A Peek Behind the Curtain: 1 Question for a Successful Rebuild
Here at 5by5, we frequently help organizations rebuild their website. It’s one of our favorite things to do because a website is the front door of every business and nonprofit. Typically, a rebuild is an involved, lengthy process as there are so many opportunities for optimization and decisions to make.
We are a strategy-first organization — you can’t just pull great execution out of thin air. A successful website rebuild has to be backed by a solid strategy built on informed decisions. To give you an idea of what that looks like in practice, we recorded a 6-part podcast series called Before You: Rebuild Your Website. There are even some free downloadable companion pieces to go with it, specifically, our Web Development Checklist and a research white paper where we interviewed 100 leaders who recently completed a website rebuild.
The series was a hit, and one of the best practices that came out of it were five essential questions to ask before embarking on the long journey to rebuild your website. Today, we’re going to answer one of those questions, one that even seasoned pros frequently overlook.
What message is the most important?
You may have heard the phrase, “if you are saying two things, you aren’t saying anything” and that holds true when it comes to your website. Everyone knows online audiences have short attention spans, but do you know just how little time you have to get your point across?
- It takes about 50 milliseconds for someone to form an opinion on your website
- Users will most likely only read about 28% of webpage text
- Only 20% of readers will read an entire article
You have to decide what one message is most important for your audience to hear, because you only have time for one. If you are trying to communicate A, B and C, know that B and C are never going to be seen by the majority of your site visitors.
If a user is scrolling down a page, all the information on it should be reinforcing your primary message. This holds true for every aspect of the site: design, UX, and copy all need to be working together to convey a single idea that you want to stick with users even after they leave.
The average number of times a user visits your site before converting varies based on industry. Most fall between 4.1 and 2.3 sessions, but the point is you are rarely going to get someone to convert on their first visit. If you laser focus on a single message, you increase the chance that you’ll stick in the mind of your site visitors and increase those conversions.
As our friend Donald Miller of StoryBrand is fond of saying, “If you confuse, you lose.”
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