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4 Seconds: That's All You Have

     A while ago I said that you have only 15 seconds to capture your visitors' attention. Unfortunately, things got worse: you don't have these 15 seconds, today.

Recent Study

     According to a study conducted by Harald Weinreich et al. of the University of Hamburg in Germany, today's internet users stay on a web page for less than 4 seconds most of the time. This means that you have only 4 seconds to convince your visitors to stay on your site. Otherwise, the effort you spent to attract the visitors to your site in the first place will have been in vain. Choosing the right page design, including wording of headers, font types, color schemes, etc., has never been more important.


     Generally, images should be avoided, but since (as they say) a picture is worth a thousand words, images can be useful for attracting user attention, as long as they are clear representations such as images of your products or figures that will help readers to understand your content. Definitely, your company's logo will not help. The quality of the images is also important; low-quality images give visitors the impression that the site is not worth surfing.


     You might wonder if the first 4 seconds of a video will make visitors stay. It will not. Web surfers who only stay for 4 seconds will not play the video. First, convince them to stay your site. Then, encourage visitors to play video if the video will help you to sell your products or to accomplish your site's objectives.


     One thing needs to be clarified. You do not need to make web pages that can be completely viewed in 4 seconds. Rather, you need to make web pages that convince readers to stay at your site within 4 seconds. Once they decide to stay longer than the 4 seconds, you will have lots of time to convince them to buy your products.

© January, 2009