The message I've always hoped to convey to others is that the focus of a website should be to make a business more relevant within its respective market by helping site visitors accomplish their goals. It is my goal to help my clients present relevant and easy to digest information in a clean layout. I am less concerned about the "flash" of a website as I am with how we can best present the relevant content that visitors are asking for. Yes, we can encourage visitors to review particular content, but generally speaking visitors know why they are on your website so give them what they want.
Your Visitors Are Only Ingesting 18% of Your Web Content; At a 7th Grade Reading Level...
In an analysis of 45,237 page views, Neilson found that the typical web visitor reads only 18% of what is presented on a webpage. They are on your website to complete a task or meet a need. It might surprise some that the US National Library of Medicine suggests keeping online medical documents -- traditionally a fairly complex style of writing -- within a 7th to 8th grade reading range. To me this is all just more evidence that unless you are an enterprise-level company, overspending on a website generally won't return the profit web design companies would like you to believe. Spend those dollars on marketing and driving visitors to the relevant information presented on your website.
Your website visitors only need 3 things:
While your website visitors may not be spending much time ingesting your content, it is a critical piece of your marketing plan. A website remains the gold standard as a central location for visitors of all demographics to accomplish their goals. Not everybody has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, but everyone knows how to run an internet search. These days there are more marketing channels than ever (social media, apps, crowd-sourced local business review sites, blogs, affiliate ads, etc) for you to engage with customers. That is great news, however, it requires businesses to invest time and commit resources to manage them. Don't overinvest on a website, just ensure your information is relevant and share your website link on as many relevant places as possible for maximum value.