According to scientific studies that were widely reported on in the media last year, humans now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish (you can read about it in this article by Time magazine). After a mere eight seconds, humans start to lose concentration, while a goldfish can focus its attention for nine seconds. In the year 2000, the average human attention span was twelve seconds.
Interesting, but what does this have to do with your website? A lot, actually. When someone gets to your website, you have a very brief window of time to capture their attention. The home page of your website is the online version of the highway billboard, where you have just seconds to capture the viewer’s attention before they speed past. If you don’t make an impact immediately, you’ve lost them.
Even though site selectors are detail oriented, if your website is cluttered like a bulletin board and your key benefits are not immediately apparent, you’re likely losing a significant percentage of your target audience. It’s imperative for your website to quickly and succinctly give the user a sense of who you are, where you are, and how your region and services can solve your visitor’s problem. Here are some tips for capturing your audience’s attention before they speed off down the information superhighway to one of your competitors’ websites.
- Your home page should lead off with your logo and high-quality photography that accurately represents your region and services in a memorable way. Instead of a text-intensive opening paragraph, grab the viewer’s attention with a few words or brief phrase that encapsulates what’s to come.
- Content should be scannable and easy to digest. Use short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and illustrations to make it quick and easy to find key information. Use photos to add punch and further reinforce your message. Photos of your workforce in action, sites and buildings, and your unique quality of life clearly portrayed are particularly impactful.
- Once you’ve captured and held your audience’s interest, then present “deep-dive” information that provides the additional details they’re seeking. This can be accomplished in various ways, including using video, accordion or tabbed content, or linking to dedicated pages with meaty detail, facts and figures.
- And finally, don’t be too clever. State what you mean and don’t force your audience to make inferences and assumptions. Millennials especially need directness for communication to be effective. Also, foreign customers may find it difficult to understand if colloquialisms are used.
If you’re having trouble assessing the effectiveness of your website, or if you know you need a redesign but aren’t sure where to start, give us a call. We know how to make your website speak to your target audience(s). The Ady Advantage team can audit your website, identify areas for improvement, and help you implement any needed changes. And if you need a whole new website, with content, photography, infographics, and integrated branding, we can do that, too. Contact Janet Ady to learn more at 608-663-9218.