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Creating informational content is tough. And, in the social media age, it’s easy to neglect your website for any sparkly new platform that catches your eye. But for many time constrained comms teams, your website is your bread and butter, and your webpages the meaty filling that support your goals.

by Hayat Rachi

Today, we’re drawing on our unique insights into content performance to analyse top performing webpages across a diverse range of sectors to get under the skin of what makes a webpage great, and how this success can be mirrored by anyone – yes, even you. Grab a coffee, settle in and get to know the 6 top things that great webpages have in common.

How do you measure webpage success?

First things first, let’s talk about the measurements that we’ll be using to determine the success or failure of a webpage and the content within it. There are many metrics that webpage success can be measured against; traffic, bounce rate, shares, read time. But, in this piece, we’ll be primarily digging into customer satisfaction score (CSAT) to determine which webpages have succeeded in their goal to satisfy readers.

Why? Traffic and bounce rates are often perceived as vanity metrics that do a good job of pulling out quantitative measurements whilst revealing nothing about the qualitative performance of your work. In other words, just because a reader lands on your page doesn’t mean they’re always happy about what they’ve landed on.

CSAT can be measured by using customer satisfaction surveys that target customers with very specific questions such as “Did you find the information you were looking for?” or “Was this article helpful to you?”. The more positive responses, the higher your CSAT score will be. CSAT can also be gathered from feedback widgets, feedback tools used in-site or in-app or email surveys. In this case, we believe CSAT to be the strongest marker of a webpage’s success in achieving its goal to satisfy audience needs.

What do successful webpages have in common?

To find this out, we delved into the webpages of a diverse range of organisations to see what their webpages with the highest CSAT score had in common. In total, we analysed the commonalities between:

–     Over 70 unique pages

–     Across 35 organisations

–     All with a CSAT score of at least 80%, with most reaching 100% customer satisfaction

Read on to see what our comparison uncovered and to learn the 6 things that all great webpages have in common.

1.  Accessible and readable content

Accessibility reigns supreme in the race for webpage success, with 98% of our page-specific research presenting accessible content that scored high for readability. Every page with an overwhelmingly positive CSAT score used correct grammar, clear language, common words and ensured the content was easy to read by providing sufficient contrast between foreground text and background. Although not all of the pages were completely WCAG compliant – with some missing text alternatives for non-text content – it’s evident that the creators prioritised making the content readable. Great job, communicators.

2.  Simple navigation and layout

Pulling up in second place is the need for simple navigation and layout to guarantee webpage success. 93% of our surveyed pages enabled a user-friendly service with seamless navigation and a logical layout to guide readers through the page with ease. Keeping the design simple, with plenty of white space and consistent alignment has obviously achieved customer satisfaction success for the majority of the organisations that we delved into. Being a plain Jane is the way to go for webpages.

3.  Consistent messaging and strong branding

And taking home the bronze medal, we have consistent messaging and strong branding, with 84% of the pages we analysed anchoring their content in messaging that was consistent with their organisational tone and voice. These pages also worked to integrate their organisational branding into their successful webpages, with company colours weaved throughout. Consistent messaging and branding are crucial to securing trust with your readers and shouldn’t be underestimated when seeking webpage success. Get that brand playbook nailed, people!

4.  Optimised images and graphics

Here’s where things get interesting. 42% of the pages we dug into featured images, proving that images aren’t always necessary to satisfy your readers. In fact, interrupting informational content with irrelevant images could be distracting from the focus of the piece. However, we can’t advocate enough for optimising your images, ensuring that they are compressed, high quality and relevant to your content. And, for extra accessibility points, ensure that those images have alt text attached. You’ll thank us later.

5.  Unique factors like embedded tools, audio and video

If only 23% of the pages we examined featured unique factors like tools, audio and video, why are we including it in this list? Well, because the 23% that did add some extra zing into their pages via these unique elements really stood out. Providing extra value to your reader, via an embedded tool that they can interact with, or audio-visual elements that enhance accessibility, means that your reader is more likely to be engaged and spend longer on your page. If it’s within your remit to do so, adding these extra features will highlight how much you care about your audience’s experience on your page. We know how much you care, time to prove it to your readers.

6.  Evergreen content

Finally, let’s linger on the importance of being evergreen for a minute. Among React & Share’s customers, the average evergreen article has more than 5000 as many viewers as others. By writing content that will always be relevant, rather than simply reactive pieces that are likely to be outdated the minute you press publish, you are going to build a successful website full of useful information that contributes to a loyal audience and accelerates public confidence. Trust us, we’ve seen the results.

Check out this example of a React & Share dashboard below from one of our healthcare customers. The leaf icon indicates whether a webpage features evergreen content or not:

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Why should I follow this advice?

Good question. Very good question. By integrating some of these elements into your webpages, you are likely to achieve higher customer satisfaction. And higher customer satisfaction can demonstrate, alongside other metrics, your capacity to excel within your role.

Of course, we want readers to be satisfied with the content on our webpages. But we also want our work to be appreciated internally. Embracing these tips will enable you to smash through your content goals and prove the worth of your efforts to your board, your executive team and your colleagues. After all, who doesn’t want to be recognised for a job well done?  

Have we missed anything? Feel free to get in touch with us @reactandshare and let us know if you have any other tips for webpage success!


If you’re ready to take your informational content to the next level and start paying attention to the measurements that really matter, book a free content consultation with one of our experts here.

Hayat Rachi is chief marketing officer at React and Share. You can say hello on Twitter at @HayatRach


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Image via React and Share

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