Written by Leah Behling, Intern
What it is that keeps viewers engaged on a website? In this day in age our attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter. It may even seem that goldfish now have longer attention spans than us. So we are left wondering why users choose to spend time on our websites or why they instead leave after viewing one page, and not clicking through the site. The primary goal of every website is to create an instant connection with the viewer. We want to grasp the viewer’s attention with a thought provoking question or amaze the eyes with a spectacular image. First impressions are extremely important, but they are not everything. Keeping users engaged in your website past the homepage is key. Not only will users be satisfied to find what they have been searching for, but it prevents them from being pointed in a different direction or choosing an alternative business to view instead of your own.
Here are our secrets you should follow to enhance user engagement:
Have you ever viewed a website and been immediately pulled in by the wording? The writing might be witty and funny or maybe even a bit cynical. The tone of your website can be a huge factor for whether or not the user will stay engaged. If you have a clinical line of work, most people are not interested in reading medical terminology. People enjoy reading familiar language that they can relate to. The hard part is not finding this language, but altering it to be informative. Every website holds a purpose and ultimately solves a problem. Use copywriting to engage, yet still inform your audience.
Internal links enable the viewer to go from one page on your website to a different page on your website. Internal linking allows for easy navigation and decreased bounce rate. Bounce rate measures the number of users who enter your website through the landing page, and leave without visiting anything else. Ways to test and improve links and buttons throughout your homepage can be navigated with A/B testing. A/B testing is when you create two versions of a page and send one version to half of your audience and a different version to the other half of your audience. This test determines which variation of the page performs best by engaging the viewers more frequently.
More information on A/B testing is outlined on the Solution Spotlight page of our newsletter.
Quality over Quantity
Now don’t get us wrong, sharing your story is important (that is our motto!), but often shorter is better. Your users do not need to know every facet of your business or your personal life. Your website does not need to be an encyclopedia for the viewer. If they need find information on a disease, technique, system, or technology they’ll Google it! Stick to the basics of what your business offers. Tell them a few interesting snippets of information to create a connection; make everything on your website have a purpose. Simplicity is key and fluff is not needed. The same goes for design. Everything should be clear and clean cut. Include a few high quality images that represent your business. Going overboard on images and text may overwhelm your audience and turn them away from your website.
Be User Friendly
How many times have you been on a site where it was just too confusing to navigate, so you left? This is often common with mobile and tablet browsing. Some sites do not adapt well on the mobile and tablet interfaces, which is highly destructive for businesses in this day in age. Over half of all searches are from a mobile device. If your website is not extremely user friendly on all platforms, expect a high bounce rate.