One simple truth to improve your website design: according to Nielsen Online, Americans average 56 seconds on a webpage before they click off. You can find more details here. 56 seconds, that’s not much time on your precious webpage.
Here’s how to make that statistic work for you rather than against you:
1. Edit ruthlessly. You have to shorten your copy. I know, it’s really good and really important. But realistically–can it be read in less than 56 seconds? If your readers only learn one thing from that page, what will it be?
2. Design for scanning. Headlines are the key! Subheads help! (Exclamation marks aren’t necessary!) Mix sentence length–you need long and short sentences to keep your readers engaged in your copy.
3. Ask for a response. Ask your readers to do something when they make it to the end of the page. Contact you. Go to another page. Here’s an idea–take one of those massively long pages and chop it up into 3 or 4 pages.
5. Check your mileage. Your readers may spend may spend less or more time on your site. Check your analytics–how long are your readers staying? We’ve found that once people come to the Oneicity blog or our site they stay longer than we expected. But we mostly plan for short stays. If you violate the 56-second rule, at least know that you are and watch how your readers are reacting.
Check your website. Read a few pages. Time yourself. I suspect that you’ll be surprised at what you find.
And let me know about your habits on the web. Is 56 seconds long or short for you?
Oh, and don’t forget this is “Good Job Monday.” Take a minute and surprise someone by telling them they are important to you and specifically tell them how they make a difference. They’ll love it and you will, too.
(photo credits: fdecomite)