In my last post I asked “Does Your Site Frighten Readers Away?“. When you think about websites that attract or distract, what do you think of?
Imagine if your website or blog was as friendly as one of these …
Take a good look at the picture above. What do you see? Consider what the publishers have done. Can you understand how they draw us in?
I think I had a stroke of luck with the newspaper. Usually I don’t buy any newspapers, and if I did it wouldn’t have been this particular one. But this Sunday the Mail did a remarkable thing. They put Princes new album free on the cover. Imagine you walked past the news stand this Sunday, do you think you would have missed it? Think you would look closer?
In the comments and on your blogs you came up with some great ideas for what attracts and repels on websites when you visit. You took your ideas to places I had never thought of.
Here are my thoughts based on sites I visit and my analysis of what works. Let me know what you think, agree or have your own thoughts in the comments.
While you read these tips for making your site attract, think back also to the image above and your own favourite magazines, newspapers or websites:
- Photography – Shrink down the image and one element is always visible. Big, attractive, photographs. People are hard wired to be attracted to faces. They pull us in like magnets. Would you rather see a wall of text or some imagery to add colour and interest?
- Lead with benefits – At first glance the visitor needs to know what is in it for them. Everything about the magazines and newspaper above is focused on what you will get if you only buy. What benefits is your site communicating?
- Above the fold – You can see clearly where the newspaper is folded. What is visible? How do they communicate? The fold on a computer screen is the part where you would have to scroll to see any more. What do you have on your site before the visitor has to scroll?
- Compelling headlines – On the magazine covers you have the hero story then you have a bunch of other enticing reads. Do you find yourself reading the cover and wondering what the stories are about too? What headlines do you provide visitors? Are they compelling or confusing?
- Content first, advertising second – No adverts on the covers. Look inside and the content is given priority. The way it should be.
- Phrasing – Check out the wording. No PHD words here. No lazy words either. Active, interesting, vibrant, key words that jump out, lively and visual phrasing. Short lines. Is your site like popping a sleeping pill or like gobbling a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans?
Scientists say you have just seconds to catch a visitors interest. You know yourself how distracted or interested we can be. What catches your eye? Consider for a moment your own site or blog, do you draw visitors in, help them and welcome them? Or do you expect a reader to “make the effort”?
I know I have some work to do. What changes could you make?