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  • Stephen Colwell

Keeping Viewers on Your Site for More Than 10 Seconds

No matter the industry, whether you're selling products or services, everyone is looking for the same functions from their website:


  1. - Bring in New Business

  2. - Educate About Their Industry

  3. - Communicate with Current Clients/Customers


These are all critical tasks for your website to perform. Not noble, critical. If your website isn't achieving all three of these functions you have work to do. (Give me a call. I can help:)


For almost every business, the website's key function is to attract new customers. This means when someone new lands on your site you have to communicate immediately that the content is for them, and they should keep reading.


According to the Nielsen Norman Group internet users most often leave a webpage in 10-20 seconds. I've read other studies that say the average time spent on a page when searching for new information (a business, answer to a question) is six seconds! But the most important information Nielsen Norman shares in this study is that if you clearly communicate your value proposition in the first 10 seconds, you can easily gain several minutes of a user's time.

If you're selling millions of widgets, and you're the cheapest widget seller in the Midwest, your frontpage value proposition will be pretty easy to piece together. But how does someone who owns a small business with a lot of competition in the area set themselves apart? How does an insurance company, for instance, give a value proposition that will stand out of the crowd?


If you're not the cheapest widget dealer in the Midwest you have to figure out what it is that makes you worth listening to, then figure out how to communicate that message. Value is about much more than price. Convenience, relatability, experience, and personal relationship are all value-adds that often end up being buried in 'about me' pages, but these are important! Enough of the "We're better than them!" slogans. Tell me why you are valuable.


Most businesses have value, but too many of them have no idea how to pinpoint it.


Every website should have a one line statement on the homepage that quickly explains the business, who the business is for, and explain the value. I call this your company flag. This one-liner should be the first thing you see when you arrive at a new website.


Once you've determined what your company flag is, it should be the basis of everything you do. Your social media posts should be flavored by it. Every blog post should embody this essence. Every employee bio should feel like these very employees were hand-picked to fit the culture of the company and hold up this very company flag. Once you figure out who you are and start talking about it, selling becomes much easier.


Figure out who you are, raise that flag, and live by it. When every page of your website tells the same value story, people will stay.

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