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Does Your Website Pass the "Blink Test"?

Posted by Casey Lewis on Thursday, January 29, 2015

Topics: Websites

website-passes-blink-testWhat can you do in 3-5 seconds? You can reread that question a couple of times. You can take a sip of your coffee or water. Maybe check your phone for texts (but not actually read any of them). It’s really not enough time to do anything substantial. But what if I told you that your window of opportunity for turning a website visitor into a lead lasts about 3-5 seconds? Seem a little bit daunting? Well, I’ve got bad news for you: it’s true.

When it comes to web design, there’s a good rule of thumb to follow called the “blink test.” It’s a fairly simple concept that refers to the 3-5 second period immediately after a person opens up your website. During that crucial little window, the visitor decides if your site is worth staying with or if they should move on to something else. They’ll give your site the once-over for a few seconds, and if it doesn’t keep their interest, you have probably lost them forever. No pressure!

So how do you ensure that your website passes the blink test? Here are a few tips to help you out.

Invest in the infrastructure

In today’s world we want everything, and we want it immediately. This is especially true online: the modern web surfer won’t put up with slow load times. Therefore, you need experienced web designers and quality servers to ensure you have a site that loads quickly. If your site takes 3-5 seconds to load, the visitor may not even get a look at it before they decide to move along.

Ensure cross-platform functionality

A huge portion of today’s web searches come from mobile devices – according to comScore, 60 percent of online traffic now comes from phones and tablets. Not having a site that is mobile friendly can cut you off from an enormous amount of potential leads. In fact, Google now uses your location and device information as part of its formula for providing search results; which means that if you aren’t optimized for mobile, your search results ranking will be negatively affected.

Emphasize simplicity and elegance vs. flashy and busy

There are many things that you can do with website design these days, like putting videos, Flash graphics and pop-ups all over your webpages. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Hire a professional design expert to create a clean, modern website for you, but emphasize simplicity over everything else. In the business world, your website should be one of your best sales tools, so ensure the customer never experiences confusion over how to get in touch with you or make a purchase.

Be clear about what your business does

Have you ever seen one of those commercials where the subject of the ad has absolutely nothing to do with the product? And after the commercial is over, you can’t even remember what they were trying to sell? That’s ineffective marketing, and you don’t want the same thing to happen with your website. Your homepage should always make it clear what you’re selling and/or the services you offer. As soon as a customer reaches the page, they should understand what your business is. Remember: confusion leads to frustration. And a frustrated visitor isn’t likely to stick around.

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