Eight seconds. That’s about how long you have to capture a visitor’s attention. So if people can’t tell what you can do to help them within 8 seconds, they may go elsewhere, which isn’t great for your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) or bounce rate.
But what can you do to keep their attention? Here are a few things to consider.
1. Remember the F pattern
People typically read sites in an F pattern. This means site visitors will read horizontally up top, scan down a little on the left side of the screen until they see something interesting, read a little more horizontally, then scan the rest of the site.
2. Hook visitors above the fold
“Above the fold” was originally a term to describe the first half of a page, such as a newspaper. In the Digital Age, it’s referred to as the stuff people see on your homepage before scrolling down.
Since we tend to scan — not read — sites, it needs to be clear what you can do for your visitors before they scroll down.
Note: Mobile devices and PCs are likely to show different content above the fold, so you’ll want to check your site on both kinds of devices.
3. Apply a content marketing strategy
That’s not to say everything needs to be above the fold. Once your target audience starts exploring your site, you want to be sure you have high-quality content across your landing pages.
Posting new content at least once a month can help drive traffic and increase your number of page views. But I wouldn’t jump into posting without some kind of content strategy.
I recommend you consider launching a blog if you don’t already have one. If you don’t consider yourself a blogger, you can outsource your blogging needs.
After regularly posting great content on your blog, you could eventually repurpose a group of related posts into an ebook that you give away in exchange for contact information. You can then use the info you collect for your email marketing initiatives.
4. Use infographics
A picture is worth a thousand words. Marketers have been using pictures for millennia to reach the masses, and an infographic is just another way to do this. By combining text with pictures, infographics can teach users something you want them to know in an entertaining way.
Not all sites need to use these (as of this writing, mine doesn’t have any), but they’re still a useful tool to consider for future updates if you don’t already use them.
5. Avoid information overload
Let’s view your site through the lens of a real-world scenario.
If, as a business owner, a stranger asked you what your small business did, how much detail would you give them?
I’m guessing you would give them an overview, hitting just the most important parts. After all, you just met this person and you wouldn’t want them to lose interest in the conversation.
People don’t want to be overloaded with information the first time they visit your site. So if your site starts off with a lengthy paragraph about how great your company is, you may be doing yourself a disservice.
6. Conduct A/B testing
The catch-22 is that too much information upfront may overwhelm people but too little may not pique their interest. I recommend using A/B testing to solve this problem.
A/B testing, in this case, works by first trying out varying lengths of content above the fold. Then, using your site’s analytics software, compare the different versions of your web pages and see which version showed the best metrics.
Personally, I use Fathom Analytics to measure how well my clients are doing. It’s not free, but it respects website visitors’ privacy more so than Google Analytics.
7. Include a CTA
At the end of a great piece of content, you can add a clear call-to-action (CTA) that tells them precisely what you want them to do.
The CTA should be an actionable goal, such as following you on a social media channel such as LinkedIn, subscribing to your email list, registering for a webinar, or becoming a podcast subscriber.
And speaking of CTAs, I’ll close with mine…
If you’re interested in how to make your site more attention-grabbing, feel free to let me know.