3 simple ingredients will create the most amount of successful engagements on your site.
Keeping users interested in your website may seem simple at first glance, but can actually be rather difficult to do if you don’t take the proper steps when designing your site. You don’t want to bore your visitors, and you don’t want to overwhelm them with information either. The design, layout and content of your website are the main influencers in your website’s success.
Ingredient 1: Design
This may be obvious to some, but it is important to say: your site needs to be welcoming and pleasant to look at. It shouldn’t be filled with an overwhelming amount of information, photos, and text, but it also should not be lacking in content. Having the right balance of images and text will make the user experience as friendly and fast as possible. 2/3 of your website should be graphics/photo based, and 1/3 of your website should be text/copy.
Having a great balance between text and photos is just half of the battle. Your color scheme and font choices are also heavy influencers on your website design. Your color scheme should be easy on the eyes and make text easy to read. Do your research on color choices and how they influence reading experiences. For example, having a neon-color text on a dark background is harder on the eyes compared to a dark color on a light background.
Your website should follow a strict heading and body copy structure. All headings, subheadings and body copy should be a designated size, and should never stray from that rule from page to page. This creates an easy visual flow so your users know exactly what they are reading or are about to read at all times.
Ingredient 2: Layout
Browsing through your website should feel natural, and important content should be easily accessible. On rare cases, the user has been on your website before and knows how to get to the information they need, but in many cases, they’re first timers. The last thing you want to do is make it a challenge for users to navigate your website.
Your website layout should follow the golden standard of website structures. Your navigation should always contain your logo and your most important inner page links. Your footer should always contain your basic contact information and repeat your navigation links for those using a mobile device. Sandwiched between the navigation and footer is your page content. Your page content layers should not be identical from page to page, but should consistently feature the same stylistic elements and styling so all pages look related.
Well-organized websites generally do not have more than 4-6 main navigation links. Within those main links, having one layer of sub-navigation pages are recommended. Anything more than that can be difficult to find and the last thing you want you users to do is have to dig to find the information they need.
Ingredient 3: Content
We all had that professor in high school or college who put us right to sleep when they started talking in a monotone voice. If you aren’t putting time into making your website content creative, your website is going to put users to sleep. Your content should be anything but monotone, and should keep your users engaged word after word. Don’t be afraid to show your personality through your writing – the last thing a person wants to do is business with a company who is robotic and boring. People want to do business with people. Make your users laugh, even when explaining seemingly boring information.
Not only does content need to be captivating and creative, but it needs to be up to date. If a first-time user is on your website and they see that your last blog post was from three years prior, or you still have a celebratory banner up from an annual event that dates back a few months, it will make your company appear abandoned. Not updating your content on a regular basis gives the same effect as not mowing your lawn or repainting your house after 20 years of wear and tear. Show users that you care about your website, and they will care about what you have to say.
If you focus on these three key ingredients, your chances of keeping users engaged for a longer period of time is inevitable. Need help with one or all of these ingredients? Let us know!