You have less than 10 seconds to convince a visitor to your website that they have landed in the right place to find what they are looking for.  If readers do not find what they are looking for after a quick scan, they will abandon the site and try another.

Research tells us that users read only 20 percent of the words on a web page.

So how do you make sure a visitor sticks around to read your content and delves deeper into your site?

Breaking information down into bite-sized sections with bold headlines and subtitles helps. Readers will scan the page and pick up the subheadings they are interested in.

Including your main keywords in headers and subheaders will help the reader find what they are looking for. Software is available to help find your most suitable keywords.

Well written, engaging and informative content is needed to tell your story and inform the reader about your products and services. Web pages should encourage the reader to move around your website, find more information and take action.

Call to action

By including bold “call to action” messages such as; register for newsletter, add to basket, call us, fill in an enquiry form etc. you can quickly grab the reader’s attention and encourage them to take action.
There are various ways to make the call to action stand out on the page:
  • Bold type
  • Larger font
  • Coloured border
  • Coloured text box
  • Related images – eg. shopping basket, telephone.
  • Movement

Journalists and icebergs

When writing your content and working out your page layout you should try to think like a newspaper journalist and start with an attention grabbing headline. The first paragraph should get straight to the main point of the story. Once you have captured your reader’s attention, lead them through the rest of the page using your sub headings.

Make sure all of the important information is at the top of the page, visible in the screen. Llike an iceberg, this is the first and may be the only thing your visitor will see.

Mark Langston