A large majority of people spend more than four hours online for leisure every day, but changing consumer attitudes toward internet usage, as they search for ways to curb internet addiction, could cause this number to drop. In fact, more than one-third of people (37 percent) are already spending less than three hours of leisure time online daily, according to a new consumer survey by B2B ratings and reviews company Clutch—and as a result, half of website visitors say they will leave a website and never return if the content is irrelevant.

As websites and operating systems add new digital wellness integrations, businesses are competing for shrinking amounts of consumer attention, experts warn.

“Customers who might have come across your website in passing may not be there anymore,” said Jordan DeVries, UX director at BraveUX, a UX design company in Washington D.C., in a news release.

Incorporating the website features people find most useful can help companies stand out in a crowded field.

Today’s trend towards less screen time is challenging websites marketers to simplify

People want websites that are easy to navigate

Easy, intuitive navigation is the website feature people want most, according to Clutch’s survey data. Businesses should invest in functional navigation, according to 94 percent of people who say it’s the most important factor in how they judge a website.

The survey reveals that website users value easy navigation because it enables them to access content quickly. Some examples of functional navigation include a clearly structured toolbar, easy homepage access, and a clear search bar.

Businesses should invest in updating website design

Most people (83 percent) want to spend time on websites that have a beautiful and updated appearance. Eye-catching, trendy designs can attract audiences to a businesses’ content.

If a business has a limited budget for web design, experts suggest investing in a mix of evergreen and trending design elements.

An updated design in 2019 could mean a blend between trendy “flat” web design and more traditional “rich” design.

“Flat designs were missing well-established visual affordances for interactivity,” said Dan Burke, UX and product manager at Getfused, a full-service digital marketing agency in Boston, in the release. “Sacrificing accessibility for attractiveness is never a good trade-off.”

The report warns businesses not to sacrifice sleek design for usability. It also recommends making web design timeless to avoid costly redesign efforts.

Today’s trend towards less screen time is challenging websites marketers to simplify

Company blogs are valuable, but product descriptions and visuals matter more

Content is the top priority for people browsing online. Half of website users (50 percent) will leave a site permanently if the content is irrelevant.

Product descriptions and visuals are the second-most important content on a business website, according to the survey. Almost all survey respondents (91 percent) said they find product descriptions and visuals useful.

Short user attention spans challenge businesses to create high-quality blogs and other engaging long-form content for their websites. Half of survey respondents (50 percent) believe that company blogs are a useful website feature.

Nearly one-quarter of people surveyed (23 percent) find company blogs extremely useful, but 21 percent of people don’t find blogs useful at all.

Read the full report here.

Clutch surveyed 612 people from the U.S. who visit at least five websites a day.

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Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders.

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