Key Facts to Know:
- Communicating a clear value proposition within the first 10 seconds of a site visit can keep visitors on the site for several minutes longer1
- 80% of a user’s viewing time on your site is spent above the fold2
- 28% of the text on a web page is fully read4
If you work in marketing, you’ve heard it before: “We know our audience doesn’t scroll, so…” and after that typically comes, “Let’s keep everything above the fold” or “We need to have less information on the page”. While it’s easy to blame page performance on the content, the reason why visitors aren’t scrolling on a webpage is likely due to how the page is laid out or that the right audience is not on the page. You only have a matter of seconds to capture a user’s attention when they first land on your site, but communicating a clear value proposition within the first 10 seconds of the visit can keep visitors on the site for several minutes longer1. Once you’re able to successfully capture someone’s attention, they’re likely to scroll down. Here are some tips to help guarantee your pages and content are set up for readability and scroll success.
Ensure the right audience is getting served the right content
Your site will attract visitors in many different ways: organic search, social, word of mouth, paid advertising, etc. Understanding where your audience comes from can help to make sure you’re providing them with relevant content once they arrive. For example, if many visitors are coming from organic search using specific keywords, be sure to address those keywords as page content. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console will help you identify where your audience is coming from and their mindset.
Put the most compelling (not all!) information at the top of the page
What someone sees as soon as they land on your website really matters. Since 80% of a user’s viewing time on your site is spent above the fold2, the content at the top of the page gets a lot of attention. This content should do two things: capture interest and communicate the key points of the page. Like we mentioned before, your page will only have seconds once a visitor arrives to convince them that they are indeed at the right place, so it’s important to pique their interest while not throwing too much information at them. A visually cluttered website is guaranteed to turn someone away quickly3.
Choose a layout that’s scroll-friendly
Content should be laid out in a way that feels easy to browse and not overwhelming for the visitor. The harder someone has to work to understand your content, the higher likelihood that they’ll leave and likely not come back3. Instead of having long paragraphs of information for someone to read through, create short sections, separated by white space or graphical elements, so that a person can read a couple of sentences and then continue to scroll down the page to learn more.
Headlines should contain key information
On average, only 28% of the text on a web page is fully read4, so key information should be easily accessible for an audience who is more likely to skim information rather than read it. Ensuring headlines contain key information will keep key points concise and will help visitors walk away with what’s most important. You can provide additional detail and context in the body copy that follows the headline for visitors who are more interested and therefore more likely to read.
At the end of the day, creating a compelling page experience starts with understanding your brand and your audience. Decide what your most important priority message is and what’s most likely to resonate with your audience. Once you understand that, people will scroll away.
- Nielsen Norman Group, 2011 https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-long-do-users-stay-on-web-pages/
- Nielsen Norman Group, 2018 https://www.nngroup.com/articles/scrolling-and-attention/
- Nielsen Norman Group, 2013 https://www.nngroup.com/articles/minimize-cognitive-load/
- Nielsen Norman Group, 2008 https://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-little-do-users-read/