Online Marketing – Part 1: The 8 Second Rule.
“Online” has been a buzzword in marketing for such a long time now that it’s no longer new news. With exciting sites launching all the time that promise vast audiences, heightened customer engagement and cutting edge technology, it’s easy to get drawn into the hype.
Yet there’s no denying that online marketing is an integral part of the modern world. Most companies now have websites, and many invest in some advertising and social media presence. But how do you know you’re doing it right? To give you a hand (and this is free, there are no hidden charges!) we at Spirus have put together our top tips for effective online marketing. We won’t cover them all in one blog; even our most loyal readers would draw the line there. Instead, we’ll cover one area each time in a short series of posts.
So here’s our first. It’s called The 8 Second Rule.
How long do you spend on a new website before making up your mind whether to stay on it or click off somewhere else?
Well, according to a lot of research by people much cleverer than us, it’s 8 seconds.
That’s not very long, is it?
The research says that the vast majority of online browsers make up their minds about a new website within 8 short seconds. So how can you achieve immediate impact?
- Encourage the visitor to stay on your website and keep browsing. Offer something of a value up front, i.e. short video or animation, white paper, informative article. Creating valuable content is crucial!
- Have a clear message. Know what you want to get across, and say it, as clearly as possible.
- Be concise.
- Embrace space – don’t clutter your site with garish graphics and blaring audio. Use the space to create a clean, uncluttered site so nothing gets in the way of your core message.
- Speed up. If your site takes a long time to load, many won’t bother waiting around. Obviously you don’t always have control over this but ensuring it’s set up for optimum speed will help.
- Be consistent – make sure your key message appears on all your pages. You don’t know where your traffic will come from. Not everyone arrives at the home page (more on this in another blog).
- Don’t oversell. No-one wants to be slapped in the face by an oily sales person as soon as they stumble upon your website. Give it time – more on this to follow too!
- Give direction. Use a call to action, make sure you get your service or product seen, and let your audience know what to do next. Don’t make them work for it.
- Be pretty. We know, that sounds very shallow. But if your website looks lovely, is clear and has a strong message, it will make a better impression than one that looks like your dad cobbled it together for the family Christmas newsletter. (No offence, dad. I *love* your newsletters)
Well no, it’s not, but it’s vitally important that you get it right. People’s attention is fleeting, and never more so than in today’s instant gratification era, so you can’t afford to lose it.
Of course we practice what we preach and our website is currently undergoing and overhaul. Keep coming back to check out on the progress and watch how it develops.