Get to the point: Put the important information first

Most of your website visitors are on your website to accomplish a task. They do not wish to hang around the website, they do not wish to read background information, they do not wish to have their time wasted. They have a task in mind and they want to get it done as quickly as possible. Sometimes this task is a simple action like paying their bill, applying for service, or sometimes it is a research task such as finding rates or policies.

Panola-Harison Electric Cooperative in Marshall, Texas utilizes our Ashland blueprint to put focus on the task-focused site visitor as well integrating a SmartHub login widget to reduce the number of clicks for the top task of logging into account management for their members.

It is in your interest to make it easy as possible for your website visitors to accomplish their desired task. Making it easy gives you the following outcomes:

  • Your members or customers are happier because they feel that their time is being respected and they are able to accomplish the tasks that they set out to do
  • Your members or customers better understand and can better follow your key policies and procedures
  • Your member or customer service representatives are more efficient because they need to take fewer calls from customers who are not able to accomplish their tasks on the website. Additionally, those who do call may be better prepared because they were better served by your website.

Therefore you should put the most important information first. Let your readers get the most important information up front. Provide further information in following paragraphs or even link to a separate web page to provide more information.

Keep this advice in mind all across the website, including when it comes to your:

  • Front page
  • Navigation menus
  • Call the action buttons

It is also well documented that website visitors pay much more attention to the top of the webpage. Avoid frustrating your website visitors partially or completely missing key information by putting at the beginning of a page instead of spreading it throughout web pages and burying it in paragraphs.

You may have heard that people have a short attention span… it’s true!

Use the right style to enhance key information

Concision, simplicity, and clarity are worthy goals to keep in mind. Keep the following in mind:

  • Cut unnecessary words and sentences. This saves your website visitor time and makes them more confident of the information they’re reading.
  • Use headings to break up content on a page into logical chunks. This makes it easier for readers to find and understand the information they need.
  • Use short paragraphs.
  • Use an active voice. Use imperative verbs to instruct your website visitors exactly what they need to do to accomplish their goals. For example: “To obtain service if you are not a cooperative member, fill out and submit both the new member and service application forms.”