Did you know you know when we talk to someone new, it takes us 1.10th of a second to form an opinion about them. And really our website are no different. It actually takes your website visitor about 50 millisecond to decided whether they’ll stay scrolling or swiftly exit. In today’s post I’m going through Six different ways to keep visitors on your site and increase engagement rate on your branded website. So there more likely to purchase your product or service! Have you got a lot of places to be and things to do? Why not listen to this full blog post on the podcast instead – episode 009 on >>Apple Podcast<< or >>Spotify<<
I kindly invite you to subscribe to The BrandMade Podcast and leave a review!
Thank you, Olivia x
The Website Fundamentals | Let’s keep visitors on your site
The general average time a visitor will stay on your site is about 10-20 seconds. We need to first understand how we can keep visitors on your site, engaged for at least this and hopefully more. Because the longer they stay on your site, the more likely that visitor will remember you…maybe even purchase from you and hopefully revisit it you when they need the product or service your offering or when a problem occurs and remember your offer solves it.
We know that a websites first goal is to keep visitors engaged and most definitely make a good first impression, like going into an interview or on a date. But it can’t just look good, it needs to be able to talk the talk. Your site needs to know what it is your talking about, you need to explain clearly what it is that you are offering and why you do it as well as why it will benefit your customers. If your unsure about how to write effective website copy to sell your product or service to your visitors go back and listen to >>episode 007<<, I’d recommend listening to it all but specifically the last section. Anyway lastly our websites needs to handle the process of sales and or client bookings seamlessly.
The Power Of Attractive Website Design.
I’ve done some digging online and found a few statics that might empower you to take the design of your site more seriously here’s why. The first static is that 94% of your visitors first impression is related to the design of your website. When we say design, we’re referring to the overall look, feel, created by the images, fonts and layout etc. And it’s not actually that strange, because we make most of our first impression on looks. We do it everyday, specially when say your going on a date. You’ll make most of our first impression on looks. We do it everyday, specially when say your going on a date. You’ll make a snap first impression and judgement as soon as your date walks into the room all based on looks. Because at this point it’s all information we have to go on.
Plus from the same source they also found that 75% of customers admitted to making judgments about a business creditability based on their website design. So not only is your website visitor forming a quick opinion on the look of your website. If the design and layout isn’t to a high standard they are actually less likely to trust you. It’s pretty understandable really. We draw this conclusion because it’s basically the same as if someone turning up to an interview wearing a bunch of un-ironed mix-matched clothing. You’re judgement of them isn’t going to be they seem professional and smart, but rather unreliable and confusing.
Plus to really drive the design and look of your site importance home. It mentions 38% of people will stop engaging if the content or layout is unattractive. So the more aesthetically pleasing your site is the longer your visitors we’ll keep scrolling. Similar to being on a date with some you find attractive, you’ll stay engaged in the conversation and will want the date to last longer. The same goes for you site! So really in other words I’m sorry to say but your website is going to be judged whether you like it or not. Therefore first goal on your site is to make sure it is designed to a high stand to show you are professional and trustworthy. This puts your website in the best position to quickly gain and hold your visitors attention right from the get go.
Layout Design Tips | The Grid System
The layout of your site is made up with a range of content, the main two are usually text and images. To stay looking professional doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. To gain inspiration on website layouts, search Pinterest. I have a whole website design board dedicated to this, if you want to check it out >>Click Here<<. You can start of by select some designs and mesh a few different ideas together to make your own.
To keep it aesthetically pleasing and organised layout, I would recommend implementing the >>Grid System<<. This helps you align page element based on the number of columns and rows. You can have as many columns as you want, but if you’re design knowledge is limited I suggest keeping it simple and max 4 columns and 4 or 3 rows with a margin. Once you have a few columns and rows this will form your grid system, creating empty boxes for you to start placing images and text strategically.
Your website isn’t the same as a piece of paper it’s interactive we can scroll, click and zoom, make sure when you design the layout that it feels organic and seamless. Everyday page and section should feel as though you are still on the same site. The layout itself can vary, but your colour palette, fonts should stay consistent throughout the site. Remember designing digital also offers you the opportunity to introduce interactive elements and dynamic effects such as your background changing colour or images slowly fading in, these elements can help keep your visitors engaged for longer, and provide a type of feeling.
What Drives Customers Decision-Making To Buy!
Inspired by Simon Sinek Ted Talk >>Click Here To Watch<<
This brings me to my next point, that when your customers purchase a product or invest in a service they don’t base their decision as rational as you might think. Inside our brain there is a part called the Neocortex this is responsible for our rational and analytical thought and language. The issue with this part is that it doesn’t drive behaviour. So you can show your customers facts, features, benefits and they can process it just fine. But it won’t make them want to purchase from you, why? Because it doesn’t’ provide them with a feel. Like going on date you might chat with someone for an hour and it’s great but it just different feel right. We actually base our decision-making heavily on our gut instincts, on a gut decision. It’s the Limbic part of our brain that is responsible for feeling, like trust and loyalty. And it is this part that controls and drives your customer’s behaviour and decision-making. But the really interesting part is that it has absolutely no capacity to process language.
So obviously keep your fact, feature and benefits displayed on your website, but also present the deeper why and make sure you using design to create and evoke a feeling from your customers. You can do this through layout but also images are highly effective. An image can say a 1,000 words, and it’s true you can make visitors feel things like excitement and trust all just through imagery. The type of imagery I want you to always include is face’s. Showing your face on your website makes you more exposed and customers like that, they’ll trust you more! When we go into a clothing shop to buy something we don’t get severed by a checkout person with a bikers helmet on. No we are greeted with a face and the same rules apply for your site, your customers want to know whom they are doing business with even if it’s purchasing a product. If we can’t match a small business to a face it makes us feel uneasy and might make us think why don’t they want to show their face are they doing something wrong? So show your face this will really help you build trust faster with your visitors.
Plus did you know we are hard wired from an early age to be drawn to faces. So when we land on a webpage without one we’ll find something else to focus us attention on and hopefully we’ll land on the thing you want us to look at. But if you include a face in the background, we will instantly fix our eyes to that face straight away. Giving you the upper hand here, because you know now exactly where your visitors will look first. By knowing that it’s a actually a natural reaction for us to look at a face, it can increases the chances of your visitors staying and engaging with your content. However, faces can also be too distracting and take our attention and focus away from your content, the text and information you want us to read. Here you can get clever by include a image with a face that’s looking towards something on your site, your visitors will naturally see the face and follow that persons gaze from or if they’re pointing at something we’ll follow the hand. A great tip if you have a CTA on your page.
Another thing to include within your imagery are hero shots, hero shots are pictures visually showing your customer a person enjoying your product or service. These images are to give your customers an idea or a sense of how they could feel, if they bought your product or service, and this can be highly persuasive and effective. Plus showing images of people smiling, maybe rather obvious but it’s definitely something I want to mention. Smiling or laughing faces can help you feel happier yourself and make your site looking more welcoming and inviting. Plus someone smiling makes that person natural looks more attractive. Plus when we look at an image of happiness and joy, it activates our pleasure centre in our brain.
With the rise of videos up and image down on social media it’s probably the best time to be including moving images and embedded videos to show of products or service. If images can say 1,000 words, videos must be able to say 5,000 and more in less than a few seconds. I love video it’s the best way to evoke a feeling and seeing people faces move when they smile and laugh I think is far more natural and engaging o see. I would suggest adding moving images on your home page to keep visitors on your site and staying actively interested, it’s a great tool to show how something works rather than explaining it all with words. So definitely recommend including video on your site today.
It Not What You Say, But How You Say It & Sell It…Web Copy
As I mentioned your website needs to have feeling to drive behaviour. But it also does still need copy, text to explain and communicate your product and or offer. The information you provide should include a type of personality whether that’s friendly, casual, smart, quirky, humorous you need to use language to show your brands tone of voice. Show personality through text will help keep your visitor engaged for longer. But to make sure you stop losing visitors when they enter your site, is by providing the quickly and efficiently what your product or service is, who it is for how it will benefit them. Don’t make your visitors go on wild goose chance for answers, you want them to know exactly from the get go what it is your can help them with. The simplicity of explain things clearly is underrated, don’t try and act all fancy and clever with industry lingo, just use simple terminology that your visitors will understand.
Making sure your fulfilling all your visitors problems, I’ve mentioned this in more in-depth within >>episode 007<< – definitely go listen if you haven’t already. It’s important to remember that your ideal visitors are actually far more complex humans. Your web visitors might of gone on your site due to an external problem there struggling to concur. However, your visitors will also usually struggling with something else, something much deeper. An internal problem, that could be confidence, money mindset and or not enough time. Your product and service need to be clearly and confidently addressing both of your visitors problems through your website copy.
You visitors will have actually very small attention spans especially because of social media, we use to being constantly entertained. So keep this in mind when your writing text, I suggest keeping your paragraphs short and sweet. If we see to much text we’ll just scan or gaze past it thinking “oh that to much effort to read!” I’m sure we’ve all done that before! You can always break paragraphs up with images, and icons so it’s not one massive chuck of text. You must also remember to include hierarchy with a variety of fonts and range of text size. We can help navigate your visitors eyes around the digital web pages with using titles, sub titles and paragraphs etc. sub-title should be thought similar to the hook like email subject lines short but reel your visitor in.
Evaluating The User Friendliness Of Your Site
When your design your website there are a few thing to keep in mind. When visiting web pages on your phone, they use the hamburger menu icon, which you have to click on in order for the menu list to come up. This works for a small screen but I’d recommend that you don’t do this on your laptop screen size. The best way to make sure your visitors can access everything easily and efficiently is by having your navigation menu bar at the top of your home page with your page titles visible to see. So that it’s extra easy for you visitors to see everything at once and navigate around. Plus make sure to label your web pages with common names rather than sweet and quirky ones this can cause confusing to what the page is about. Try and keep your page title as short as possible try to keep it 1 or 2 words max 3, this is because you menu bar only has to much space and it looks best to keep all title in one line.
To make sure your visitors can find everything that they want at a moments notice, is by including a search engine bar on your site. A great tool if your website has got a rather lot of content and pages, selling a large range of different products and blog post content. The search bar for your visitors can come in supper handy, when well we’re just being to lazy to click through and scroll to find what we want. It can save your visitors time, but also if they’re struggling to find something on your website like an answer to a question at least the search bar engine can solve the problem.
How to make sure your visitors will find it easy to navigate around you site. Well before you click live on your site there is a few things to double check, specially links to internal pages and sign up forms are connected etc. But how can we make sure they’ll get where they want to go, this is called the Mum or Dad test, obviously if your parents are technology savvy find someone else. But my dad still types with his two index finger prodding at the key board. My mum isn’t far better, however she can type with both hand, for it’s copy and paste that she can’t remember the key for. Anyway find someone who might not be the best with tech, and give them a few exercises they need to complete. This person must not have seen you website before, to make it worth while it must be a complete clean and new experience. Give them a few different things to find sort of tasks or exercises. Don’t help and just observe how they search and manoeuvre. Take notes if they pause for longer amount of time on sections and hover over element, maybe if they do something you were expect like click on a button or accidentally click on something. Maybe even time them to see how long it takes them to complete each tasks. These tasks can be, find out how much this product is, book in a discovery, to harder task such what issues are I solving with this product or service. Maybe even talk after to see how they felt before and after leaving your site plus if there was anything frustrating or annoying or just didn’t like. You can definitely do this a few times with a bigger group of different people, this will provide you with a more realistic overview on how easy your visitors will find it navigate.
The Open Invitation Rule
Where do you want your visitors to do next? They’ve landed on your site they’ve read all the relevant text, mostly likely they are not going to be ready to buy just yet! So what does the rest of your customers journey look like? The main thing is when you get visitors to your site is to keep track of them, to build a stronger connection and figure out what it is they want. That’s why a email lists is so popular you can directly message them. On your site it’s not bad to include a few areas specially at the bottom of the page or in your footer a email list sign up box. I would suggest a pop as they are about to leave rather then when the land on your site, because from personal experience i don’t even bother reading it I just close them when I land on a site. Plus also offer a lead magnet not just a invite to my email list what’s in it for them? Alway provide an incentive freebie something in exchange for their email address! You can also include pop ups to appear just as your visitor is about to leave. You can have social media links to invite them to follower you on social media and other places.
A Full Swipe Done
In todays episode we’ve covered the follow ways to boost engagement. The power of having an aesthetically designed website layout can help you keep visitors on your site. How images including a face can grab our attention and build trust faster with your visitors. The increasing trend of video on social media, and how it’s the best time to be including moving images and video onto your site. We’ve also looked at how our decisions are driven through feeling, and the importance of evoking some type of emotion on your site that visitors feel when scrolling through.
We looked at website copy and how it should be addressing how your product or service helps solve or betters your visitors internal and external problems. How you can inject your brands personality in text to keep them reading. Use a hierarchy of fonts and size and layouts to navigate you visitor’s eyes to certain pieces of content. The best practice to keep visitors attention by breaking length text into short paragraphs slit up with images etc. Making it quick and easy for visitors to read and stay focused. We also covered how interactive elements play a big part such as an open and visible navigation bar and search engine bar for extra efficiency and easy. Plus how to complete a mum or dad test to evaluate the user friendliness of your site, and making sure you leave open invitations to keep track and stay connected after they leave. It’s now time for you to put all this in-depth knowledge to work, because you now have no excuses you’ve got the complete tools in how to increase your visitors engagement rate on your site!