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Gone In 10 Seconds

Title:

Gone In 10 Seconds

Word Count:

817

Summary:

Introduction

Ten seconds doesnít seem like a lot, does it? But in ten seconds, you can dial a phone number, make a purchase, rinse out your coffee mug, or if youíre an Olympic athlete, run the 100-meter dash.

And if youíre a web surfer, it takes 10 seconds or less to decide if you want to stay on a website or leave. The first 10 seconds provides them with a glimpse of what your website holds. Itís your moment to grab and hook the userís attention with a great opening pa...

Keywords:

website content, website traffic, website conversion rates

Article Body:

Introduction

Ten seconds doesnít seem like a lot, does it? But in ten seconds, you can dial a phone number, make a purchase, rinse out your coffee mug, or if youíre an Olympic athlete, run the 100-meter dash.

And if youíre a web surfer, it takes 10 seconds or less to decide if you want to stay on a website or leave. The first 10 seconds provides them with a glimpse of what your website holds. Itís your moment to grab and hook the userís attention with a great opening paragraph or a dynamic image to go with a catchy headline. Take a minute to load up your website and really look at what you see in the first 10 seconds. Good? Bad? Maybe it needs a little work. What will you do with it? How can you make sure they stay after the 10 seconds? Check out some sure fire ways to get them to stay.

Content

Ah, content. Itís much talked about and here we are again. But content is strongly emphasized because itís so important. It needs to be exciting enough to grab the readersí attention, but short enough to pull them in instead of having to read a novella before finding out what youíre all about. Want to test out your content? It takes approximately 10 seconds to read 30-40 words, so basically, a short paragraph. Mock up a couple of paragraphs and test them out on other people. See how they grab others and hold their attention. Or if you have the tools, monitor how long people stay on your page before clicking away from there.

Use a lot of white space so the visitor is not confronted with a great wall of text. People scan rather than read, so provide some variation. Break up the text with some bolding or bulleted lists to draw attention to the most important information.

Give it curb appeal

In the real estate world, they call it curb appeal. For example, youíre driving down a residential street and you pass a house with aqua green doors and trim, and an army of garden gnomes dotting the dry yellow grass of the front lawn. I know my instinct is to cringe and step on the gas to pass this atrocity a little faster. Itís an instinct. We block things that are unpleasant by moving on quickly and looking for something better.

Give your website some curb appeal. Pull your visitors in and make them want to see more. You donít need to overload the page with graphics, but give the visitor something nice to look at, easy to navigate, and information that grabs their attention, and thatís 10 seconds well spent.

Visual display

Letís talk visuals. What keeps the visitor engaged beyond the 10 second rule? Well for starters:

ē Display your logo in a prominent place, such as the top of the page, so the visitor knows where theyíve landed.

ē Place your navigation in a predictable place, like either across the top or down the side of the page. Predictable may be boring, but users have come to anticipate finding the navigation in a certain area of the page. Give it to them, or risk having them become lost and confused.

ē Give them something good to look at, but donít bombard them with graphics and tons of high resolution images. If youíre going to use pictures, make sure they have a relationship with the page otherwise itís just a window covering.

ē Keep the color palette to a minimum. Fuchsia may seem like a good idea to you, but consider that the average visitor doesnít come to your site to be blinded by colors. By using two or three subtle colors theyíre able to get to what theyíve really come for, fast.

Navigation they can rely on

Use navigation they can rely on. Clear and identifiable links such as home, about, contact us are stable constants on most websites. Recently, I was on a website looking to buy a bracelet. They had a link titled Ďaccouterments.í I mean really, accouterments? Yeah, I was confused too. I hit their site after a web search expecting to find a quick and easy way to view and buy the bracelet, but instead, I didnít know where to look for it once I got there. Accouterments is just a fancy word for accessories, but I didnít bother to stay and find that out. If the visitor has to fumble around looking for a way to contact you, theyíll give up and high tail it out of there.

A few tips and youíve succeeded. Youíve grabbed the visitorís attention. Youíve met their expectations and made them comfortable. Now they want to settle in and dig a little deeper. Gone in 10 seconds? Not this time.