5 principles that will improve your site

Attention is the most valuable commodity in the online world. But it’s like water. It can flow over your site like a roof in the rain, or it can settle on your site and create a pool that will be a fresh source of moisture for your entire business.

But how to achieve this?

Simple. You need to adapt your site to how people’s attention works.

I don’t have any miracle tips. But I have principles that work for me and I believe they could work for you.

Principled thinking

Many of the sites I’ve helped create have solid traffic. They generate leads and appeal to visitors and owners alike.

I guess I could show screenshots of the pages, advise you to “creatively loot” them and maybe it would work.

At least until it stopped working. That’s why I’m not doing it.

To paraphrase African wisdom, “It’s not about the fish. It’s about learning to fish.”

So let’s look at the principles that good websites (in my experience) follow. It’s not about commandments. If your site doesn’t meet all of the tips below, don’t despair. Quite possibly it’s not a disaster.

However, if you have sections on your site downright contradictory to the tips below, I highly recommend you consider making a change. Quick.

1. Principle – not having a goal is the surest way not to achieve it

If you have a site, you have it for a reason:

  • Sell
  • Have a nice online business card
  • Generate email enquiries

These are all legitimate goals. And often you will have more goals. But it’s extremely important to know,1. what is your main goal,2. what other goals will you ignore a bit due to the main one.

On the web, as in life, it’s always quid pro quo. You have to compromise and make choices. There’s no avoiding it.

Only when you have a good idea of the main goal of your website can you monitor, evaluate and assess its success.

Yet most people have no idea what the main goal of their site might be or have.

2. Principle – people want to buy a ticket, not watch a video about the history of your transport company

Nobody cares about you. Pardon me. That’s right. But neither am I. We’re in this together. No need to hang your head.

The important thing is that people have come to your site out of their own selfish need, and they need to fulfill that need on your site:

  • They want to contact you
  • They want to buy your book
  • They want to find out where your shop is and if it’s open (even on Sundays and public holidays?).
  • They want to see if you have what they’re looking for
  • They want to find out how much it costs

A hundred people, a hundred tastes. However, not everyone comes to your site… Your site is visited by individuals, but individuals who often have a lot in common, most often:

  • problem/worry
  • desire
  • curiosity/interest satiated by a specific reason

So you should always imagineWho aWhythat’s roughly how they come to your site. Try to keep this mental model in mind at all times and see the site through its eyes.

I promise you’ll see a lot of things differently. Clearer.

3. Principle – people don’t have time for a family lunch, let alone to render your opening animation

People don’t have time. Or at least they are convinced of it. The result is the same.

  • Slow loading time,
  • Unclear graphics,
  • Navigation in an unusual place

these are all ways that today’s online person from the siteeffectively expel.

Every site owner should then realize that any unusual invention, embellishment or non-intuitive functionality that needs to be understood does exactly that:expels visitors.

4. Principle – people don’t read on the internet, they search

People don’t read, they scan. Adapt your website to this reality. Don’t fight it.

Short punchy sentences.Visual differentiation. Good hierarchical structure.

If I can’t tell what your site is about within 5 seconds on your homepage, you have a problem.

Imagine your site is a merch booth (promotional and souvenir items) at a festival:

  • You can tell from a distance what you’re selling
  • I’ll be able to navigate your offer in seconds.
  • If I’m interested in something, you answer me immediately, let me try it out, direct me…

Even if I’m drunk, with only my credit card on me, and have no idea what size t-shirt I’m wearing, if you’re good salespeople, I’ll walk out of your booth 4 minutes later in a new shirt, satisfied.

This is exactly the experience you want to give people on your site.

Text is one of the most effective ways to achieve this.

Achieve it.

These were the 4 basic principles that I try to keep in mind with every project. What do you think about them? And would you add any?

Vojtech Bruk