Do You Have A 7 Second Website?

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I hope not.

On a recent search, that was the typical amount of time I spent on a website looking for information, decided it’s not there, and then clicked off to another website. Research supports that 7 seconds is the amount of time most people spend on a website before they click off to somewhere else when they don’t find the information they are looking for.

Websites Are Going Up Against Human Nature

With so many expert web designers out there, why is it so difficult to build a great website? In my opinion, too many focus on the technical stuff and not enough time on how people behave.

1. Humans are great at making split second decisions.

We process a lot of information in less than 7 seconds. We make snap decisions every second while driving and in meeting with coworkers.

If you’re not convinced, the next time you’re sitting at a coffee shop, look around at the people coming in and out. In less than 5 seconds, you’ve already sized up everyone. Just based on visual cues, you can make a split second decision on which strangers you feel comfortable chatting up over coffee.

The same thing happens with websites. In about 7 seconds, you’ve made a decision to stay longer or click off to another website.

2. Our eyes are trained to scan first

…And if we see something of interest, we’ll drill down to the details. Customers are looking for very specific information and a well designed website enables customers to find what they are looking for very quickly. Even the most patient customers are not going to spend more than a minute seeking out information on your website. It should be easy to find with a quick glance…Quick meaning less than 1 second.

3. We’re impatient, multi-tasking creatures

I can’t remember the last time I was in a meeting and there wasn’t at least one person checking their email, typing away on their computer, or interrupting the meeting to answer a call on the cell phone. Unfortunately, it’s just the way we live today. So don’t expect customers to be 100% focused on your website. Humans live for instant gratification, so you’ve got to hook them fast before they move on to another task.

What Makes A Website Sticky?

Knowing how people behave, you can build a website so potential customers will want to drill down deeper and not click off to another website in 7 seconds.

1. It’s all about your customer’s headache, not your own

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Why would anyone want to spend time on your website? You need to develop content from your Customer’s perspective. They have a headache and they’re willing to part with good money to make that headache go away. So focus on relevant content and offers that solve your customers problems.

2. You’re ugly

Your website, that is. You need to serve up the right balance of white space, text, graphics, and audio/video wizardry for your website to be effective. Design a website that is easy on the eyes. Too much text is hard on the eyes and too much flash can drive one’s patience.

3. Intuitive Menus and Navigation

If your visitors can’t find the information they’re looking for on the current webpage, you need to ensure that your menus and navigation are intuitive to lead them to the information they’re looking for.

Bottom Line

If you’ve spent a lot of money on SEO or paid ads to drive customers to your website, make sure they stay more than 7 seconds. You may only get one chance to hook customers to your website. I hope these suggestions spark ideas for you to build a better and sticky website.