Researchers found that viewers make a judgment of a site in 1/20th of a second. This impression is classified as positive, negative or neutral. Naturally, those making a positive impression are more likely to get business from the visitor.
It’s true to say that different people like different things and put their own interpretation and meaning on what they see. The message you think your site is giving may not be the one you intended to convey!
So carry out your own research with a variety of different people to clarify whether the impression you’re giving is the one you want to give, bearing in mind your target audience.
For example, if you sell landscape gardening services and your site looks really modern, stylish and sophisticated – some visitors may assume that you’re very expensive and they won’t be able to afford your services. This may or may not be true!
- Average time someone spends on a homepage – 3 – 8 seconds.
- The average reading speed is 200 wpm but people read 25% slower on screen.
- In 8 seconds visitors will read 20 words.
- In 25 seconds visitors will read 61 words.
- 59% of users use the Back button – it’s the most popular button of all!
- Percentage of people who will scroll a home page is 23% – this means that only 1 in 4 people will see what is below the fold.
- Consumers go to the search engines 91% of the time to find products and services.
- 78% of people will check you out online before contacting you or visiting your place of business.
- 63% of online B2B purchases are made by Females aged 42.
- 37% of online B2B purchases are made by Males aged 46.
- Eye Tracking research show that eye fixations on a page are 22% on graphics, 78% on text.
- 79% of visitors don’t actually read online – they skim and scan. They look for top level clues like headings, highlights and important keywords, bold trigger words, bullets and short blocks of text. If they don’t find them within about 8 seconds, they leave.
- Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is information placed where a visitor is likely to look for it? Does it use Eye Tracking principles?
- Are Calls to Action where they’re needed?
- Do you have to scroll up or down to see them?
- Are heading used to define the message of the page?
- Do you use white space to help scan ability and high contrast? Remember those with colour vision deficiencies.
- Is you content easy to read – aimed at a reading age of 13?
- Is your content accurate and up to date?
- If your headings were the only text on the page, would they communicate the basic point?
- Are all pages consistent with design and navigation?
- Is your contact information easy to find?
- What are you doing to confront the Trust and Credibility issues? Does the site contain testimonials/portfolio/client base/case studies?
- Does your design make the visitor take time to work out how to use the site?
- Is the site full of content-rich copy or content-free marketese?
- Does the site highlight any guarantees?
- Don’t make your forms a barrier – don’t expect users to give you more information than you actually need to meet their needs. Many people for example, are reluctant to give out email addresses.
Things change – the business changes, the market changes, the environment changes! It is vital that you are able to update or add new and fresh content to your website really quickly as soon as circumstances dictate. You could of course wait for your web developer to do it for you, but this can take time and be an ongoing cost.
Better to do it yourself, but this does mean that you need to factor in the training time and administration time for staff to maintain your web site. If you can it’s great for your customers, bad for your competitors and good too for the search engines, who love new and fresh content.
Your choice of Content Managed system may depend to some extent on your budget. We recommend and use Joomla! and WordPress. Joomla! is an award winning opensource CMS, and WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS. Both make it easy to update your content anytime and anywhere. All you need is Internet access.