If you have a website online you’ll know all about bounce rates, you may even groan as you hear those words brought up on blogs like these. You may have spent months trying to drastically reduce that number with little success. With a little insight into the expertise of professional web designers and copywriters you can see if it’s your website (not your products, prices or services) that may be putting people off.
Every website should consider ‘the scanner’. We all scan. We’re all short of time and all have unlimited options if a website doesn’t attract our attention in the first twenty seconds. Your website should ensure that the homepage (or landing page) captures the scanner, pulls them in and leads them deeper into your site.
Understanding how the scanner works is the first step to ensuring you’re primed and ready to roll at all times.
We don’t read websites as we would a magazine. This is a mistake many make. Websites have varying degrees of information from sales, to contacts to menus to reviews and so we have trained ourselves to scan every part in an instant and this is the order we do it in.
When landing on a website, those short of time will look at:
- The Middle
- The Top Right
- The Top Left
- The Bottom Right
They rarely look at the bottom left unless they have time to linger.
This order of viewing explains why many companies have their contact number in the top right hand corner while the enticing copy is in the middle and the button to continue is placed on the bottom right.
The logo is usually placed on the top right and is linked to the homepage so visitors can always find their way back no matter where they travel to on your site.
Optimising Copy for the Scanner
Placement is key to success but a scanner doesn’t stop there. You may have the most interesting copy in the world to present but a scanner won’t read it all. This is why good copywriters ensure that the first and last lines of paragraphs entice the visitor along with the first and last words of each sentence. The trick is to either encourage them to click on a call to action or make them stop scanning so they want to read it all.
Optimising Design for the Scanner
Placement is crucial to capture a scanner and great web designers have many methods of ensuring they retain interest. Unlike copywriters, designers need to tell a story without words and so must choose every aspect, from colour to position carefully. For instance, a logo can tell a visitor a lot about a business in a second.
A red logo incites a feeling of urgency, for example it wouldn’t be an ideal choice for a luxury holiday website. A green logo tends to be associated with ethics, while orange has just enough urgency to show efficiency but muted enough to entice the visitor to stay a little longer. Unfortunately it’s not everyone’s favourite colour!
There are many tricks that good copywriters and web designers use, your trick is finding the ones that understand the psychology and sales behind copy and design.