Quality of Introduction Message

Time for part 3 of 35 covering my usability and design analysis, Quality of Introduction Message.

Imagine a website with a logo that has a smiling face, and underneath it is says “I Can Do It!”. Do you now know what the site is about?  A returning or regular will most likely say yes, but what about a new visitor though? The answer is NO, they do not know what the site is about based on the logo and tag line. T-10 seconds till visitor blast off. You better deliver your message quick, and you better do it well or they are gone.

A high quality introduction message should be:

  • Highly visible on the page or home page of site
  • Brief
  • Easy to read as if it were to be  skimmed
  • Have emphasis
  • Keyword rich
  • Concise, and without unimportant words, like Welcome or Thank You for visiting…

It’s Vital to New Visitors

A clear easy to find introduction message is vital for new visitors to a website. It is the virtual opening hand leading a visitor into the right direction. If you go to the home page of this site for example, you will see that I have created an introduction box. It quickly tells new visitors what this site is about, and what they can do. I don’t waste space with words like welcome, or thank you, or how do you do. I know that I only have a few seconds to tell them what my site is about, I give them a couple of options to my primary desired visitor actions,  and then simply hope they are my target audience. There is not much else you can do without blasting them with a popup or something.

The Analytics

If you are running Google Analytics there is a great little test you can do to see how new visitors respond to your site. Under the Content section, select your common entry page or home page to bring up its statistics, and see what it’s bounce rate is. If you use their Advanced Segments, found in top right by the date range, you can select visitor by type. So from there you can compare returning vs. new visitors. An easy guess is that your returning visitors have a much lower bounce rate. What’s your goal for you new visitors? Hopefully the same numbers as your returning visitors. That’s easier said than done though.

Screenshot of Google Analytic Tool
Screenshot of Google Analytic Tool

Comparing New and Returning

Comparing several of my own sites I have results varying in all sorts of ways. I have some that are doing nearly just as well, with just a 5% margin in difference, and some that are varying as much as 40%.  This can happen for a number of reasons, but the source of the new visitors is the primary influence. An example would be traffic coming from StumbleUpon will have a much higher bounce than a pay per click campaign. To dig into that, you can simply use the drop down menu where it says analyze. It’s located underneath the graph. Select Entrance Sources, and then you can see what is really happening. When you have that information you can see not only how well your introduction message is working, but how well your marketing is working at each source.

Now you know what your benchmark is, try beating it!

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