You have less than 59 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention. This is based on Nielsen Norman Group‘s claim that most users stay on a website for less than 59 seconds. Bottom line is, if you don’t get your visitor’s attention in this time, then they are going to leave your site.

So how do you avoid them leaving your website? Quite simply – you need to get their attention!

A few golden rules apply;

Be upfront about what your website is

You need to be clear about what your website is, and what it offers – your business, product and/or services. If it isn’t what the user was expecting, they will leave. And that’s OK, because you want people who WANT to see your website and what you have to offer.

website user experience

This extends not just to the first content that the user sees when visiting the website, but content throughout the site and also the relevance of the domain name!

Clear and easy navigation

The KISS principle applies here. Keep it Simple Silly [insert alternate S word here if you so choose!].

With the never-ending push for search engine ranking, websites have become increasingly crammed with information. This often makes the user journey incredibly difficult and there is simply too much information, overwhelming and confusing the visitor.

Giving your user just a few options as to where to go, or what to do – helps them on their journey without overwhelming them. Effectively you are guiding their journey through your website, with the ultimate aim of getting them to convert.

Online trust and social proof

Online trust is not something you can just create with the click of your fingers. Visitors will not only view your website, but they will critically analyse it for signs that something about you is “dodgy” or suspect. They might not even realise they are doing it, but suspicion is common in the digital landscape.

As a result, it is critical to be upfront about your legitimacy and honest intentions. Whilst this might seem straight forward, there are a few key items here that can help:

  1. Third party validation – this could be in the form of memberships and/or accreditations, testimonials or “Verfied” labels from third parties like Paypal, Visa, reputable hosting and anti-virus organisations, and the like.
  2. Social Media – a live connection to social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter shows that you are in the public arena beyond just a website. It also shows how active you are in your business.
  3. Keep contact details clearly visible – make it easy for visitors to get help, it doesn’t have to be phone numbers or email addresses, but allowing visitors to see how they can contact you helps them to identify that you are accessible and therefore more likely to be trustworthy.

online trust and social proof

So remember, 59 seconds is all you have.

Make the most of it – it really is a very short amount of time!