We humans of the digital age pride ourselves on our intelligence. We have all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips; and can access almost all the information you could ever hope for. It’s just a shame that we have an eight-second attention span.
That’s right. Eight seconds. Rounded up!
People often land on your website or landing page, and within a blink of an eye, they have bounced off to another website. That might have cost you a click. It probably cost you a sale.
What you want is something to make them stay awhile.
Something to hold their wayward gaze.
Here are just a few ideas.
First, how fast is your website loading?
It might not be your content or your design that is losing your audience. In fact, it might not even get that far. You’re never going to beat that eight-second attention span if the first seven are taken up by a lot of whirring and blinking.
The speed at which your site loads could be your biggest contributing factor to page abandonment. So, before you begin to optimise the text and imagery of your website, it might be worth testing your page’s load speed. If your results are higher than preferable, then you might want to pay attention to the following elements:
- Reduce server response times;
- Condense images and video;
- Enable browser caching;
- Minimise redirects;
Get to the point
Let’s be honest. In life, especially on a workday, few people have time for a Tolkienian preamble. And as much as the Game of Thrones fans among us might love a distracting side plot, that isn’t going to be successful on your website.
When you’re marketing to an audience that suffers from a collective attention deficiency, wasting time will be a bad idea. A long-winded salad of adjectives is going to do nothing than be the most impressive thing nobody ever read.
Clarify your intentions immediately.
From the first word you write.
Sorry, can you repeat that, please?
Have you ever heard of the rule of seven? It is important to pay heed to.
Essentially, in a nutshell, is that if your copy has something important to say, then it should be repeated at least seven times if you want it to sink in. That might seem to be difficult to do on a website when you are only working with an eight-second attention span.
But remember, a message doesn’t have to be delivered by text alone.
Can you slip it in a background video?
Perhaps an image can help hammer it home!
But make sure you repeat your message.
And make sure you repeat your message.
As often as you can!
Don’t forget your dual read
Some people know exactly what they are looking for. So, they look for keywords down the page they have jumped on. This is why headers and sub-headers are massively important. Your audience can read the website rapidly without having to spend too many of their waning brain cells focussing.
When formatting your website, make sure that the important elements of your message are bold. You don’t want to have your visitors wasting their eight-second attention span scanning and searching for something you could have made obvious.
And, make sure it looks good
It should stand to reason that a big part of getting people to stay awhile on your website is down to how your website looks. If you’re using garish colours that clash and hurt the eyes, your website is going to be uncomfortable to stay on for the entirety of their eight-second attention span.
On the other hand, dull or lifeless graphics could make you look amateurish. And, if you don’t look like you have put the effort into your website, what will convince your visitor that they will be treated with any more care and attention.
Spend a good amount of time making your website look good.
Did you get all that? Or did I lose after the first eight seconds?
One of the things to remember is that a website is never finished. We never used to have an eight-second attention span, and the parameters at some point will change. So maybe the bonus suggestion is to keep trying new things.
Something will work. Something will stick.
If you have anything to add or any questions please leave your comments below.