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Tips, resources, product reviews and general information relating to web design, web marketing, the latest trends and random thoughts from Keystrokes Design and Marketing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You've Only Got 30 Seconds or Twenty Words...

To do what? To get your message across to your web site visitors.

We would all like to think that our web sites contain such compelling information that users will stick around, browse, and really get into our material, but the brutal truth is, they won't. Statistics show that over 80% of your site's visitors will leave your site within 30 seconds of arriving. At first I didn't believe it, but then I looked at the web statistics for more than 20 sites I maintain/host, and yep, the stats tell the same story.

Additionally, did you know that you have twenty words to capture your visitors interest or they will be gone? Twenty. Your message needs to be short, sweet and to the point if you expect to keep them around.

Your site visitors are looking for information in quick, easy to digest bits. They want their information and they want it now. They don't read web pages the way they read books. According to Jakob Nielsen, they read web content using an F-shaped pattern - two quick horizontal passes and a vertical pass down the left.

So what's a web site owner to do? Look at your site with these thoughts in mind and play around with your content, layout and the way you present your information. It is often helpful to get the opinion of someone who does not have the emotional ties to the site as you do. Ask that independent third party if they can identify your site's product/service/message in 30 seconds or less. Can they glean the information they need in the first 20 words they come upon? Is your key information located in the "F-zone"? If so, great - you are on the right track. If not, make some changes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very helpful! I have a website that I'm going to ask for your review on if you wouldn't mind. I'll ask you over at the WAHM Forum. Thanks for the informative post!

6:05 PM


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