Making a website look cool may seem like the perfect way to capture the attention of web browsers around the world. Maybe it is—but it is not how you get those browsers to stick around. Flashy pages may draw people in, but it is the content that will keep them engaged.
The number one way to keep viewers engaged is to keep them on the site longer. How do you go about convincing viewers that your site is worth the stay? Below are a few simple ways to take your site from trashy to trusted.
Keep Content ‘Above the Fold’
While many may think that keeping content “above the fold” is an age old practice meant for print media, it is still relevant online. “Above the fold” generally meant that the most important information was placed on a newspaper above the line where the paper naturally folds. That way people would see the most important information first and get drawn in to read more.
However, with web development it is still imperative to keep the information that is the most important above a certain point. Rather than a fold line, though, it will be a scroll line. Before the viewer has to scroll down the page at all, the content should be interesting and relevant enough to reel them in. That way, their glance over will cause them to stop and want to stay for more.
80 percent of viewers spend their time on websites without any scrolling. What does that tell you about technology users? They waste no time. Providing the most important information first during development will make viewers feel like your website is worth their time and will continue reading.
With the rise of millennials came the rise of video in content marketing and web development. Technology has made everything faster, encouraging real time updates and anything that caters to short attention spans. While the number of people who read text Online has gone down, the number of people who watch videos has gone up.
Viewers retain 95 percent of content when they watch videos but only 10 percent when they read text. If you are worried about keeping eyes on your website longer, videos are the solution. They require eyes to stay on the site for a longer period of time, giving you more opportunity to peak interest and turn viewers into consumers.
After all, YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. That means that videos have a way of getting to people. There are a few reasons for this. In Susan Weinschenk’s research about customer psychology, she outlines four reasons why video works:
- The Fusiform Facial area makes viewers pay attention to faces because our brains are hardwired to believe human faces more than words on a page.
- The sound of a voice makes content more meaningful and adds needed color to text.
- Emotions and body language are actually contagious. Watching someone else feel a certain way about a product or experience can change the viewer’s own opinion.
- Movement is eye catching. It grabs viewers’ attention and holds it there long enough for intended messages to get across.
Using video is becoming common place in the marketing world. Involving it into your web development is imperative. Any site without video is voluntarily lagging a few steps behind everyone else.
Start With Minimalism
Some may think that people like choices. Well, that’s not necessarily true. Why do you think companies like In-N-Out with a 4 item menu or Apple with such uniform products have success? It’s because people like to be told what they want while still feeling that they have the freedom to choose. No one wants to be overwhelmed.
The trick is to be simple. Use minimalism in your web development that is pleasing to the eye and easy to read. On average, only 28 percent of website copy is read. Scanning has become the norm.
Using minimalistic design also forces every website to only include the important items. This will make it easier for certain messages to translate over to viewers. They will know exactly what a company is trying to say because the message won’t be hidden beneath unnecessary information.
Use Congruent Stylistic Techniques
Just as viewers don’t want to be overwhelmed with information, they also don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many different colors or designs. Choose a set color scheme for the website and use it consistently throughout web development.
Using the Adobe Kulur tool can easily solve this problem as it helps designers choose a scheme and lays out all of the colors that can play into that scheme.
Improve Loading Time
Going back to the short attention span phenomenon that permeates the modern age, loading time is an important factor. Viewers want to see the page almost instantaneously, and if something takes too long to load, they will have no problem leaving.
In fact, four out of five online users will leave a website if it takes too long to load. That’s 80 percent of viewers. Losing 80 percent of viewers is a big price to pay for such a small problem.
According to surveys by Akamai and Gomez.com about half of users expect to have the page loaded in two seconds. If it takes past three, they usually bail. Don’t worry, Google developed a tool called Page Speed Online so any web developer can measure the speed of their page and improve development.
Hyperlinks may not seem like a big deal as long as they are included, right? Well, apparently those sites that change the color of hyperlinks from when they haven’t been clicked on to when they have been clicked on have proved to be more effective.
Making sure hyperlinks work is vital in web development, but separating the color based on click status is something that viewers like to see. It is helpful to the user which will ultimately benefit the web developer.
Always Include Search Bars
Search bars are a must-have for any web development. They may almost be more important than hyperlinks because it allows a user to easily navigate through a website. If a viewer comes to a site looking for something specific and can’t find it, that could cause them to give up altogether.
Search bars should be large enough to incorporate 27 characters which allows users to search up to 90 percent of their questions. This way potential consumers will have a greater chance of actually sticking around because they know that they can find what they need.
Make it Different
Although it may not be the most important technique to keep viewers engaged, it will initially reign them in. Using a unique design on web development will help viewers to feel connected to a website and find personality within a brand.
Avoiding stock images and instead use an original design in web development that will leave a lasting impression. This will ensure that users will not only be drawn to the website but will want to return. Make sure this is the cherry on top, however. Just because a website is flashy, doesn’t mean it will convince viewers to stay. Combine style and strategy for a website design that will last.