10 May 12 5:04 pm
Sorry if I repeat anything someone else wrote - didn't want to bias my thinking by reading the other posts yet.UVP:
First thing I note is the UVP situation (Unique Value Proposition: "Why should I take the action you want and why not from your competition instead of you").
The clear and quick expression of your UVP should be the page's "Job One". I think your UVP is "Helping You Build Your Success One Block at a Time". But this is about your site and your site's "mission" isn't it? Not so much about what the a visitor gets from you, as I think it should be. The UVP viewpoint should be that of the visitor and should resonate with what they are thinking as a result of how they got there. So, I think you need to work on your UVP some.Visual Eye Path:
Now the visual eye path. First I see 3 child's blocks and your eye contact portrait photo - about equally strong, then the site title in those primary colors, then the stacks of blocks in the right column. In other words, you immediately divert my my eye path around your UVP statement, making it somewhat invisible.
And the eye path "forks" downward to equally strong left and right sidebars, diverging around that important top text (which should be finishing the UVP and enticing the reader into the ad copy). Also, the yellow UVP is much weaker than the images and the page title, helping it to be less noticed. So there are problems with visual weight/emphasis.
Your photo: You have to handle full eye contact head/shoulders portrait images very carefully. They're like nitroglycerin - very powerful and will bring the eye path to a dead stop instantly, destroying progress through the sales process. Just because so many people feature strong eye contact head and shoulder shots doesn't make it a good thing to do.
I'd remove that pix, or move it below the fold or take a new pix with you looking toward your text. Why is it there? The site is not about you - although I understand that you want to "start a dialogue" with the visitor and be a "real person" and such - which is all to the good, I feel the sequencing and strength are wrong. Seems to me you need to introduce yourself later and not with so much visual strength as to distract from the ad copy and sales process.
The stack of blocks to the right (note above that those are so dominant that I thought there was a "right sidebar") with the post title is a cute idea, but is rather too strong - helping to make your text invisible. I'd make that image a lot smaller and on a pure white background, like the blocks in the masthead. And for the masthead itself, I'd make it smaller. It will be just as readable at a smaller size (since you made it so clean and effective - great job!) and you'll get more real estate above the fold to develop your sales process.
Another distracting image is the "Follow us" in the left sidebar. You already have the social buttons below the text. Isn't that enough?
I'd use a lighter brown background color for more readable text and less visual emphasis on those areas over your main column ad copy text.Text:
Then, visually, the "Welcome" text above your pix is equally strong Vs the more important post title. The title is good visually, the welcome needs to be toned way way down. Also repeating the welcome in the top text is redundant and irrelevant to developing the UVP and post title. The real meat of the text is in the 3rd paragraph. That needs to be the 1st paragraph, I think (remove the welcome and remove the question or make it the first line of the top paragraph).
That "You will find..." is an ideal place to use a bulleted list, further making your text "graphical", breaking it up from a "gray block" and competing better with the image elements. The numeric list is good, but I'd indent it too.
I'd also make my signature in italics with a long dash in front.
I like to use abreviations to make text sound more like speech. Like "you'll", not "you will", "you've come", not "you have come". Also, your text slips into passive voice a bit, like "Do you feel you have low self esteem?" should be "Do you have low self esteem?" (either they do or they don't - more direct and active).
In the email signup, why is the "we hate spam" statement repeated?
I see a lot of blue text. Shouldn't blue text be reserved for hyperlinks per web standards? Summary:
So the main thing I'm saying re the visuals is that you need to de-emphasize the images and emphasize the text more. The visual should "support" the text, not "take it over". So, the text needs to be a larger font, with bold headers and so forth, to turn it into more of a "graphics element" to better compete with the images for a bigger share of the eye path.
I'm thinking that you're a visual guy (like me), so you have to concentrate more on learning about writing engaging text and think about adding some discipline to spend more effort on the text. Images are great to magnify the impact of text, but text itself is the dominant and specific way of reaching the mind of the prospect - which is the only place sales happen.
Hopefully, emphasizing the text more, against the strong images and making it more engaging (more conversational, active voice, concise) will lower your bounce rate.
Of course we can't know how well the text you use to get people to your site matches what they see when they arrive, but I know you realize a high bounce rate could be caused by a mismatch between what visitors expect and what they get.
Hope that helps...