What Makes a Website Successful?

Psychology of the online consumer, and how nonverbal communication can effect the success of a website

There are many factors that make a website successful. However, if you ask random people on the street (people who are not interactive marketing experts) what website's are successful? They may tell you YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. And they would be correct. However, they could not go any deeper on the subject other than they are popular and this is what led me to publish this research on non-verbal communication and the affect is has on the success of a website.

Did you know:

  • 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. In daily terms, that is 28,800 hours and annually that is 10,512,000 hours of uploaded video.
  • Facebook in terms of members would be the 4th most populated county in the world.
  • Twitter has 3,000,000 tweets every day or 1,095,000,000 annually.

Now that we established some statistics we need to answer the following question. What makes these website's so popular? Is it the content, layout, design elements, or ease of use for the non-geek to reach the world? What if it was a mixture of all the above? For starters, we know that from all the analytic data that we collect in consort with behavioral analysis research; our attention span is extremely short when it comes to reading online. It has been statistically proven that we read information differently online in comparison to print.

  • 79% of people scan online text and stop when they see something interesting.
  • Only 16% of people read online articles word for word.

Nonverbal communication and why it is so important to website development and marketing:

  • Only 7% of communication is verbal while 93% of communication is non-verbal or in other words, visual.

Online video enables us to hear tone and pitch, and see posture, gestures, and micro-expressions on the face. Webpage copy is also a huge part of the visual because we look at it to read. It comes down to where the copy placed on the page and how much and what colors and fonts are being used for the text. There are also static graphical elements (pictures) that also distribute signals in the form of posture, micro-expression and gestures. When this is all tied together we have a surplus of communication signals that are presented. The job of the interactive marketing expert is to find a way to target the users senses and lead them down a short path and have them take a desired action once on the website.

Successful website's were not just randomly put together. They are strategically designed pages to be user friendly that produce an outcome that was designed with one thing in mind – conversion (sales). Whether it is getting someone to use or buy your product, view content, or play a game; it is all about conversion.

We inundated with ads from the time we wake up in the morning to the radio, watching television, driving to work, and surfing the Internet. The fact is ads are everywhere and we all know that and we have become accustomed to tuning them out. With all the noise, we have to think about how to get the attention of the customer. First, we need to understand that a webpage has less than 5 milliseconds to get a point across before the human brain makes a decision whether to trust the website or not; this is long before we actually realize our own thoughts. This has everything to do with how the website is put together. Once we determine whom the audience is, we can build a website and market to the intended audience. The bottom line is that it is in your best interest to have a company who understands this information and more importantly, one who can put it to work for to help your business initiatives do what they are supposed to – make conversions.

For more details on this research please feel free to contact us.


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