Web users are notoriously fickle and often impatient – bore them with waffle or make them hunt high and low for information and they’ll probably be making a beeline for the back button before you’ve had time to get your point across. On the other hand, give them what they want and they’ll repay you by staying on your site for longer and hopefully converting to paying customers.

So what are web users looking for? According to new research by the Nielsen Norman Group (headed by usability guru Jakob Nielsen), what they really want is the facts of the matter.

“Users hunt for facts online, so factually rich content will attract readers and keep their attention,” the research states. According to two eye-tracking studies conducted by the group, people’s main focus was on the facts, while they merely skimmed over or ignored excess waffle and marketing speak.

One interesting fact to come out of the studies of journalists and investors was that people’s eyes were drawn to numbers – “Why? Because numbers usually represent facts.” They also found that people were frustrated by facts which they deemed to be irrelevant.

Give them the facts

So what kind of facts are people usually looking for? Well the specifics will of course depend on the nature of your company and what it is you do, but there are some things that most people will be looking for.

  • Facts about your company – Things like how many employees you have, how long you’ve been established and how many years of experience your management team has are all key facts.
  • Facts about your products – Don’t bore your potential customers with sales speak, be as specific as you can about the specifications of your product, and more importantly what it can do for them.
  • Facts regarding your relationship with the customer – Things like returns policies, delivery times and facts about any loyalty or discount schemes you may have.

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