The need for focused content
A common problem I see is over-communication on websites. When I land on a website I am greeted with paragraphs upon paragraphs of text and I am so overwhelmed, I have no idea where to begin. Within a few seconds I start aimlessly clicking around because I am confused and hope it’ll help me find something valuable. It’s hard to find information of value, however, because I just can’t seem to start reading any of those big, long paragraphs. Instead I skim over it and end up leaving the site to find another company that is a bit more friendly on the eyes (and brain). I, along with most other people in the world, have a very low tolerance for things that take too much time. If we know we can find what we are looking for quicker somewhere else, we will.
You thought goldfish had a short attention span? Humans have an even shorter attention span! Humans can last 6-8 seconds, and maybe 10-20 if you’ve got a really dedicated, focused person on your hands. In that short amount of time they need to know what the site is about and what they are supposed to do. If this isn’t clear to them, they will leave to continue their search for a product like yours, elsewhere. You don’t want that happening, right?
Now that you know how short the attention span is that you are dealing with, what does this mean for you? Try explaining something for the first time. You’ll probably ramble on, hit points that may not be important, and lack focus. If you knew you only had a limited time to fully communicate your idea, you would spend some time thinking about what the most important points are that you need to get across and how best to achieve that. That’s exactly what needs to happen with your website. You need to know your value. You need to be able to communicate what it is you do so incredibly quickly to avoid people leaving your site. You won’t be able to be clear and succinct if you have not spent time thinking about it. It takes work, and that’s okay.
It might seem scary to not include all the information someone could possibly need front and center, but this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be shared at all. There’s just a time and a place. Only give them as much as they can handle at a time. There are plenty of other ways besides your website that you can educate people on your product or services. For example, release periodical blog posts, send out email newsletters, and post on social media. Not only is it good to provide your customers more information, dripping it over time gives you more touch points with them and helps you develop that relationship. We all know relationships don’t happen overnight.
Clear, succinct web content that communicates only the most important information will be the start of a lasting relationship with your customers.