Website visitors have certain habits you need to understand to remain relevant and competitive in the online business world.
These habits include reading on mobile devices, scanning content (instead of reading every word), and craving organization, among others.
Understanding these habits can help you tweak your content accordingly to meet the needs of your readers better and provide them with a good user experience. This, in turn, can help lower your bounce rate and ultimately increase your conversions.
Here are eight consumer habits you should be aware of:
1. PEOPLE LOVE TO READ ON MOBILE DEVICES
The first habit you should understand is that many people are addicted to mobile and frequently use smartphones or tablets more often than desktop or laptop computers to access the internet.
It’s very important to keep these mobile users in mind when designing your website and creating your content.
This means having a website with a responsive design to make it accessible to visitors using all types of devices, platforms, and browsers, as well as writing content that appeals to mobile users. Here are a few tips for creating mobile-friendly content:
• Write short, compelling headlines.
• Keep your sentences and paragraphs short.
• Write in a simple language that everyone can understand easily.
• Front-load the most important points of your content.
• Remove all unnecessary words and phrases.
2. PEOPLE SCAN CONTENT INSTEAD OF READING EVERY WORD
Another habit that’s common among website visitors is scanning information. Most people don’t take the time to read the entire body of a web page or blog post word for word. Instead, they want to find information quickly.
For this reason, you need to keep your paragraphs and sentences short, and use subheadings, numbered lists, bulleted points, and white space to break down your content into smaller sections to make it easier to scan and digest.
3. MANY PEOPLE PREFER VIDEOS TO TEXT
Many consumers prefer watching videos to reading text. Engaging and entertaining videos can quickly draw people in and catch their interest.
So, you should consider embedding videos in appropriate places within your content to attract the attention of video lovers and increase audience engagement.
4. PEOPLE ARE IMPATIENT
Website visitors are also very impatient. This habit is mainly due to our shortening attention span and the many options that are available to people nowadays.
This means that if your website content isn’t meeting your visitors’ expectations, they will bounce from your page immediately. So, ensure that you’re delivering what you promised your readers in the article headline.
Also, avoid things that might drive people away, such as writing in long blocks of text, technical or complex language, and font types and sizes that are difficult to read.
5. PEOPLE RESPOND BETTER TO OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE
Most people respond better to language that feels educational and objective rather than language that is solely focused on selling a product.
User experience researchers have consistently seen that overly salesy language makes users feel wary of making a purchase. They don’t feel like they are getting the full story about the product. Instead, they typically turn to Google to get their questions answered.
Many of those users never come back.
6. PEOPLE CRAVE ORGANIZATION
People visiting your website want to be able to find your content easily. You can think of organization in two parts: conceptual organization and visual organization.
Conceptual organization simply means presenting your ideas step-by-step so there’s a clear, logical flow to your writing. This is important for ensuring a smooth flow from one sentence to the next, which helps readers understand your message more easily.
Visual organization means formatting your content to make it appear neat and visually appealing to the reader. To do this, you need to break down your content using headings, subheadings, short paragraphs, white space, numbers, bulleted lists, etc.
7. CONSUMERS LOVE CONSISTENCY
People prefer websites that publish fresh, valuable content consistently because they always know they’re going to learn something new whenever they visit.
For this reason, you should have a schedule for creating and sharing content on different platforms to reach as many people as possible with your message.
Also, make sure you identify a specific writing style that works best for your audience and stick to it.
8. PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO THINK TOO HARD
Lastly, when it comes to their web browsing, most people are a little lazy. They don’t want to have to work too hard to figure out what you’re trying to say. So, you need to explain your points clearly using simple words that your audience can understand easily.
When you understand the habits of your website visitors and tweak your content accordingly, it can go a long way in improving your user experience and boosting your overall conversions.
Scott Baradell is CEO of Idea Grove, a unified PR and marketing agency, and editor of the online publication Trust Signals.