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Letting Go of the Whizbang

 

By Debra Torres

When it comes to your web pages, creating a journey that makes sense to your users is always the best way to go. It’s easy for us to fall into the trap of wanting to make things “shinier” by adding some “pizzazz” with puffed up words or colorful graphics that we think might draw in users and make them want to jump at our call to action.

But the truth is, most of your website users are on your pages to accomplish a specific task. Maybe they want to know what your hours are, what your degree is all about, or what kind of support you offer. And when they can’t easily find what they are looking for, they’re gone.

And that’s when you lose them.

Ginny Reddish, author of “Letting Go of the Words,” puts it this way:

“When people come to your web site to start a conversation with you, they have a topic or question in mind. They are looking for the words they have in their minds – words that give them confidence that if they click there, they’ll get closer to the information they are seeking.

“To make connections between what your site visitors want and the content you have, you must use their words – not cute, made-up names that they do not know. Cute doesn’t work if it doesn’t help your site visitors know where to click (p. 45).”

Creating a clear and simple path for your users is key to keeping them on your pages.

Managing a Website is a Pretty Big Deal

You probably already know that your website is the best marketing tool you have. With approximately 80% of high school juniors and seniors looking for colleges online* and an average of 150,000 daily users on Liberty’s sites, it’s pretty clear that your content has value.

Because you’ve read through our blog posts, you know that there are a lot of things to think about when you work on your current pages or create new ones. Some of 2018’s highlights covered the benefits of:

And you already know that adding blocks of text to your page without considering user experience can negatively affect your goals when you consider the value and weight that your website carries.

Losing the Bells and Whistles

So, if you still think that adding some theme-based, flowery content to your site might be just the thing to spruce it up a bit, take a step back and remember your audience. You’ve got easily distracted users living in a fast-paced world, and many are accessing your site on their phones.

And they want their information now.

Accomplish your goals by keeping things plain, simple, and understandable to all.

Still have questions about losing the “whizbang”? Contact the Web Content Team at webcontent@liberty.edu. We are here for you.

*2016 E-Expectations Trend Report, Ruffalo Noel Levitz


 

Meet the Author:

Debra Torres

datorres1@liberty.edu

Web Content Specialist — LU Web Content Team

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