Long gone are the days when just having a website was enough to show you were in the game. Websites have become increasingly sophisticated tools for differentiation. So, how do you separate the best websites from the rest? Quality content. Website analytics prove that traffic spikes occur when meaningful content is added. The analytics tools allow you to uncover the types of information driving desirable visitor behavior. Once you understand what motivates your visitors to return, you may build more content into the site, making it a reliable resource to showcase your legal and business prowess. That being said, what should a lawyer think about when creating website content? Consider these points:
- People read web content 25% more slowly than they read print materials. Studies have proven that reading from a computer screen tires eyes more easily than printed materials, decreasing stamina on websites. Use shorter sentences within well-constructed paragraphs, covering only one idea. Write using real words for real people. Transforming a piece from print to the web? Consider streamlining your print content by 50% before posting it onto a website.
- Readers on the web scan text, they do not read it. According to a study completed by usability expert Jacob Nielson, 79% of readers on the Web tend to scan or skim text rather than read word for word. How to compensate? Use an inverted pyramid concept when creating your content. Place the most important information you want to get across at the beginning of your material. Use tricks such as pull-quotes, highlighted text and bulleted lists to help scanners get the most pertinent material quickly.
- Readers on the web want what they want, and quickly! Studies show that we must grab someone’s attention in as little as 10 seconds. If we succeed in grabbing a reader in those 10 seconds, then we earn up to 45 seconds more of their attention. Deliver information quickly, or they will move onto the multitude of alternative websites to find the information they desire. Where to get started? Use meaningful headlines and tell them what they want immediately.
- Use videos, images, tasteful animation and podcasts. All the same rules apply, though. Keep these components concise and attractive. If visitors are asked to sit through extraneous material before they get to the point, you have lost them to the competition.
- Use social media to move visitors onto your website. Post status updates on recent articles, events and external press coverage. Provide a link directly to your website from your posting.
Optimizing the way you create website content is the first step in enhancing visitor experience. Strong content increases your website’s visibility to search engines. Legitimate content drives better search results and increases the likelihood of people finding you. These are just some of the many considerations for making websites useful, helpful and successful, however, start with these tips and you will be well on the way to differentiating your site from an overly crowded cyberspace.