out so that it doesn’t obstruct the most important pieces of content on the page.
It’s also important to note that the text that will be highlighted in this ‘F’ pattern will be different on desktop and mobile versions of the page.
Your Typography Needs to Be on Point
Inappropriately chosen fonts are an instant turn off to anyone looking for information. It’s fine to get creative with typography, but always keep the viewer in mind when doing so. Clean, easy-to-read fonts will not only make your content easier to consume, but will also get the most positive reactions.
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind when choosing fonts:
- Choose fonts that pair well together
- Ensure font sizes are uniform throughout the website
- Maintain good contrast between the background and text
- Keep headlines short and powerful
- Avoid overly wide or narrow text line widths
If a website only has 15 seconds to make an impression, you can’t block your content with a pop-up for your newsletter or discount promo.
It’s no secret that pop-ups are annoying, but well-timed pop-ups can be effective. If you absolutely must have a pop-up make sure you follow these rules:
- Delay the pop-up by 60 seconds so the reader has time to read some of the content
- Only have them appear every couple of weeks to avoid annoying regular visitors
- Make sure the pop-up is relevant to your business or website niche
- Make sure the information is extremely useful or valuable to the viewer
- Make it easy to close the pop-up
- Keep the pop-up forms as minimal as possible
Improving Website Speed is Crucial
Given people’s short attention spans, if your website doesn’t open immediately with all images present and correct, your visitors are going to move on to the next website listed on the search results page.
It’s hard enough to get people to click on your link, so you should avoid making them wait for your page to load. If they have to wait for more than a couple of seconds, they’ll start feeling frustrated and leave with a negative impression of your brand.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure people can access your content as quickly as possible:
- Minimize HTTP requests.
- Enable compression and browser caching.
- Optimize images and CSS delivery.
- Reduce server response time, site plugins, and redirects.
- Prioritize Above-the-Fold Content
This has never been more important. As of July 2018, site-loading speeds are a factor in Google’s ranking algorithms. Fast-loading websites will not only reduce your bounce rates, but will also be bumped up higher in the search results. Slow sites will eventually get buried.
There’s a very small window of opportunity for your website to make an impact on your visitors and potential clients. With a good understanding of people’s viewing habits, you can create a website that’s not only full of meaningful information but is also optimized for maximum exposure.
If you want to make those 15 seconds of exposure count, AltaStreet can help you solve all your web design and content issues. Send us a message through the contact form below so we can better discuss your options.