How to gain your visitor’s attention in 10 seconds before they leave for good

According to the traffic analysis firm Chartbeat, which monitored the behavior of 2 billion website visits over the course of a month, 55% or more than half of your website visitors will spend less than 15 seconds actively on your page. This essentially means that you’ve got around 10-15 seconds to make the magic happen and grab your viewer’s attention before they grow tired of you and, well, leave for good.

On top of that a famous eye tracking test conducted by Jakob Nielsen way back in 2008 concluded that only about 20% of your content is actually read and the rest is either skipped completely or briefly scanned through.

The first few seconds matter the most

While this is probably bad news for the average online business owner, it also shows how important the first ten seconds really are, because if you gain your viewer’s interest within that time, the chances of your visitors interacting with your content and more importantly, ordering your products, will grow exponentially. But how exactly do you gain your viewer’s attention that quickly?

A picture is worth a thousand words

Over the past few years we’ve seen how many websites, especially news type article sites, stick a large header image on top of their content. After all, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words so it must work, right?

Well, in most cases it really works- especially if you aim to gain traffic from social networks because that same picture will be the first thing a person sees when they scroll through their news feed.

Interesting fact: most people who have shared your content on their Facebook wall, haven’t actually read your entire article(s). They just share for the sake of it.

A video is worth… a million words?

Anyone can mix together a simple header image in Photoshop and hope for their user’s increased interest, but it takes an animated video production professional to create a truly mesmerizing explainer video for you that has the ability to touch the soul of your visitor in a way which makes them remember you for weeks and months to come.

Distractions are everywhere

We all know that there’s a lot of stuff on the internet and over time we have learned to multitask and consume a bunch of information at the same time. For example, you could be reading this article and at the same time listening to a Youtube tutorial video while chatting with your coworkers about a restaurant downtown.

In this modern age it’s totally natural to be doing all this at once so it only makes sense that by sticking a short video on your page, which clearly explains what you are offering within a minute, will massively increase the number of your clients because nobody really has the time to read long boring walls of text any more.

But with a short and to-the-point explainer video, even if they don’t have the time to make a commitment right now, they’ll remember the video, the characters in the presentation and the catchy background music, etc.

Use bullet points and divide into sections

Since most people will scan your content and not read it, it’s advised to divide your article into smaller and more manageable bits.

Bullet points and subheadings are a great way of making your content easier to read and in case you didn’t know, using headings and subheadings the right way can increase your rankings within the search results as well. A win-win!

Increase your website loading speed

The statistics on Kissmetrics reveal that around 40% of your visitors will abandon your website should it take longer than 3 seconds to load and according to Google, a 2 second loading time should be the threshold for an average e-commerce website.

If your website is taking too long to load, the first step is to figure out what’s causing it.

The internet of tomorrow

We can already feel the internet moving towards an all video content mainly thanks to Youtube and compared to vlogging, blogging is a slowly withering niche that used to rule the world wide web back in the day.

When was the last time you actually read an article all the way through? Chances are you haven’t even made it this far.

While the internet is definitely changing, I can’t really say it’s changing towards something worse. On the contrary, watching videos and live video streams instead of reading is a much more pleasant way of gaining new information or simply having a great time.

The only really sad thing about it is that more often than not video content is too fast paced and leaves out valuable pieces of information which in turn make the whole experience rather dull and shallow. Something to think about if you’re a video producer.


Kissmetrics,, Nielsen Norman Group

Author: ynef

29 year old freelance writer and web developer. A technophile who appreciates and respects mother nature in all of its glory. Favorite skills in Runescape include Farming, Herblore and Magic.


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