How long do you stay on a new website? Five seconds? Ten?
According to Hubspot, more than half of us spend less then fifteen seconds on a website, which means companies have very little time to convince us to stay.
Their goal is to get us to browse their site, subscribe to their content, sign up for a trial or buy their products. Ultimately, they want us to stay longer to be able to get something back from us.
These companies are aware they have a limited amount of time to convince us not to click away. They have had to develop methods of trying to trick us into remaining on the site. Some of the ones I have noticed myself are:
- Having less content on the page
- Keeping their page simple to use
- Including visuals and colors
Less is more
An eye tracking study by the Nielsen Norman Group has discovered that we commonly read webpages in an F-shape. More than half the people in their study started on the left of the page and read across the top of the page first, before moving down the page to scan across the first line of text, as shown in this diagram.
Image source: Nielson Norman Group
After this initial movement, most people stopped reading unless something caught their interest.
Due to this, a well-designed website will focus on keeping their content scannable in that very pattern. This is so we don’t give up on reading huge blocks of text and leave the page. They can do this by a few different ways, including:
- Increasing the readability of the webpage, simply by increasing the size and spacing of their font.
- Breaking up their content by adding in visual breaks for when we skim read the page.
- Adding engaging subheadings to grab our attention as we scan across the lines of text.
By removing chunks of text throughout the page, it becomes easier for us to quickly read the page and decide to click on their buttons before we lose interest.
Keep it simple, Simon
Companies will also attempt to keep things simple on their websites to increase their traffic. By having easy to use buttons and clear navigation, it makes it easier for us to stay on their website and get what we want out of it.
Within Sentia’s website, we make sure what we want from people visiting our site is clear on page load. By keeping the screen decluttered and clean when the page first loads, the focus is immediately on how users can book a demo or get more information from us.
Image source: Sentia Corp
The user’s experience isn’t clouded by numerous buttons across the page and it is not confusing for users on where to click for a quick and easy journey.
Color & images
Finally, companies can attempt to keep us around for longer by catching our eye with colors and images.
When it comes to color, there is a lot for companies to consider, as different colors can invoke different emotions within us. I briefly explored the reactions we have to a few common colors in a previous article here, but along with the emotions the colors can provoke, they are also a great tool for drawing attention.
By implementing the right color across a site, companies can draw our eye on page load to the sections they want us to focus on first, enticing us to remain on the page to read.
Visual content can be used to also catch our attention and keep us on the page. It is not secret that we would rather look at an image or watch a video then read plain text.
It was even discovered by the Aberdeen Group that when businesses added images to complement their websites, the number of visitors to their website that clicked through to buy their product doubled in size.
Whilst there are many other tricks companies will implement to keep us on their sites, keeping their sites readable, accessible and attractive will always increase the chance we will stay longer which will ultimately increase the change we subscribe, sign up or purchase what they are selling.