AS in most areas of life, habits, trends, and technology advances all change the way we function. Think ‘Zoom’, as a recent example of change. How many of us had even heard of Zoom before the pandemic, let alone used it?
Changes in website design and the way we consume information and shop are others.
This month I’m taking a quick peep into the massive changes that have gone on in website design in recent years, and how these might impact on the success, or otherwise, of your web strategies and marketing.
Ten years ago, Google saw change coming and unveiled its ‘mobile first’ strategy in readiness for an online revolution and exponential growth in traffic on mobile devices.
Around the same time, a US advertising survey reported that consumers were on mobile devices for more than five hours every day. It was also predicted that traffic on mobile phones would more than double by 2022.
We’re now under 12 months away from this date and mobile traffic is already generating around half of all website traffic globally. Which is why marketers have taken a long hard look at website design and the differences in functionality between mobiles and desktops.
The Statistic Brain Research Institute produced a study that found the attention span of an average person is now just 8.25 seconds; down an amazing 33% since the year 2000. Which is why, when creating a new website or a landing pages, the likely attention span of mobile users must be a key consideration.
Before we get into the detail of what changes you might need to make to your website to ensure it is mobile first, ie, correctly optimised for mobile traffic, I will draw your attention to the fact that email marketing campaigns have an average open rate of 17%. Interestingly, the click rate is under 4%.
With so few clicking for more information or to buy products, this demonstrates how important the website has become in closing a lead when a visitor gets there.
Five examples of website and landing page best practice
If you still have a desktop website and you are unable to redesign it to mobile first standard, then you could simply create one or more landing pages within the site and have these optimised for search.
This way, when someone lands on that page on a mobile, they can interact with it in a positive way. Additionally, if you use social media or Google Ads to generate leads, then you can easily direct potential customers from your ads to your mobile first landing pages.
The following best practice examples will help you to create better web or landing pages.
1. Write copy that is clear and concise
Your page content should be easy to read and understand, and your headline should present your products or services in a way that resonates with your target audience. When landing on your page, a visitor will decide if your offering meets his/her need and stay or leave within a few seconds. They will not waste time hunting for information.
Your main page heading should clearly state what your flooring company does.
Use bullet points to present the offer, reinforce the headline and clearly express what the visitor stands to gain
- Bullet point content should be brief and easy to read
- Ensure key features and benefits are clear and organised
- Bullets help address possible objections
- They also help ‘skim readers’ cut to the detail
Don’t forget that you must tell the visitor what to do. This is where a clear call-to-action (CTA) works well. A strong CTA helps them navigate the route you want them to follow and can improve the website experience.
Recently, one of our marketing consultants was reviewing a member’s marketing, along with their website. On opening the website home page, it was a huge surprise to see big headlines over large scrolling pictures proclaiming so much corporate-speak BS it would make a global corporation blush. What’s more, nowhere within these headings did it actually say what the business did. And this was a general building subcontractor with less than five employees. Needless to say, the company was advised to get this changed without delay.
2 Ensure important content falls above the fold
It matters where things are placed on a website, so when designing a page, you must consider the scanning behaviour of users.
Think about how the old broadsheet newspapers were folded and stacked for sale. The front page gave the consumer a preview, although you could only see half of the front page. ‘Above the fold’ refers to the newspaper’s headline, key sub-headings and pictures that compel the potential reader to buy a copy and continue reading.
The same also applies to website page design. When a webpage loads, like that newspaper, the top of the page is seen first. For this reason, all your most important features – particularly the benefits – must appear ‘above the fold.’
3 Use friendly banner pop-ups
Often deemed to be a nuisance, particularly when they incapacitate an entire web page on a mobile phone, pop-ups do serve a purpose. They can help to announce time-limited offers, offer the opportunity to sign up to a newsletter, or offer a free download of something that will engage the visitor, or anything else that may help users get to know you.
Don’t be put off by pop-ups. Retailers are the worst culprits, as in my experience, their pop ups are generally badly timed. With the right message and an eye to practical timing, pop ups are valuable lead generation or data capture tools.
4 Pages should load promptly
As I mentioned earlier, when a person’s attention span is under nine seconds, and they decide whether to stay on your page within four seconds of landing on it, loading speed is critical.
• For the rest of this article, please visit our website where Barry’s column appears in its entirety in the Archive section
Barry is MD and co-founder of StreetwiseSubbie.com which provides business solutions for Specialist Contractors throughout the UK