Keeping it Fresh!

Fresh website content

Website content that makes your clients hungry for more.

It’s spring, sort of, and everyone is ready for something fresh.  Fresh air, fresh food, fresh bread, or maybe even a fresh start.  Nothing beats “fresh” for making most anything healthier and happier.  Yank open any refrigerator door and in only a few seconds you decide whether it’s worth looking for something healthy or to call for pizza.  This is true all the way into the competitive digital world of websites.  If a visitor to your site isn’t interested at first or second glance, they are clicking right along to your competitor.  Here are a few ways to create content that convinces them to stay.

The 5 B’s of content – Be brief, baby, be brief!  Recent studies show the average person’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000, to 8.25 seconds in 2015.1  (Just for reference, a gold fish has an attention span of 9 seconds.) Make content interesting enough and they may give you a second click to a different tab or link on your site, and another click…you get the picture.

Less is more, but more is also more! – Too much content is likely to discourage your readers, so be sure to make your content concise, leaving plenty of space on the page to give the sense of brevity.  However, if you have more information for your visitor, a hyperlink (the highlighted word or words that take you to a new page) gives you the best of both worlds.  It offers more information if the reader wants it, but doesn’t discourage a reader from seeing your next point.  Hyperlinks should take the reader to another page on your site.  NOT to a different site.  Your goal is to keep your visitor’s attention.  Send them somewhere else and you’ve lost them.

Keep it fresh – Imagine exploring a new site, getting to know a potential company or provider.  You head over to their blog or newsletters to see what they are up to, and it’s dated 2013.  Most likely, your response is negative.  Outdated content gives the impression something is wrong.  You don’t know what’s wrong, but you probably decide to move on to the next guy on the search list.  Your current post tells your visitor you’re alive and well!  You are relevant and ready to meet them.  It’s the fresh apple in the fridge, the pie on the counter, the steam on the coffee!  It makes them hungry for more. Your contact information, easy to find and accurate, brings them right to your door.

Stay on target – What is the most important thing you want your visitor to know?  That should be the first thing they see.  Photos, slide shows, large font, and buttons are tools to get the job done, but the actual words should tell your story and give a point of action in less than our target 8 seconds.  Supporting information can follow on additional tabs or with hyperlinks.  Make it easy to find what they are looking for – your name, product, reliability, and how to contact you are your top priorities.  Every word should have a purpose.

A fresh website takes some work, but it yields fresh clients and keeps your current folks coming back for more – more information, more recognition, more sales!  And that makes for a very healthy bottom line.

1. Harald Weinreich, Hartmut Obendorf, Eelco Herder, and Matthias Mayer: “Not Quite the Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use,” in the ACM Transactions on the Web, vol. 2, no. 1 (February 2008), article #5.