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You Have 8 Seconds to Engage a Visitor: Make Them Count

By Jeff Epstein

In the time it takes you to read this sentence, a potential sale may have already left your site.

Still here? Good choice—but you’re in the minority. Research shows that the average visitor to your site will leave within eight seconds. That’s not a lot of time to make a sale, but we’re here to help! There are a ton of best practices you can use to ensure that your customers remain on your website and make a purchase. Here are three of them:

1. Make a Good First Impression

You’ve probably heard the saying: Always make a good first impression. Well, it’s as true online as it is in the real world.

The first thing new visitors should see on your site is a call to action highlighting your brand’s value. Keep sentences short and to the point, and be sure you don’t bury engagement channels below the fold. Your website should always drive action to further engage with your brand. Include multiple ways to acquire visitors’ information and email addresses. Registration pages, social login buttons, or content download forms are great places to start.

Ultimately, an engaging design and well-optimized copy can do wonders for keeping visitors on your page longer, and it will also reflect your brand in a professional, positive light.

2. Keep It Simple

You have eight seconds to catch a viewer’s attention—seconds that shouldn’t be spent looking for a way to engage with your brand. Make sure your copy is laid out in a way that’s easy to follow. All relevant information should appear in bold letters and above the fold. Make sure sign-up forms are front and center, and use effective calls to action to loop in potential costumers.

Also use keywords that site visitors will understand. There’s a tendency for brands to focus heavily on SERP (search engine results page) rankings and not consider the fact that people outside the marketing industry are reading their landing pages. While industry terms such as SEO and acquisition channels may be familiar to a social media marketer, your average customer may not be so Internet savvy. When designing landing page copy, always keep your visitors in mind—not search engine programs.

Again, with only eight seconds to catch a customer’s attention, you don’t want visitors spending half that time looking for ways to engage online or trying to understand your message. Keep it short and sweet.

3. Be Valuable

If a customer stays on your site for longer than eight seconds, she’s probably interested in your brand. But a first-time visitor may not be ready to make a purchase just yet. She may be shopping around or just getting a feel for what’s out there. Given the massive amount of options that are available online, adding valuable content to the online conversation will keep customers returning to your site for tips and best practices, thereby cementing your brand as the go-to source for quality information.

And not only will they keep coming back, but they’re also likely to share content with friends and industry peers. Once you’ve established your brand as a thought leader, you’ll see a much higher engagement rate with new visitors.

Remember, it’s called Internet “surfing” for a reason: customers are quickly riding the massive ocean of the Internet. That means they’re not inclined to stop and read a page if you’re not enticing them to do so.

What makes you stay on a landing page?

Tags: B2C

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