The longer you can keep visitors on your website, the more successful you will be at converting them to sales.
Once upon a time, digital marketing gurus recommended focusing on search engine rankings, often to the exclusion of all else. Effective web design, they said, wasn’t nearly as important as being found by potential customers.
The game has changed, however, and getting your prospects to your site is only one piece of the puzzle. Today’s fickle denizens of the Interwebs aren’t likely to stay more than five to 10 seconds on your site unless you give them a persuasive reason to stay.
Place a Strong Emphasis on Visual Design
Stanford University researchers demonstrated that first-time visitors form an impression of your website in 0.05 seconds, essentially the time it takes to blink. A whopping 94 percent of participants admitted to basing their first impression on a site’s design. Even more pressing, studies show that a visitor’s first impressions and level of satisfaction stick with them for years.
Today, the sites that most appeal to Internet users feature simple backgrounds, plenty of white space and more readable, uncluttered fonts. Flat design, more images and multimedia offerings, and site search are all encouraged to help keep your visitors from bounding off to your nearest competitor.
Finally, because so many visitors will access your site via mobile devices, ensure that your mobile optimization is spot-on.
Visual appeal ranks first in importance for Internet users, but it is followed closely by an outstanding user experience and relevant content.
Enhance the User Experience
The term user experience, or UX, describes the attitudes and emotions that your visitors develop in response to using your site. The psychology of human interaction with computers (a fascinating topic!) tells us that the more fuss and bother the user must endure to navigate your site to their desired goal, the less likely that user is to ever buy from you. Your site’s goal is to meet all of your prospects’ and clients’ needs in the most simple and straightforward manner possible.
To accomplish this, you must develop an in-depth understanding of your target customer’s needs, abilities, limitations and values. Use this knowledge to develop your site, and you’ll help ensure customers’ persistence once they arrive.
And, although it may sound obvious, check your site carefully to ensure that all of your links are good. Users rate the “404 Not Found” error as one of the most annoying (and simple to avoid) site problems, followed by filler content that’s never been replaced and — the worst — little or no content to explore.
The Power of Great Content
Great design and a strong UX will make sure your site’s visitors stick around long enough to explore a bit. But content is the key to keeping them there. Do you remember the old marketing axiom that prospects must be exposed to your message at least six or seven times before conversion?
Today’s version of that statistic shows that your prospects must read somewhere between three and seven blog posts (or the equivalent) before they will even call or fill out a contact form.
Most consumers are under increasing time pressures and have shrinking attention spans, so it’s imperative that your content grabs them and engages them immediately, then holds their attention. Every post must leave them wanting to know more, learn more.
Effective online content is one of the most important aspects of SEO (search engine optimization), but today it must do much, much more than simply improve your Google ranking.
At Be Locally, we leverage great content for both attracting prospects to your site and keeping them there long enough to convert. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you keep visitors on your website.
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