Clean Up Your Design
Visitors decide within seconds whether to stay on a web page or not. It’s your duty to make sure that decision is positive. Since the human brain processes visual information first, a professional and pleasant design goes a long way to make this outcome much more likely. However, on the flip side, if your design looks like a throwback to the 90s, your visitors are out of there faster than you can say “animated background image”.
Remove unnecessary distractions such as unneeded widgets and keep things simple. Focus on what really matters. This will keep your visitors focused as well.
Give elements enough breathing room. Cramped design is not visually appealing and will send visitors packing. Margins and padding around page elements are your friends.
Place important content on top
Have a look at your website (including the mobile view). Is your most important content immediately visible? If not, change it. Anyone coming to your site should immediately understand their benefit of being there.
Show Credibility Indicators
Cleaning up your design is appearing professional, which is ultimately about trust. In the back of their mind users are always asking themselves “can I trust the information on this site?”. If they feel they can’t, they won’t stick around for very long.
90 percent of customers say they are influenced by online reviews before making purchasing decisions. For that reason, adding testimonials from satisfied customers to your site can greatly increase trust, especially when running a business or providing a service.
Your about page is one of the most important parts of your site. It lets people know who you are and why they should trust you. Find tips for creating killer about pages here.
As we can see above, humans are herd animals. Therefore, if you have large follower numbers on social networks, showing them on your site is a powerful credibility indicator. However, make sure you have the numbers, otherwise, it will easily have the opposite effect.
There are a number of certifications out there to make your site look better. Especially for e-commerce websites seals can make a big difference. Find more information in this article.
Keep the background clean
Background images, colors, and patterns can distract from your content. While it makes sense in some places from a design point of view, for your main content you’d do well to offer as little distraction as possible. That’s why many websites out there (including this one) simply opt for a white background.
Take advantage of margins and padding
Already mentioned this further above. Use CSS to create space around your content. It makes the whole reading experience more relaxing. Use an easy-to-read font — Social Triggers has an excellent article on font use. To make your writing appealing, make the font large enough (at least 16px) and choose a simple typeface that’s easy to read.
Break down content into sections
We already mentioned this in our SEO copywriting tips. Make content easier to consume by breaking it down into chunks. Use paragraphs, lists, headings and everything else in your arsenal to do so.
Use High-Quality Visuals
As pointed out earlier, humans are highly visual. For that reason, images are among the most engaging types of content out there. As a consequence, adding them to your web pages is a good way to improve time on site. When you do use visuals, make sure they are relevant to your topic and that you optimize them beforehand. Plus, don’t limit yourself to images and photos … Use infographics, embed videos, presentations, and other visual content.
While the first article is the gateway for your visitors to come to your site, it can only keep attention their for so long (until they are finished reading that is). If your plan is to keep visitors on your site longer, a good strategy is to offer other parts they can explore. One of the best ways to do so, of course, is to link to other relevant articles inside your post. That way, visitors are able continue their journey on your site and learn more about what you have to offer.
Open External Links in a New Window
Linking to internal pages is not the only way to increase content quality. Outbound links to relevant articles provide readers with additional information and also let Google understand the topic of your content better. However, when you do link to external sites, it’s imperative to set the links to open in a new window.