When potential customers land on your site, you want them to stay and find all the great information about you and your business. But given how short our attention spans are these days, and how bombarded we are with sales pitches, adverts and info, you need to find ways of keeping customers on your site.
Website design used to be all about the fold, the bit of the webpage you see on your screen without having to scroll. But now that we view websites on a wide variety of devices and the fold is constantly shifting, what sits above and below the fold isn’t as essential. Websites have naturally become longer. But it remains really important to get your users to stay on your site and scroll down. So how do you do that?
Entice your customers in with a great page. Be clear about what you’re offering and they’ll want to stay and look around. If they’re confused as to why they’re there, or what it is you do, they’ll wander off pretty quickly.
Scrolling is something we’re used to doing these days and it’s almost habitual now to keep scrolling down any web pages we land on. But sometimes design can be counterintuitive. A hard line or end of a picture box just above the fold can create the illusion (also called a false bottom) that there’s nothing more to see. Try instead incorporating text boxes of differing heights, some of which extend beyond the fold. Or place a box or some text right on the fold so that it’s clear there’s more to see.
Linked to design, you could use really obvious devices such as arrows to indicate there’s more to see below the fold. Or let words tell people explicitly that they need to keep scrolling down to see more. Perhaps use interesting graphics or imagery that tie into the feel of your site. You could anchor a ‘keep scrolling’ graphic on the fold.
Some sites do use horizontal scrolling, but the vast majority of sites and users scroll vertically. You will see horizontal scrolling on sites such as Amazon, where they are showing you related products for example, and they’ll also include a horizontal scroll bar and probably an indicator arrow too to make it as easy as possible. Remember you don’t want to make it too hard for your users. Give them a path through your site that they feel comfortable navigating.
Pepper your long page with CTAs. If you only have one at the very top and one right at the bottom of a long page, it won’t be visible for most of the scrolling. Remind your customers why they’re there and how they can react and interact. Don’t make them work to find your CTA, make sure it’s visible in several places.
Some sites automatically slow down the scroll where they want content to be read. But this interrupts the user’s flow and is a real turn off. If you want your content to be read, simply make it engaging!
A long page shouldn’t just scroll on endlessly. Plan the order of the content – your site’s roadmap - and make sure it’s in a logical order for your users.
Long sites give you the space to be creative. Use visuals, tell your story, be interactive. Try parallax scrolling, where the background moves at a different pace to the foreground. Or incorporate animations which are triggered as the page is scrolled. These not only break the page up but have enormous visual appeal too.
There are lots of ways to keep your customers scrolling and interacting with your site. If you need any advice in incorporating any of these methods into your site or would like to look at ways to make your website more visually appealing, please call us on 01892 800 400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org