It’s common knowledge that the average person’s attention span is increasingly short. We all live busier, faster lives than we used to live. This is especially true here on the internet, where we’re constantly bombarded by content and moving on to the next thing—whatever it is—only takes a click.
Nonetheless, people are quite willing to stick around if what they’re watching or reading is helpful and engaging, and it provides new insights and robust knowledge. This is where quality content comes in.
The trick to good content starts with audience engagement.
You can have a website that has a modern website design and garners a good number of pageviews, but that alone doesn’t mean people are engaged. The level of engagement matters if your organization wants to see significant involvement of readers in addition to a growing number of new visitors.
Analytics, such as Google Analytics, tell you how many people are new visitors, what pages they are visiting (i.e. which content is doing its job) and what they are ignoring (material to get rid of and change right away).
Many people will visit a site for a quick look, but the goal is to get them to stick around longer. If a visitor will engage for at least a few minutes, he or she is far likelier to want more information or to get involved, and that’s crucial for a non-profit looking for membership growth or new donations. For a business, that engagement on-site can make the difference between landing a prospective customer and them leaving in favor of a competitor.
Quality content means a quality user experience.
A website can quickly turn into a doctorate thesis worth of material, but that doesn’t mean it provides a good experience for a new reader. The content that’s on the main pages of your site needs to be chosen selectively, not to be a brain-dump. It’s okay to have in-depth resources for your committed supporters, but make sure that your website is organized in a way that’s welcoming to people who are only thinking about getting involved.
What is most desirable is content that gets people to stay: “sticky” material that gets them thinking and asking for more.
Websites that do well in this regard have an attractive and efficient design and rewarding material that is relevant and informative, but welcoming and well laid out enough for a newcomer to scan.
Adapt to the ways your site is being used.
Remember those analytics? Use them to identify which content is really winning visits and keeping visitors around, and which content is collecting cobwebs.
Get rid of the boring material, even if you personally like it, and put up content that triggers better responses and stays on your website, with an aim for visitor sessions lasting 2-5 minutes.
Look at the way users navigate between pages. If you see that they are overlooking something important, link to it from a well-trafficked page. Make sure that your pages harness the power of related pages by linking from them.
Close with a call to action.
Content should not be empty-ended; make sure your pages incorporate a call to action, encouraging the user to do something, whether you hope to trigger a phone call from a prospective client, a volunteer signup, or a donation.
How does that work? Well, it’s pretty simple:
Call us today to find out how we at Hub & Spoke, a Missouri web design firm, can help you stand out online, empowering and engaging new customers.