Like most people, before I began my journey with IMPACT, I knew nothing about websites, how they worked, or what went on behind the scenes.
Now, I'm a few years in, at least a couple dozen websites behind me -- and I still don't know everything about them. But I do know that there are a lot of moving parts to think about when planning a website build. The way websites and the Internet work is changing all the time, therefore, we need to keep up.
To give you some insight into the modern user experience and how visitors are acting and reacting to online content, I've compiled 20 stats and facts that you can think about and leverage when creating your website redesign strategy.
1. Different age groups will react differently to different content, layout, and aesthetic choices. (Source)
We all know we should be utilizing smart content for contacts in different lifecycle stages, but if you have a target audience that greatly varies in age, you should really dig deeper into how you can customize what's on your site for each age group. This is known as age-responsive design and is turning alot of heads in 2017.
2. When you specify immediately who your target audience is, people who fit that demographic will be more inclined to see what you have to offer, especially if you use their language. (Source)
Like I mentioned above, it's important to really know who you're marketing to (a.k.a. your buyer persona) and be able to connect with them on a level they can relate to.
In order to generate qualified leads you need to have a thorough understanding of your buyer persona including the words and phrases they use to express themselves. These are the terms that will resonate with them in your messaging and that they will likely be searching.
3. When we focus on one thing, we ignore other things around us. And this happens a lot on the web because we’re very task-focused. (Source)
This is called inattentional blindness, and yes, it happens in the digital world, too.
Because of this, it is super important to (again) understand your target audience and figure out what they want -- and then give it to them in the simplest way possible.
If you give them multiple options, chances are they're not going to know where to go to reach the goal they set out to accomplish, and they're also going to miss most of the information you put in front of them anyway.
(In fact, this is why we remove the website navigation on landing pages!)
4. The average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now. This is much shorter than the attention span of a goldfish (at 9 seconds). (Source)
YES, A GOLDFISH HAS A LONGER ATTENTION SPAN THAN WE DO.
So, to reiterate what I said about giving your audience what they want in the simplest way possible, you should probably prioritize that during your website redesign or risk losing them to another website that does. Also, make sure your website loads quickly (on mobile and desktop) and that users don't have to spend too much time hunting for the information they need.
5. When people aren’t sure what to do, they look to the behavior of others to guide their actions -- especially their peers. If we see a lot of other people doing something, we tend to view it as the correct behavior. (Source)
You may have heard of social proof. Essentially, that's what this is. For example, people are more likely to share an article or an offer if they see that other people did the same. Similarly, client testimonials and reviews are proven to be very influential in someone's decision-making process.
6. Value-based exit intent pop-ups increase conversions, even if you think users hate them. (Source)
If you utilize an exit intent pop-up correctly, then you should be offering your visitor something valuable. For example, don't offer someone an eBook if they've already downloaded it or if it's not targeted towards what they're looking for. The way companies are using exit intent pop-ups today is changing to be less intrusive and a lot more valuable, so make sure you're adapting.
7. Lists are better at keeping your reader focused than large paragraphs. Some people even completely ignore large chunks of text. (Source)
It's true. In a lot of the user test feedback I've received regarding client websites, almost all of the contributors mentioned that there was too much text on certain pages, and they'd rather see more bulleted lists or something similar.
Lists and other formatting elements (i.e. bolding, headers, bullet points, etc.) make it easier for people to skim through content and find what they're looking for faster. They're not as intimidating as longer paragraphs.
8. In 2017, scrolling has become widely accepted, making “above the fold” real estate less meaningful than it used to be. (Source)
For so long, we've had "above the fold" embedded into our heads. We needed to make sure the most important information was at the top of the page, but now, we're seeing that more people know to scroll. As long as the page tells a compelling story while at the same time, leading them through a conversion-based journey, don't be afraid to go long.
9. Forms are boring, and if not done properly, they can be the biggest deterrent for your users. (Source)
When building forms, knowing which fields to include and which information to collect is vital. Many variables go into play here, such as how familiar the person is with your company (how much they trust you), what they're trying to access, and the amount of time it will take them to give their info.
For example, imagine you were visiting a website for the very first time and you wanted to download an infographic. Would you be comfortable with giving them your name, email, phone number, home address, and credit card information? Probably not. But if you were more familiar with this company and were planning on purchasing a product or service from them, you might be willing to fill out all of that data.
Another thing to take into account here is using smart fields to auto-fill information to make the form-fill process a lot quicker.
10. Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. (Source)
Studies show, and our designers agree, people are extremely visually driven.
Like well-formatted, broken up text, when you pair great content with beautiful, supporting imagery, people are more likely to remember what you have to say.
On the other hand, presenting someone a wall of plain text comes off as exhausting to read through (see #7), and most will just move on.
11. Once your page loads, users form an opinion in .05 seconds. (Source)
Yup, you read that right. First impressions are important -- even in the digital world. Make sure your pages use a combination of easily digestible content, relevant imagery, and consistent branding to ace that impression.
12. Speaking of, you have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. After this time (and oftentimes before), they’ll leave. (Source)
Do you see a trend here? Along with decreasing attention spans, people are also becoming more impatient and expecting things quicker. If your visitor can't tell what you offer within 10 seconds, you may want to rethink elements such as your value proposition, navigation, and initial content on your main pages.
13. 44% of website visitors will leave a company's website if there's no contact information or phone number. (Source)
This one is all about building trust and credibility. People are very unlikely to move forward with a company if they don't feel they can trust them. Having thorough contact information on your website is a must.
14. Video helps persuade 73% of people to buy a product or a service. (Source)
There are a bunch of pros to using video marketing in addition to -- or over-- text. Over 100 million Internet users watch videos each day, and using videos on your website actually keeps visitors there longer! Videos can also establish a sense of trust and engagement in your target audience, increasing the chance of having them purchase what you're trying to sell.
15. Over 2.9 billion Google searches are made every day. (Source)
Three words: Search Engine Optimization. When writing website content, it is essential to optimize it for search engines. Find out what your target audience is searching for, establish an effective keyword strategy, and put that strategy into action. The better you rank in a Google search, the more likely you are to be found.
16. More than 2.7 million blog posts are published every day. (Source)
There was a time when people didn't know how valuable blogging was. Now, everyone is blogging. What does that mean for your company? You need to stand out from the crowd. It's not enough anymore to just create content; it needs to be valuable, keyword-oriented, conversion-based, and strategic. And the actual blog design on your website needs to be set up to produce visitors and conversions.
17. 70% of consumers learn about a company through their blog rather than ads. (Source)
Make sure you have a reliable web host, and pay attention to the elements you're putting on your pages; some may be slowing down your page load.
19. There are more mobile Internet users than desktop Internet users; 52.7% of global Internet users access the Internet via mobile, and 75.1% of U.S. Internet users access the Internet via mobile. (Source)
No surprise here. More and more people are beginning to use their phone to surf the web and if your website isn't mobile responsive, you're going to fall behind. Just as Google uses site speed as a ranking contributor, it also uses mobile optimization.
20. 48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn't working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring. (Source)
It's not enough to convey your industry expertise through your content; you must also show it through your website, and that means making sure your website is mobile-friendly and gives phone users the information they need on their preferred platform.
In addition, websites on mobile platforms need to be quick, efficient, and easy to use, so it's important you put this at the top of your website redesign to-do list.