Content is a major focus in online marketing. I’ve written articles and made videos on the topic, along with all the other gurus and professionals out there. However, it is important to remember that the actual content isn’t the only thing you need to be mindful of. The first impression of your web visitors won’t be based on the actual content. First impressions will be made before they even get a chance to read or view your content.
Your content is only important after the first second that a visitor is on your page. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking that one second does not even matter, but it does. In that second, your browser will judge whether they want to stick around or leave. This is when the first impression is made, and in that second, they will decide if your content is relevant, if you are a professional, and if they are the least bit interested in learning more.
The eye moves fast when on a new page. It is looking everywhere it can and trying to take in as much information as it can quickly while your brain processes that information. Knowing how an eye traces over your pages is critical. Your layout will optimally follow that natural eye pattern on the human eye. The eyes shoot across the top of the page and then down the left side, and finish across the middle. This takes less than one second.
During this flyby, your eyes are looking for specific information to figure out the relevance of the website you are currently viewing. Your websites logo and title are critical since they are the first thing the eyes look at when opening a website. Then the eyes will look at your menu, search box, and your social media links. The brain is using these three to judge your organization and credibility. Your primary image and any opening content will be next. This will make or break the deal, so this part is critical. The scan closes with the footer at the bottom. By the end of this search, the brain has decided to continue reading or hit the back button.
The eyes love pictures. Pictures take less work to process than words and fire off in different parts of the brain. Your pictures can direct the attention of the visiting browsers. Hands and eyes in the picture make an imaginary line as to where the browser should look next. The facial expression should also communicate the message you are trying to send to your browsers. Make sure the images you include are nestled into your text, opposed to sticking out or blocking the flow of words. most of my written content uses two images, one at the top to the left of the page and one towards the middle to the right of the page. This layout of images is to help create visual balance.
Organization increases your credibility. Your website should be clean and crisp without being bland. The color of your back ground, font, and overall layout are pieces you should constantly be playing with to find a good combination that is attractive to visitors. Your website will also walk a line between too little and too much. Too much makes you look cluttered and unorganized. Too little makes you look bland and uninteresting. You are neither of these so why on earth should you advertise yourself as such? Find a happy balance and go with it! If opening your website is painful to the eye and brain, you need to continue working.
While the actual quality of your content is still highly important to your overall success, you want to make sure visitors are impressed enough actually check out your content. Online marketing isn’t just one thing, it is comprised of multiple parts that all need to be running efficiently simultaneously.
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To YOUR Success,
Devon Brown 🙂