As small business websites become more and more important in the overall marketing strategy, businesses are always looking for new ways to capture the short attention span of visitors and keep them coming back for more. Below are three of the main factors to establishing a website that is engaging, informative, and functional. This is especially important for small business website development.
Tip 1: Clean, uncluttered design
There is nothing worse than a viewer landing on your website only to find themselves digging through unnecessary content to unveil the important information. This unnecessary information, or clutter, can come in the form of advertisements, excessive copy, overused photos, too little white space, etc. By avoiding these distractions, you are able to take control of your viewer’s attention and guide them through your website, click-by-click, to the content they are looking for.
How can you measure the effectiveness of your navigation? The general rule-of-thumb is that every important piece of information on your website should be accessible in no more than three clicks. Moreover, you only have about three seconds to capture a visitor’s attention to make that first click. Within 30 seconds a visitor should have a strong understanding of what your underlying message is, and within three minutes they should be guided to make an action to further their relationship with you or your company.
Tip 2: Quality content
Once you have cleaned up the design of your website, your viewer will be able to focus on what is truly important — the content. Your content can come in many different forms: text, images, video, audio; whatever form your choose should be based off of what is relevant to your end-user. You must know your audience and speak to them in a common, familiar voice. Remember, you only have three seconds to get them to listen!
You also must consider that it is your content that has the power to generate an action. Allow your users to get involved with your website by watching a video, playing a game, or reading a blog. This will help them establish a connection with the website and keep coming back for more. Better yet, encourage them to get involved — don’t be shy to ask your readers to leave a comment or express their opinion on your blog.
Tip 3: Social Media
Connecting with your readers shouldn’t end once they leave your website. Give them other routes to interact with your company on their own time. This can be done with an active facebook page, a monitored twitter account, an rss feed to your blog, or a google+ page (to name a few). Users today want choices on how to connect with their favorite brands and they value open, transparent communication. Just be sure to link back to your website with all that fresh, engaging content on it!
Bonus Tip: Load time
A clean design, strong content, and transparent communication are only effective if your site is able to keep up with your traffic. Remember the “rule of three”? Well, those three seconds you have to capture a viewers attention take the load time into account. Additionally, load time is a key factor that Google takes into account in their search results algorithm. By keeping your site “light” with properly sized images and content, and hosting with a reliable host (like ClickHOST!) you will be well on your way to ranking higher in Google and impressing your viewers with a pleasant user experience.
What are your thoughts?
From a reader’s point of view, which of these tips most encourages you to interact with a website? Do you have any other ideas to create an engaging site? Let’s hear them!
This post was written by Ali Green of Green Mellen Media. Thanks to the ClickHOST team for allowing us the chance to share this information with your readers.