Stop to Smell the Information Scent

When a user clicks on a Google search link to your attorney website, they get their first "scent" of what exactly they want -- that hopefully you are able to provide. Now a scent, or an "information scent," is the predictability a user has while they click through a certain path on your website. The better the predictability, the better the scent. 

Two Questions

When a user is clicking through your site, they have two questions:

  1. What can I expect to gain following this path?
  2. What is the likely cost to reach my destination?

A good way to make sure they do not lose the scent is to provide visual and textual cues. Provide something in your design that they can instantly see and know they have either found what they were looking for or are on the right path.

More than 3 Clicks

This is okay! It was thought that a user would not stay longer than 3-clicks worth, but (as long as they know they are getting closer to their goal) the user will keep clicking. This means they are digging deeper into your website, and this equals a longer stay on your website. The longer the stay, the better statistics you will receive with Google Analytics or any other analysis program you use.

How to Provide Scent

Instead of starting from your homepage, design from your content page and go out from there. Ask yourself which pages the users need to be absorbed in from. This is called building from a scent-based perspective. Basically, see your website through your user's eyes.

Test out your site to see if you are providing a good scent trail, or if your users are getting lost along the way. Watch others use your site, and see if they click on the back button or search the site for themselves.  Provide your users with a strong scent, and this will convert their visit into a long stay and hopefully into loyal clients.

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