Your website needs to grab visitors’ attention, communicate your message and spark the viewer’s interest...and all within the blink of an eye. This is the dreaded ‘Blink Test’ of online marketing, the 3-5 seconds it takes for a visitor to land on your web page, pass a critical eye over it and decide if they want to stick around or click away elsewhere. Sounds tricky doesn’t it? But there are several best practices you can bear in mind to make sure you’re not losing visitors – and bookings - because of small and easily avoided mistakes.
1. Minimise Loading Time
A recent Gomez study revealed that the average online consumer now expects a web page to load within 2 seconds, and that as many as 40% will abandon the page after three seconds if it fails to do so.
Although images, scripts and multimedia enhance your website, they also slow down its loading time, which in this age of instant gratification, could translate to lost visitors.
One way to combat this is by using free online tools such as Page Speed and YSlow to test the loading times of all the images and multimedia you want to include on your site. You can also downsize large, high-resolution images before uploading them to your website to cut loading time without compromising on quality.
2. Keep your Design Simple
Catch the eye of your internet users –without confusing them- using bold, high quality images and a clean, simple design. Keep your website’s structure simple and organised so visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for and don’t be afraid to embrace white space!
3. Provide Easy to Read, Easy to Understand Content
Web visitors aren’t prepared to read a thesis to get to grips with the most important information on your site, so make sure your content is extremely clear and to the point. Hold people’s attention by conveying the most information you can in the least amount of words possible, use reader-focused language such as “you” and “your” and make sure your tone is suitable for your guests.
4. Create a Consistent Experience
This means making sure the path that leads to your site is logical. If someone has landed on your site after clicking a search engine result, PPC ad, or banner ad, they’re expecting to see what the description stated. For instance, if someone clicks on a banner ad advertising budget Gold Coast accommodation, they need to see budget Gold Coast accommodation straight away on the ad’s corresponding landing page. If the message of your ad and landing page are not consistent, you could lose the visitor’s trust, and a potential booking.
5. Show Your Credibility
6. Simplify the Next Step
Once you’ve got a visitor on your site, you don’t want them to have to think too much about what they have to do next. Make sure you include a clear, clickable call to action to let your visitors know how to take the next step and make a booking.
Does your hotel’s website pass the blink test?