A recent study conducted by Google found that people generally spend just 8 seconds on a website before clicking away.
Yes, we are the no patience, gotta have it now generation. If something doesn’t catch our attention RIGHT NOW, well then, we are outta there.
It’s a lot like dealing with my almost four year old. You have to reel people in quickly, because we are a society that does not have time to waste.
So is your website 8 seconds strong, or, hopefully, even stronger than that?
Can you grab a person’s attention within that crucial time period and make them stay where they are?
If not, you need to do some readjusting.
I wrote an article a few weeks ago about a website that had been created and, when I first looked at it, I found it to be very professional and a great idea.
A few months later, I read on a message board that I frequent that people were finding the website, well, unappealing, and that it looked a bit more like a place to pick up a date-and not the classy kind-than a place to do some networking and business building.
Harsh, but true. Your website has to make a great first impression. Does yours?
How can you do this? First, lose the flash. Seriously, unless you are a big named company you should not have an entire site developed in flash. For one thing, no one is going to find you since flash content can’t be picked up in search engines, and secondly, unless you are twelve, staring at a bunch of blinking lights and blaring colors is likely to make you sick rather than make you feel like spending money. A few flash elements, great. An entire flash site? Well, not so great.
Does the site convey what you sell? If you sell jewelry, are there photos right on the front page of your products? Are the photos clear? Have you had them professionally edited?
Does the site leave some white space? People don’t want to stare at a screen filled with text. If you don’t leave a little white space, which gives a person some time to digest what is being said, then chances are they will turn away before they can ever make out the meaning behind your site.
If you are concerned that your site is not conveying what you need it to convey to your purchasing audience, get some people to take a look and then take in the good, the bad and the horrific and change what needs to be changed. Don’t rely on friends, though, as they can sometimes be too kind (think about it-do they ever tell you that your butt looks fat in those jeans, even when you know, deep down, that it does?!)
Instead, post the link on some message boards, and then wear a thick mask when it comes time to reading what people have to say. Sometimes it won’t be so nice, but honestly, if you want to make your customer stay longer than 8 seconds, maybe it shouldn’t be.