Is your personal website attracting future clients?
According to hubspot, 55% of your future website visitors spend less than 15 seconds to decide if you are right for them.
Others say 7 seconds.
The fact of the matter is that people do not read your content as you think they do. So if you have a personal website full of information, as the average reading age in the UK is 9 years old, what attention are they giving to you? Can they actually understand it?
Your potential clients’ reading ages
I don’t wish to mean to be demeaning and that is not my purpose, but one of the UK’s most popular newspapers, The Sun, is popular because so many can read it. It’s reading age is 9 by design (The Guardian in comparison has a reading age of 14).
Add into this, the ability to read your site, coupled with the time it takes to load your website onto their mobile…. there is a strong chance that they will lose interest and move onto the next website. The longer a page takes to appear, the greater the chance the visitor will lose interest. Research shows that the more seconds it takes, the less visitors you will have.
Quite shocking really.
Speeding up your websites with Google
Recently Google rang me asking to arrange a meeting so that they could show me how to speed up a client’s website that I was working on. They explained that from July 2018, the speed of a mobile website will also be taken into account when ranking: mobile load speed will be a ranking factor. In fact, the first of many mobile algorithm updates has already taken place this March (2018).
An hour later, their advice and my actions had led to just over 3 seconds being shaved off the load time. Load time leads to quicker responses and more people accessing the website. More visitors bring more custom. It’s not rocket science to understand the importance of a fast loading time but it can take science and knowledge to speed it up as I have learnt. It wasn’t just about hosting either. Google informed me about which plugins to use 🙂 This site is a big site built on wordpress.
Fast is better but faster also means that the site has less time to make that very important first impression. Research, involving Amazon, Google, and other larger sites, a 1 second delay in page load time can lead to 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. Multiply that by a few seconds and you can only imagine the frustration experienced. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself.
It’s almost as if everyone has developed ADHD.
How to improve your personal site
There is hope, to keep people on your page, people actually want to be able to read information and read what is relevant to them. This might sound obvious but it is the pivot around how they gain confidence about you. It is a fact of human nature that people will always be thinking “what’s in it for me”. So does the information online provided on your personal website, answer their questions?
I’m not talking about portal sites, although they do have a role, as they are mainly acting as a catalog for your industry. I’m talking about what can be found about you online. Does it convey what you want people to know about you? Does it convey how other people have perceived you? Perhaps not.
A client was recently concerned that a potential patient would act (purchase) as soon as they landed on their website for the first time. It took a while to explain that this is rare as the majority land, scan and then leave. However, if there is sufficient information on the site for a seed of curiosity to have been planted, then an individual will return, especially if information consistent with their own goals appears.
How to find out how your website is used.
Google analytics can show the pathways that people take in trying to find relevant information. There is this fascinating flow map that shows the number of people who left after visiting pages or which pages they moved onto next. From this, it is possible to track what the majority do and decide how improvements can be made.
Heatmaps are another method of working out how people use your personal website. They show where people moved their cursor and clicked so you can see, particularly, what interests people the most. I’ve used these with great effect on clients’ sites – they are always illuminating (excuse the pun) but they do show up actions that were not anticipated.
All this valuable information can help improve your website for your visitors. Ultimately, they want to find someone to help them. It just depends upon how you portray you and your skills. That’s all.
Learn from this
- Simplify your writing so that more people can read your site.
- Use data to find out how people are using your site.