In marketing it’s hard to get attention.
Turns out, it may be even harder to sustain it.
Research shows that people visiting your website choose to stay or go in first 10 seconds. So first impressions definitely count.
Still here? Good.
I want to keep your attention so here’s a chart that shows just how steep the drop off is.
This research comes from the website of Jakob Nielsen, a prominent and respected web usability expert.
What it shows is just how fast people abandon web pages. The first ten seconds are crucial as the rate of abandonment is at its most rapid. That means the first 10 seconds on your website, web pages or blog are the most critical.
Not that you’re in the clear after that point. People still jump off rapidly for next 20 seconds. But it the rate of abandonment starts to taper off after 30 seconds.
So what does this mean?
Well, according to Nielsen, it means you need to make your value proposition – the whole reason a website visitor should stick around – clear and compelling from the start.
But there are other website optimization practices to consider if you want to engage your audience.
For one, people don’t really read on the Web. They scan.
As a visitor looks over your online content, they are making a quick decision on whether it will meet their research goals. You want to get to the point, fast. This is where keywords come in, as the reader tends to scan quickly in search of terms that indicate they’ve come to the right place.
Additionally, you want to keep your sentences short and sweet. The more verbose you are, the more daunting your content seems. So your attempts at being cute, if it sacrifices succinctness, may hurt you.
Bottom line: you don’t have a lot of time to make an impression. If keeping prospects around on your web pages is a priority, the first 10 seconds are crucial.