One main goal most people want to achieve with their website is the ability to quickly capture the attention of its viewers so they will continue further along the navigational trail to find what they want. When this does not happen, all the search engine optimization in the world does not matter since ranking in a certain position is only one part of the challenge to produce an effective internet presence. Yes, optimizing may get visitors to a website; however, it is what happens in the first seven or eight seconds upon landing on a page that determines whether the web design is serving its intended purpose.
Those Critical First Seconds
People who browse the internet are inundated with information and websites trying to grab their attention. Considering the fact that the average person’s attention span is barely 3 seconds, this makes grabbing their attention even more difficult. Success with any website requires more than good ranking in the SERP's; it requires that a page make the right impression within the first eight seconds of viewing.
In that short time, visitors will either find interest and relevancy in what they see or decide the site is not what they are looking for and leave. Knowing this, it is essential that websites function in certain ways for best results.
Answering the Important Questions - Quickly!
Creating the most influential website means every page must easily answer critical user questions. Once a person lands on a page, interpretation of that it begins immediately, with viewers looking to learn what information is in this location and if it provides the necessary information they wanted. Visitors must also quickly interpret how they are supposed to proceed. If any of these questions cannot be answered within seconds, most users will simply click off and look elsewhere for their information.
This is a failure of the website to serve the user’s purpose and also fails to facilitate information sharing, which has become quite important in the age of social media.
How to Have An Influential Website
Besides having good search engine optimization, user-friendly websites must have certain qualities that positively influence visitors to stay. The first of these qualities is fast loading speed, since making viewers wait more than a few seconds for the page to load is a known cause of bouncebacks. Next, a page must be interpretable and functional at first sight, through attractive design that facilitates content delivery, easy-to-use navigation, and quality content that is relevant to search terms and important keywords.
Images should be high quality and optimized, video should not be set to auto run, and there should be few questions as to what the site is about. If bounceback rates are high, consider all of these factors to determine if something about the website is negatively influencing viewers and causing them to leave.
As all SEO companies know, search engine optimization is a key element in creating an effective website. However, optimizing only works when users can find the page, go to it, and then stay there. To improve a site’s ability to positively influence users, both designers and marketers must consider what the viewer’s experience will be when they reach the site and whether the above essential questions can be quickly answered.
A good position in the SERP's is important, but only in conjunction with those elements that quickly inform the visitor that they are in the right place!