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Does Your Website Content Matter?

The average Internet user spends three to five seconds deciding if a website is worth the time and trouble to explore; this means you have a very small window to capture a user’s attention and to convince the user your site is worth his or hers time. Outmoded technology, outdated content, and most of all outdated designs lose websites customers every minute of every day; as a website owner, you need to look at your sites with a fresh, critical eye every day, and if something is not relevant to your site or to your customers, you need to address it – fast.


Your Home Page

Your home page is the landing page a user will click on in a results set from a query to the search engine of their choice. It’s your opportunity to make a good first impression, and statistics say you don’t have a long time to do it. Your page needs to be designed to catch the eye of the user, to get him or her to spend more than five seconds checking it out.

A home page doesn’t need to be busy; if it’s too noisy, with slide shows, animation, and videos, the average user will click off in those three to five seconds. If you’re hiding your content behind the cute little bells and whistles, you’ve taken away a user’s reason to look at your site.

A home page needs to tell your story – who you are, and why the customer wants to do business with you. If, for example, you’re selling shoes, your front page needs to have an obvious link to your catalog, and your catalog needs to detail each shoe in a way that gives the user a detailed picture of the product. Your front page also needs a link to a page telling your story: how you came to be in business selling shoes, and why your customers like you. Your front page needs your contact information, in a visible place, with all the ways your customers can come to you for information, and to purchase your products.

Keep it Relevant

Nothing gets rid of a customer quicker than old content. A user landing on an outdated content page will speedily return to the search results, looking for another site to meet their needs. A website is a lot like a pet or a child – it must be cared for, loved, and fed new, current content on a daily basis. A designer can lay out a killer page, but if the website owner doesn’t keep it current, the investment made in the design is wasted.

Design for Your Business

When an entrepreneur decides to put up a money-making website, the first thing he or she does is to decide what’s for sale. When you know what you’re selling, you can design a website to sell it. This means keeping your business firmly in mind when working with a website designer. Extras like videos and animation have their place, but they need to be integrated into your design, not just thrown out on a page because you think it’s cool. The extras you put on your page should enhance your business, so choose them wisely.

Recent research shows the average user spends three to five seconds evaluating the landing page; you need a design focused on giving the user a reason to continue on your site, instead of moving to the next site in the list. It’s definitely a challenge, but keeping it relevant and attractive is your first step.

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