The website content
To write the best possible content for your website, you need to take a step back and understand how people will read it. Assuming that the users’ first language is English, they will read 190 to 225 words per minute. Knowing this is important because you don’t want to bombard people with lots of information that will take them hours to read.
TIP: Always keep in mind your audience persona when writing content.
Following that, when a user reads content on a website, they won’t read every word. Typically, a user will scan a page, hunting for the information that is most relevant to them. Understanding this is important because users will look for cues to find their information. A user will be looking for specific information, goals, and phrases. To find the information they are looking for, they may look at; subheadings, words in bold, bullet points or any visuals on the page. If your website is missing these cues, it will make it harder for a user to read the content.
According to Jakob Nielsen’s research, it is essential to keep in mind that a user only reads around 20% of a page.
TIP: When writing content, keep paragraphs to a maximum of 4 lines, this makes it more digestible for the user.
Website readability is vital because most website visitors won’t want to spend a lot of time scrolling your website. They will most likely have limited mental resources to learn about your company, products, and services. Your visitors want to be able to find the information they’re looking for on your website as quickly as possible.
You can check your readability score on websites such as; webfx or readable.
Above the fold
Firstly, the fold is a phrase typically used by website designers and marketers to describe a web browser window’s bottom border. Above the fold refers to web content that is visible above the border when a page first loads. However, below the fold refers to the portion of the page that requires scrolling to see.
Most web designers agree that the fold line is at approximately 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall when determining an average fold placement.
When designing a website for a user, content layout, and placement are essential because content that appears above the fold is visible when the user loads the page. Therefore, this section needs to be both what the user expects and gripping enough to encourage them to scroll the page.
The content you place above the fold should be the most important to achieving your business goals. This content needs to get the user’s attention immediately. As previously mentioned, it also needs to be the type of content they are expecting. Implying the content should be what they are looking for so that they don’t bounce and visit another website.
A great example of where above the fold is successful, is when b2b websites place key call-to-actions and other important information about the product differentiation above the fold on a landing page, this usually leads to higher conversion rates.
TIP: Bring content front and centre, summarize content that is on the page, so it allows users a clear opportunity to understand if it is relevant.
It helps to create a clear visual hierarchy; this will help users when they are scanning to find the required information.
A great way to show a website’s hierarchy is to use h1 tags correctly. The h1 is an HTML tag that indicates a heading on a website. For more detail, HTML stands for Hypertext Mark-up Language. Majority of websites use this language to create web pages. An HTML tag is a snippet of code that tells your web browser how to display the content. Finally, HTML has six different heading tags called h1, h2, h3, etc. The h1 is considered the most important tag, and the h6 is the least important. The tags are often formatted from large, implying it is the most important to smallest, indicating least important. Having the correct tags will help with user experience.
Calls to action
A call to action is an invitation for a user to take some desired action. You have the power to steer a user in the direction you would like them to go by using the correct calls to action. The placement of your call to action buttons on a web page is critical to drawing visitors’ eyes. It would be best to place your calls to action in prominent locations such as the top section of a web page (above the fold).
Your calls to action should also have a hierarchy, e.g., their primary action, secondary action, and tertiary action.
However, when deciding on your call to action, the business objective mustn’t obstruct a user goal, more friction could deter users from engaging with content.
Finally, make your calls to action clear. A user should fully understand what they will receive when they make a purchase, fill out a contact form or subscribe to your mailing list. For example, “Get three months free now” vs “Start now”.
Once the user has made the action, for example, added an item to their cart, they must know how many steps are left in their journey. For example, when a user is purchasing on an eCommerce website, you can show them how long is left on their journey by adding a bar that tells them “Cart, Shipping, Billing, Complete.”
The user being aware of what’s next is very important because a user could be about to bounce from your website; however, they see they only have 1 step left. Knowing this could encourage them to complete the journey.
Key take away
- Focus on the user’s needs, and top goals for the organisation.
- Provide a structure, so users can build familiarity and a sense of purpose.
- Make sure outcomes are understood by organisation and users.