A Vital Lesson in Optimizing Content for Site Visitors
So you’ve built a badass website. And you’ve prepped your landing page for all those sweet, sweet visitors who will get your business rocking. You’ve filled your pages with great keywords, so your site is sure to show high in the rankings.
But you’ve checked the numbers, and your bounce rate is crazy. Like, crazy bad. “Hold it,” you say, “Why aren’t visitors staying on my site? What am I doing wrong?”
The answer: Nothing you can’t fix.
As it turns out, it’s not enough for your site to have fresh, keyword-rich content and a neat layout. You need to ensure the site’s words and images will not only get readers’ attention but also keep their interest. And the way to accomplish this is by anticipating where their interest starts to drop before they leave your site.
“Wait – now I need to worry about how people will read my site?” That’s right, buddy. Web design matters, down to the very placement of words on the page. With the amount of content begging for readers’ attention, it’s your job to put the important stuff in the right place, so your content gets seen.
So what can you do to ensure readers stay on your site?
Readers are like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park. They have ferocious appetites. (For good content.) But more importantly, their vision is based on movement.
We’re not just being flippant. Well, not completely. But there’s more to that “movement” bit than you’d think. Readers only spend so much time on a given page, and this amount of time spent varies according to how content is laid out on each page. (What? Where’d that come from? Sit tight – more on that in a bit[ES1] .)
For example, most readers view content in an F/E-pattern, scanning from left to right and then down, just like the bars on the letters ‘F’ or ‘E.’ What’s more – readers scan less and less as their eyes travel further down.
Many other factors of good web design went into this eye tracking research. Logos, button size, link placement, white space – all these were considered when compiling the data for how readers read web pages.
You need to build your content around the fact that readers may not spend much time on your site. You need to hook readers and hook them hard.
We understand this information is a lot to take in. However, the good folks at Single Grain have created an infographic which describes it more in depth. The infographic is thorough, informative, and above all, easy to read. Somebody’s following their advice!
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