In episode 30 of the Paywall Podcast, Pete Ericson talks with Tyler Channel about how publisher websites may be annoying readers without them realizing it. He explains that publishers often redesign their sites and add features without considering how these changes will affect the user experience. As a result, many websites are difficult to navigate and use, causing frustration for readers who just want a smooth content experience.
Website clutter is something that we all deal with. Our publications change, and we add new functions – We add new features, we add new ads, we add all sorts of new things. This episode is about stepping back to take a look at what we’re actually doing to the reader experience. Watch this episode now or join our Paywall Podcast so you never miss an episode.
Seven things you can do to make your website more reader-friendly.
•The goal is to get people to register for free on the website so that their email address can be captured.
• The newsletter will be used to bring people back to the website and convert them into paid subscribers.
• A premium experience needs to be offered in order for people to want to pay for content.
•Pop-up ads are a necessary evil for website revenue, though they are annoying to users.
• Ads must be clicked on a thousand times to make up for the monetarily value of a paid subscription.
•Subscriptions can be promoted in your ad zones to generate revenue faster than traditional banner ads, with less effort.
• The value of subscriptions is high when people click on ads and go right to subscribing.
•Popups and slide-ins can be intrusive and overwhelming for users.
• Ads should be integrated into the content in a way that doesn’t require constant closing.
Too many subscription choices
•Subscription cards can be overwhelming for publishers with many products.
• The New York Times uses a single subscription plan, giving the appearance of having only one product.
•Promote 1 plan or display three cards maximum
• The most popular card should be in the middle and larger than the others
• Advertising should be removed
•The menu bar should be removed from the subscribe page in order to eliminate distractions and send people directly to what you’re trying to get them to do.
•The user should use a two column block layout on the registration page, with the subscription benefits in one column and the registration form in the other.
• This will help to sell subscriptions by providing a clear and concise overview of the benefits throughout the entire funnel.
The log-in experience
•Readers don’t know how to log in
• There should be a login link and a subscribe button that is visible in your menu
• If a user is logged in, the menu will change to show different options such as “my account” or a “subscribe button”.
• There is a free plugin called “User Menus” which can be installed to change the menu based on login state.
•Browser notifications are not as effective as other tools for reaching readers, such as email or app notifications.
• Browser notifications can be annoying and intrusive.
• If you’re thinking about using browser notifications, consider investing in an app instead. Or set up an SMS service. Or…
• Setting up iOS and Android apps for a publication is cheap at only $200 a month.
• The apps are integrated with WordPress and Leaky Paywall for better reader experience without annoying them.
Review your website on mobile
•It is important to check how your website looks on mobile, as this is where the majority of your audience will be viewing it.
• Make sure that all the content on your website is easily accessible and readable on mobile.
• Before making any changes to your website, such as purchasing a new theme, always check how it looks on mobile first.
The slower your website the lower your subscriber conversion rate
•The worst offender of annoying readers is a slow website.
• Slow websites send readers away and are caused by things like third party systems, ad networks, social media networks, and uncompressed images.
• You can speed up your site by talking to your hosting provider, implementing caching, compressing images, and getting a dedicated server.