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The Clock Is Ticking

Posted on 08.19.2015

When someone visits your website, you want them to stay and not click away. On a well-designed and optimized homepage, visitors should know about you in seven seconds. That’s not much time.

Your website is the first place customers visit to learn more about your company, your brand, and your products.

If your homepage is disorganized and messy, what are the chances your audience will click through to learn more about your business? Slim to none. Nada. Zilch.

In an increasingly mobile society, your customers must be able to easily read, navigate, and scroll using a variety of devices from phones to tablets to iPods. Make it easy on them; make it easy on their eyes.

More than half of web visitors spend just 15 seconds reading a web page. That’s just not enough time to convert to a sale. According to data from Chartbeat.com, if you can entice a visitor to stay on your page for three minutes, they’re twice as likely to return to your website. So what can you do to keep a visitor’s attention?

Follow these 6 basic guidelines to attract and retain web visitors:

  1. Provide simple and elegant navigation. The layout of your homepage should be crisp and clean. Once a viewer lands on your website, make it easy for them to find the information they need. Include contact information and a clear call to action (CTA) on each page. Don’t make visitors click three or four times to find something. People are busy and impatient. They’ll simply go to another website.
  2. Write compelling content. Use a conversational tone and short sentences to draw in your reader. Think about Goldilocks. You don’t want too much content on a page and you don’t want too little — you want just the right amount. How to tell? Ask others to read your copy and tell you what they think. Still not sure? Err on the side of less content. If visitors want more information, they can contact you.
  3. Embrace multimedia content. Videos, images, infographics, and podcasts are just a few of the ways to reach your potential customers. Even if someone doesn’t read your content, they may be excited about watching a short video or scrolling through some amazing photos.
  4. Invite people to connect with you. Post links to your blog and social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. The more invested in your brand and business people become, the more likely they are to use your services and/or recommend you to others.
  5. Assess your web traffic. Use tools like Google Analytics to examine your bounce rates. Your bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave after visiting just one page. An average bounce rate is about 50 percent. The lower your bounce rate, the more likely it is that visitors are connecting with your content.
  6. Encourage people to register on your site. Some folks don’t want to give away personal information, so give them an incentive to do so and make some of the informational boxes optional. Once you have an email address, you can tailor your communications to fit their needs. Don’t use that email address to hard sell your customers. Rather, use it to send them information and news and announce contests and promotions.

Think about the websites you like to visit. What features first drew you in and what kept you coming back for more? Ask others in your company — and your current customers too — about their favorite websites. You’ll soon have a much better idea what works for your industry and for your business.