Posted by Murray Sye
on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:53 PM
Does your homepage hold your visitors' attention, or are they quickly bouncing from your site?
Attention spans have dwindled as online competition has increased dramatically in recent years. If you're going to the trouble of having a website – which is quite obviously a necessity these days – you need to captivate your visitors – and you need to do it quick.
According to Netcraft, as of March 2015, there are an astounding 878 million websites worldwide. With a simple 'click' people can flit from one site to another, so it's imperative to capture your visitors' interest quickly, or else they'll be off to your competitor's site.
You want them to hang out, peruse your site and eventually find their way to a call-to-action. You can increase your prospects' attention spans and get them to look at more of your site if their interests are being met.
If you can hold a website visitor's attention, they'll spend more time on your site, do more social sharing and there's a higher chance they'll convert.
So, what are the best ways to get people to linger longer?
Here are 6 tips to get you on your way:
1) A clear value proposition is vital
You have mere seconds to grab your readers' attention. Your homepage is the first impression of your company, so you want to present your message clearly. According to Nielsen Norman Group, users often leave pages in 10-20 seconds, but will stay longer if there is a "clear value proposition."
Your value proposition is the meat of your homepage copy.
Value proposition is a hugely important conversion factor, yet according to QuickSprout, 54% of companies do nothing to optimize their value proposition.
An effective value proposition explains how your product solves your customers' problems or improves their situation, outlines the specific benefits you have to offer, and stresses what makes your company or product unique. Show them why they should buy from you and not your competitors.
2) Design is important
First impressions are often visual, so an attractive, professional-looking homepage is essential. A simple interface will make it easier for you visitor to grasp your content and enhance an overall clean look.
Visuals can augment your copy. Novelty in presentation is appreciated. So spice up your content by adding visuals such as graphs, charts, photos, how about SlideShare, infographics, maybe you have a video to share. It's time to be creative.
3) Readability and engaging content are key
Your website may not be the next great novel, but you do want your audience to be interested and entertained by what you've written. There are certain fundamentals that will make your web copy more "readable."
War and Peace is over 1,000 pages, but on your website you don't have the luxury of lengthy pose. People usually don't read online – believe it or not they skim. The Nielsen Norman Group found that users only read about 20% of the text on the average page (and these were visitors actually intending to visit your site).
First off, it's important to determine the appropriate writing style for your potential customer. Then keep it interesting and entertaining, by appealing to your readers' emotions.
With web writing you need to make every word count. Make use of short sentences and paragraphs, and use plenty of bulleted lists. If you do have to convey a lot of informational text, provide concise overview pages with a link to in-depth informational pages.
And of course it should go without saying, proofread your copy. Even the most entertaining story loses its punch if it's riddled with errors.
4) Keep navigation simple
User experience is crucial. It's not enough to get people to merely check out your homepage. A simple and clear navigation will encourage your visitors to stay and explore the rest of your site.
5) Make it interactive
How about a little added incentive for your visitors to hang around? Allow them to comment, or throw a poll or survey to encourage interaction. You should also encourage visitors to share your content, so make sure you include social share buttons.
6) Include a strong call-to-action
Give your visitors a purpose for being on your site. With web copy you need to keep in mind your end goal. Web pages are intended to get visitors to respond to a targeted call-to-action.
Whether your call-to-action is to have your visitor buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, or download your free eBook, you need to make sure you're clear on what you want your visitor to do. Keep your invitations to subscribe highly visible.
Putting it all together
You're almost set. With an attractive homepage, strong content highlighting your value proposition, and a clear call-to-action, your sure to see an increase in conversions.
But even with your killer content and strong design, be careful not to neglect usability. You still need fast-loading pages and mobile optimization if you want more people to stick around.
Did you realize that 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales? Find out if your mobile website will pass Google's new mobile algorithm.
Written by Murray SyeMurray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.