It’s getting more difficult to get and keep users on your Web site long enough for them to absorb the information you’ve worked so hard to provide. Most of us are so busy multitasking that our attention spans are pretty much non-existence. The fact is, if you don’t hook your visitors almost immediately, they’re clicking through on their way to another site.
Most Web designers think that the only way to entice users to stay on a site is with flashy graphics and images. Very often, good content falls by the wayside; the reality is, content is key, especially if a site is providing goods and services. You have to ensure that in addition to providing the best possible images of your merchandise, you have content that will close the deal. That’s why appealing to the brain is so important.
The brain is divided into two hemispheres performing specific jobs that allow us to function. You’re never conscious of which side is doing what, but miraculously, they both contribute to our bodies and minds working in harmony. The right side of the brain is responsible for our creativity, emotion, intuition and subjectivity. It allows us to look at the big picture rather than just little pieces of it. The left side of the brain is the logical, rational and analytical side. It gives us the ability to determine what’s best for us without letting emotions enter into the equation. Some people clearly use one side of their brain more than the other. Others are capable of using their “whole brain.”
When users visit a Web site, you’re never sure how they view it, other than by what the bounce rates tell you. In order to get and keep the interest of visitors to your site, you have to write copy that will appear to the entire brain, not just one part of it. That means, be creative and logical. It’s kind of like being able to walk and chew gum at the same time; it’s not as hard as you think. Here are some tips:
1. Don’t Spam
The left side of the brain is the one that can spot a scam. Unfortunately, some people are better at spotting them than others. When writing optimized content, don’t stuff it full of keywords. The content on every page should be “seasoned” with keywords, rather than stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey. Users will quickly notice that your content makes no sense and move on to another site.
2. Don’t Go Overboard on the Images
Images are important, especially when you’re asking users to buy your products without first seeing them in person. Providing high quality images of multiple sizes and views allows visitors to trust what you are selling. Assaulting them with too many Flash images will trigger distrust in the left brain.
3. Write for the Left Brain
You want to convince your users to trust you. Appealing to the left side of the brain means providing information about your products and services that will convince users they are doing the right thing for themselves and their families by purchasing what you have to offer. Include a section for comments and feedback and make sure all the information is legitimate. Nothing will send someone clicking to another site faster than bogus reviews. Provide easily accessible customer service that includes a variety of ways to contact your company. Ideally, that should include a contact form, an e-mail address and a phone number.
4. Write for the Right Brain
Once you’ve got their trust, you want users to be dazzled by your images. Give them just enough to get them excited by your wares, but not too much that it becomes overwhelming. For example, if you sell clothing items, it’s best to include multiple views and 3-D imaging if possible. Allow users to magnify or shrink the image and provide sizing information along with other pertinent details. Suggest other items that will compliment a specific purchase.
Short videos are attention-grabbers. One or two minute clips that showcase a product or service will whet the appetite and prompt users to buy or seek out more information. Users will be able to visualize themselves with your merchandise.
5. Put it All Together to Entice the Whole Brain
Admittedly finding the proper balance is a tough task. Just remember: you’re designing your Web site with your customers in mind, not yourself. You already believe in what you have to offer; now you have to get others to believe in your message as well. Pay attention to your analytics and consider all feedback you get from visitors. And remember: the whole brain is the sum of its parts.
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