Does Your Website Follow the 3-Second Rule?
by James @HelpYard - View Comments
Web-surfers are a fickle lot:
Why? The web is a fantastic tool for finding out whatever you want, whenever you need to. Want to buy a product? You can find it listed for sale in multiple places instantly by searching on Google.
This is great for consumers, and great for business. But, this ease of access and choice of sites means that your visitors:
- make snap-decisions about sites as soon as they arrive
- skim/scan your text rather than read it
- decide whether to stay, or leave to go to another site within about 3-seconds of arriving
What can you do to make your visitors stick-around?
Tell them upfront what the page is about
Start top-left with a bold, short sentence (5 or 6 words) that tells your visitor what it is that you do, or how they will benefit from the page:
- 'The best X for doing Y'
- 'All the info you need on Z'
People read web pages in an 'F' shaped pattern. They start in the top left, sweep across, drop down a bit and sweep left-to-right again, finally sweeping their eyes down the left-hand side of the page to the bottom. All very boring, so why is this important to know?
Position your most important and persuasive content based on this pattern to make sure it's seen first
Use words that your customers would use - not industry jargon:
- a spade, rather than an earth relocation device
- try and get your point across in as few words as possible
- get to the point
- write for someone that's in a rush
- less words = more likely to be read
Make your text easy to 'scan'
When people scan a page they're looking for words and phrases that jump out at them for clues on what the page is about, it's quality, and whether it's relevant to what they're trying to find or do.
Help people scan by using easily-'scannable' text:
- use short sentences
- break up blocks of text with headlines and sub-headlines
- use bullet-points
Follow these tips and you will find that more people will stick around, and, if your site is doing it's job, become customers.
Good luck - be sure to leave a comment to let us know how you get on.