Three Second Marketing, Part Two: Websites

Posted by Lisa Smith on Oct 14, 2015 7:45:29 PM


 The amount of time spent building and designing a quality inbound marketing website can take up to several weeks or even several months, depending on the size of the site. Unfortunately, the time it takes for a potential lead to decide whether your website is worth their attention is three to five seconds. Their mouse will be practically hovering over their web browser’s back button! When building your company home page, it is important to consider what your audience will encounter in that very small window of time before making the decision to stick around or bail.  


Here are three essential web elements that will determine your audience behavior in those first three seconds:


  • Page loading time
  • Headline
  • Navigation  

No matter how sophisticated or functional the rest of your site is, those features will be completely irrelevant if your page loading time, headline, and site navigation are not properly utilized. Follow these important steps to ensure that your website passes the three second marketing test: 


1. Build web pages that load quickly

2. Include an informative headline

3. Provide easy navigation 


Build Web Pages that Load Quickly.

Let’s face it, we live in an impatient society. Since the dawn of social media, people expect to receive their information online at lightning speed. If someone has to wait three seconds or more for your homepage to load, it is safe to say you have missed your opportunity to convert that lead. Don’t let a potential lead go because of time wasted waiting for your page to load. website load delays are commonly caused by too many images, scripts, and multimedia on one page. Since a web user’s behavior is more likely to be affected by speed rather than appearance, it would be wise to limit your use in high-resolution photos, interactive graphics, and videos. By creating a cleaner, content driven home page, it will not only load faster, but provide an easy user experience for your audience. 


Include an Informative Web Page Headline. 

When someone lands on your web page, the first thing they will ask themselves is: “What’s in it for me?” If your page does not answer this question within the first three seconds they view it, that person will most likely go in search of another site that will. Instead of a simple, “Welcome to our website”, use your web page headline to communicate the benefits to the customer. Once the user knows what you can help them with and that the information your website has to offer can actually educate them, they might consider reading on. If you can’t possibly fit all your benefits into one headline, use one you know that the majority of your web traffic will be attracted to.


Provide Easy Navigation.

As you create your company website, one of the most important things to consider is the user experience. Your website’s navigation should be intuitive and easy to use for your potential customers. Easy-to-read navigation links are very beneficial in the first three seconds a person views the website. The user might not see what they are specifically looking for on the company’s home page, but if they see a link to a subpage that appears beneficial to them, you just bought yourself another three seconds! The links to your site’s sub-pages should be organized like a table of contents in a book. Not only will this give users and idea of where to go to find specific information, but they will learn about the other features the website provides. Some examples including adding page tabs at the top of the page, just above the headline, or a list on the side of the screen where the links are set apart from the homepage content.


Surviving the first three seconds a person views your company website is a huge step toward successful inbound marketing, but the battle has just begun. Keeping your potential customer’s attention goes beyond the homepage.  Your attention to web page load time, headline, and navigation should be consistent throughout the entire site. These are simple, but crucial web elements. Design your site to help form conversations and relationships with potential customers.



Topics: marketing