When reviewing a web site I like to ask, “Ok…. so I am here on your site… where does the publisher want me to go?” I really ask myself, “Ok site designer...guide me. Do you have a path you want a user to follow? This is so important to your ability to keep a user longer on the website. Why is time on the site important? If the national average is 1.5 minutes and you are 4.5 minutes, that is a sell-able piece of data that your sales team can use to generate revenue. To determine this path, perhaps you want to print out your website and draw a path with a marker. Or, even better, ask a reader to use a marker and draw a line based on where their eyes go on the page. This natural eye path is often destructive to your ability to create a great web site that makes money.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to movement and color right? So, where are these located? Do you use color and movement to keep the users eye on a path to success? If you want them to engage your editorial what do you do to draw them to the editorial? “Well,” you might say, “we have a navigation button on top that says 'articles'. Come on…really? You can do better than that! I know you can.
When laying out your site start with the basic premise of left to right. Ask yourself, what are the 4 main things I want the user to see and then make a decision. Then use left to right, color and movement to keep them on the path to doing what it is that you want them to do! Now, they click…ok, good. Now what? The interior pages of your site are often worse than the main page. What are you doing on that page to drive them deeper into the site? Where do you want them to go? Use left to right, color and movement to keep them on the path to doing what it is that you want them to do next.
When it comes to the web, people like guidance. Tell me more. Show me more. Ask me to engage with you. Show me the way!
This can be a fun exercise for you and your team. Have fun with it, but remember that this is serious business. Publishers that get this simple concept down will not only drive up time spent on site, they will also often triple their page views.
Ready to make your website a revenue-centric money making machine? We can help. Brain Swell Media offers you a complete website review in less than 30 minutes at no cost to you. We will then present you a plan to fix, grow and make money from your website. Contact us today.