In the previous article, we learned that in the first twentieth of a second, your viewers have – mostly subconsciously – decided whether or not to check your site out based soley on aesthetics – how nice it looks.
Now, in what remains of the first two seconds, your web page must convince the viewer to linger and actually read the content. You've gotten a "nibble", now you need to "set the hook"!
Depending on the layout of your website, this means the viewer will have only three or four images and headlines on which to make this decision and maybe only one or two. If other areas of the page also look interesting, they could have an effect, but it is your top-most articles that must convince the viewer to stay.
They can do this by clearly showing that information the visitor is seeking is available here. Or you might use techniques to arouse curiosity. Be careful with using curiosity and never try to trick your website guests. If you’re hinting that your page may hold certain information, then you must deliver on that promise.
Trust and sincerity will lead to new business and happy customers, but lose that trust and you've lost a customer.
To fulfill the criteria we’re talking about here, you have to understand your clientele and be able to put yourself in their shoes. How did they get this far? In other words, what search terms did they use and what is it they’re wanting? Your “hook” must have the right “bait”, and you have to really understand your who your website visitors are if you’re going to get “bites”.
In Steve Slaunwhite’s book, “The Everything Guide To Writing Copy”, he lists “The Top Ten Traits of Killer Copy” and these include a couple items relevant to our first two seconds –
- attention-grabbing headline that instantly resonates with your target market.
- clean and polished – free of typos
- compliments and plays off the graphic elements of the piece
(We’ll talk about the rest of his ten traits later in this series).
Note that there’s a lot going on here, and we’re only talking about the first two seconds!
To sum up, so far we’ve learned that we have only fifty-milliseconds – just one twentieth of a second for the overall appearance of our website to convince viewers that they should spend another 1 and 19/20th of a second to see if this web page might be what they’re looking for.
In the remaining milliseconds of those first two seconds, our page must have an attention-grabbing headlines that resonate; it must be clean and polished; it must compliment and play off the images on your web page, which means that those images must be chosen with care and while doing all this remember that it should all fit in with your branding.
And we can’t forget that your headlines and content must also be written in a way that will help your page rank well in the search engines.
Your websites search engine optimization, it’s marketing power and your company branding must be carefully crafted and intertwined to produce a well-tuned, effective website.
Our next section will take a deeper look at marketing techniques.
If you and your web professional don’t have time to study these issues that are so critical to your website’s success, you may want to talk with us and see how CompuSolver and Joomla can team up to help you build an effective website that you and your people will be able to update, maintain, update and even change designs or add powerful features to your website with ease.