Ways to make website pages more scannable

Scanning through a website on an iPad.

Scannability is all about convenience and will allow users to navigate through your website with ease, whilst they learn more about your website and the types of information, products or services you provide.

Why this matters

Reduces the bounce rate

The information on your website should be kept to a minimum to avoid confusing your audience. Therefore, it’s vital to think about how you can keep their attention by using only a few elements on your site’s pages. Your bounce rate should be anything between 26% and 40%. If it’s above this it is important to evaluate how you can make visitors stay for longer.

Improves visitor experience

Your visitors should be able to easily access the products and services on your website.

For instance, a landing page should be used to tell them what you are about and how your company can help. After all, it takes an average of 15 seconds before users visit another page. Make that short time count by creating a landing page that’s easy to understand. This will then lead to a better overall user experience and an increased number of conversions.

Helps with visual classification

Make sure that the elements on your website’s pages are placed in the way that your audience would expect them to look. It’s good to be creative and different but this can be done through images and graphics, not the layout. All the information your customers’ need to know about your brand should be placed on the first page in clear view. This will encourage them to take the next step and find out more about the items your brand offers.

How to make website pages more scannable

1. Clear CTAs

Always use a CTA (Call to Action) to help with website navigation. This is a button that asks users to perform a certain action. For instance, it could be used on your home page below a short headline that describes what your products or services are about. The headline will encourage users to click the CTA, which might say ‘sign up here,’ leading them to a sign-up page. Another example is a ‘contact us’ button that will take the users to a contact form.

2. Understandable headlines

Make sure your website has a headline. When you write it, include what your product does and how it can benefit the audience. Users will visit your site because they want to know more about your brand and what it has to offer, and a headline gives you the chance to tell them. It’s also good to have one or two sentences below it to provide further information.

3. Bullet points and short paragraphs

It’s vital to ensure that users can scan the text on your website and instantly understand what your product or service is about. They don’t want to see large amounts of text. In fact, the average attention span of an internet user is around 8 seconds.

Use of bullet points on our Point & Quack website.

A good example that can be used to illustrate just how short our attention spans have become is the video-sharing platform, TikTok. It has close to 4 million active users in the UK and hosts millions of short clips. If users don’t like one particular clip, they can simply swipe up to the next one. Hence, a few short sentences or paragraphs to summarise your products will be sufficient.

4. Use of icons to describe

Try to use multiple high-quality images, graphics or icons on your website. These act as a visual representation of a specific item that will help the audience understand what they are buying.

Example of icons used on a website.

This chilli pickle, chutney and sauce producer in the Lake District has used icons when visitors scroll down on their home page, to describe the strength of each product. For instance, sun for warm and fire for hot. Icons should complement the text on your website, which will make it more interesting for readers. They need to grab their attention in a quick and easy way and should save space compared to a lengthy text description. If you decide to use them, they shouldn’t be hugely detailed, and visitors should understand their meaning.

5. Use of space

Always make sure that you have enough space. If everything is crammed in on the first page, visitors will get confused and leave.

It’s a good idea to make a list of the essential elements that should go on the home page. These could include a CTA, graphic, menu option and logo. You could also list media features and testimonials.

6. Use of colours

Research colour theory and meanings to help you understand which colours will suit your brand. For instance, green could be used for a company that looks after the environment, whereas, blue might be used for a yoga brand as it represents calmness.

It’s important to choose the colours that will communicate the right message to customers on your site. They can also increase brand recognition. Just think about popular brands today that are associated with a colour. Take a look at this handy guide for tips on using the right colour.

7. Collect data

Monitor how your customers interact with your website. Use tools that enable you to look at user behaviour through heatmaps and those that allow you to focus on the more analytical aspects. Tools such as Hotjar and FullStory can be used to measure these. For instance, they will tell you if there’s a specific product that is performing well or if one of your blog posts has recently taken off and has received a number of views and comments.

8. A choice of three

Make 3 your favourite number. When selling products on your website there should always be a choice of 3 with the idea that, psychologically, the audience will choose between too little, too much and just enough. Usually, users will be likely to choose the middle option. This is known as the “The Goldilocks Principle

Above are a few features that we use at Point and Quack to help visitors navigate through our website and find out more about our brand. After all, an effective layout will allow them to learn what we’re about and the ways in which we can help them. It’s advisable to never overcomplicate things. Instead, you should stick to a very straightforward structure.

Posted on 22nd Sep 2021