2 Things Your Web Designer Must NOT Forget (sadly most do)

Read time – 3 minsArticle written by Keith Gilmore, IMPACT's Website Conversion Guru

Chances are, you were not the one who designed and coded your site. And if you are, be encouraged, because even the most creative web designers often forget, or don’t consider these 2 things when they are creating a website.

What are they?

I’ll give you a hint about the 1st one.

It keeps you from getting many things done throughout your day. In fact, it’s the very reason why I need to get to the point and tell you exactly what I’m referring to. ;-)

Thing #1 Attention span – more specifically, our SHORT attention span.

Hey look! A bright-shiny object!!

You know what I mean.

When we are online, we can be very subject to our short attention span, because, it’s in this medium more than other, our instant gratification mentality is in full gear.

According to multiple studies, you only have between 3-10 seconds to grab your visitors attention when they come to your site. The good news is, if you’re providing a local service, your potential customer will probably have a bit more patience and focus, because there’s less choices they have to weed through, so you may get up to 15-30 seconds.

Now, you might have an awesome looking site that you’ve totally SEO’ed the heck out of, along with beautiful graphics, and amazing hero shots of you and your employees…

BUT, if your website is not making it easy for your visitor to find what they are looking for, and your call to action is not obvious, but somewhere down the page, their short attention span may detour them to your competition instead.

Essentially, the more they have to move their mouse to find what it is they are searching for, the more you end up decreasing the chance of them sticking around and responding to what you want them to do when they’re on your site.

Now, if you’re familiar with the study of UX (user experience) then this may not be a new idea, and that’s cool. But let’s consider one other factor that isn’t talked about much.

Thing #2 A reality that is often forgotten is that many of your website visitors, possibly like you, use a web browser which has a one or many unnecessary and unused toolbars attached to it – like Yahoo, McAfee, Ask or something like that.

Don’t be embarrassed most people do. And often times, most people don’t know where they came from, and they don’t know how, or don’t think to remove it. They just collect one, below the next.

Hint: Often times, when you download new, or upgrade software on your computer, that toolbar came with it – it’s just the default addition they keep hidden in the fine print.

This means, those darn toolbars eat up the real estate on your visitor’s computer screen. So what you thought would be in the “above the fold” section (what they see without scrolling down), is now invisible to them at first glance. And trying to get them to scroll to find what they’re looking for isn’t guaranteed, so you risk them leaving your site and running somewhere else.

Solution: This is why it’s absolutely necessary you try and put all the most important elements that they find valuable, near the top portion of the page they land on.

So what exactly does that look like?

Here are 3 ways that ensure you’re doing this…

A. If you have a large header at the top of your site that’s reserved for your logo/name, I’d suggest shrinking it a bit, or adjusting so that you can add other elements in the header section too.

For example, if you have an e-commerce site then you need to let your visitor know that they not only found what they’re looking for, but that they can feel confident knowing the site is secure. So you add a logo like “Trustwave”, Online BBB, etc., and a phone number they can call if they have any questions.

Bonus: Stay away from using those popular stock photos to give a visual of the friendly operator they can call. Use a photo of a real person, or one that isn’t seen very often.

B. Avoid corporate jargon! Do NOT think you’re going grab anyone’s attention through eloquent and fancy corporate speak – no one talks like that, so why do it now?

People are coming to your site, not companies, so write for people – for individuals. And make sure you speak conversationally. I’m serious!

One of the most effective methods to helping you come up with the right sales copy, is to imagine you’re explaining your product to your close friend. Sure, you can use a couple of questions or words that helps to trigger their attention, but if you find your copy is mostly sounding like an annual report – scratch it and re-phrase it.

C. Consider using a slide-show of some kind. Done right, it’s one of the most effective ways to quickly tell your visitor they’ve come to the right place, and how to get what they want. This is where you can bullet-point your benefits and distinguish your company.

A really great element to use in one of the slides is online video. Either have the video playable right away or use a screenshot of the video, and have it play on another page when they click on the image. And then, once they get to that page, tell them what they should do.

Important to note: Telling your visitor what they should to keep them on the path of achieving more of what they want (assuming you’re providing them value), will help them, and will help you to increase the chance they will become your subscriber, customer, client… or whatever action you ultimately want them to take.

And with that said, I’d to help you achieve more of what you might be looking for as well.

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2 things you should do now:

Leave a comment or question below, and let me know what you thought of this post (did you like, hate it, have a story to share?).

And then, take a look at your own site and see if you need to make any changes that will make it easier for your visitor to find the solution they’re looking for and respond to the call to action you want them to take. If you’re inclined to schedule a FREE 20 min online conversion review – let’s book it right now, and we’ll get something scheduled in the next 48 hours. And don’t worry, I’ll be gentle :-)