How To Get Customers To Take Action: The 3 Second Rule

Making a good first impression occurs within three to five seconds at most. This statement is true of everything from initial opinions of someone you just met and also with websites. Internet users have remarkably high levels of impatience and ruthlessness regarding sites that do not deliver their expectations. Within a couple of seconds, just like the action of inhaling and exhaling, these visitors decide whether a specific website is either bad or good.

That means that your business website is under immense pressure to have an instant impact. The real challenge, therefore, once you have created an online presence for your business is to optimise your website to capture your visitor’s attention within a couple of seconds. Read on below to find out how to generate this critical interest and get visitors to convert into clients.

Above The Fold Origin & Purpose

The “above the fold” concept originated a long time ago before the internet. It is a strategy that was implemented by the newspaper industries to grab the attention of passers-by. The catchy headline or imagery was placed on the top half of the first page such that it was still visible even when folded.

the 3 second rule for websites "above the fold"

What are the most important elements needed “above the fold”?

Likewise, your “above the fold” content is what is visible the moment your site loads up. Anything that isn’t instantly visible and requires scrolling down is, therefore, below the fold.

Above the fold content is very important because it’s:

• What visitors see first
• What attracts attention
• Where web visitors spend most of their time

Here are some of the critical elements that must be included “above the fold” on your business website:

Unique Selling Point

This unique selling point (USP) refers to smoothing that differentiates your product from competitors, like highest quality, lowest cost or first ever item of its kind.

Your USP instantly shows your visitors what you are offering and how they will benefit through exploring deeper into your site.

“Explainer” copy

While your USP offers the visitors the initial orientation, it doesn’t explain the details. Hence, the need to add some brief “explainer” copy to describe what your service or product does.

Make it short and straightforward as the aim is to provide information while increasing interest.

Brand logo

Brand awareness and recognition are critical, particularly in the current business world where there are highly saturated industries.

Place your brand logo prominently above the fold as a way of letting all visitors know about your company. It is not only helpful in brand building over the long term but also helps to build credibility.

Easy Navigation

After seeing the USP and the accompanying explainer copy, your visitors now have a good idea about what you are offering.

At this stage, you have piqued their attention, and they are interested in learning more information. Hence, you must provide a simple navigation system that can be used to explore your website in a comfortable, streamlined manner.

Some websites will even have a “Start Here” section to give visitors an easy way of getting familiarised with the site. The importance of navigation is that it allows visitors to conveniently find what they want while enabling them to browse deeper into your website for getting sales conversions.

Contact Information

Most company websites do not have sufficient contact information. Meanwhile, more than 60% of people would like to see the contact information of vendors on their homepages.

People want the assurance that you are a genuine business and not one of the many scam artists who will steal their money.

Having comprehensive contact information listed above the fold helps to increase credibility and eases your audience’s minds once they reach your homepage.

The Call To Action (CTA)

The other critical element to place above the fold is the CTA. However, you must ensure you are not overwhelming your visitors with too many CTAs like signup forms, links to your products, etc.

Keep things simple and user-friendly by focusing on one call-to-action.

What Is Bounce Rate & Why Is It So Important?

Your business website exists for several primary reasons, including attracting, convincing and converting leads. The bounce rate refers to the percentage of web visitors who after landing on your page, decided to exit rather than browsing further.

If your business website has high bounce rates, then you are likely losing lots of leads, and it is worth investigating further. However, when the bounce rate is low, it means that your site is running smoothly and people are spending time navigating deeper into your website.

As you can see, your website’s bounce rate is critical when it comes to the 3-second rule and discussing how to keep visitors on your site for a more extended period. If a web user is engaged with your website and spends more than a minute on your site, they are likely to become a customer or share your offers or content with others.

Increasingly, thanks to the advancements in technology and social media, people now want to get real-time results. Likewise, your website should provide instant gratification to its visitors to minimise the bounce rate and increase the potential of making sales.

How To Find Out What Your Bounce Rate is?

Although bounce rates are different for various types of industries, it is always beneficial to reduce these rates across your website whenever possible. However, you have first to find out your current site metrics.

There are plenty of analytics suites available to measure website bounce rates, with Google Analytics being one of the best tools. It not only offers site-wide metrics but also a break down of every page so that you can see how all your web pages are performing.

google analytics

Additionally, you can also measure the bounce rate directly from your database if you are already logging clicks and page views. Remember that the optimal rate will depend on various factors including the business type, brand awareness, pricing, competitors and product type among others. The key is to measure this bounce rate based on historical data rather than comparing with other businesses or any other deceptive benchmarks.

The 3 Second Rule For Websites: Conclusion

With numerous sites likely offering similar information, your business website has a limited time to capture the user’s attention and give them exactly what they want while encouraging them to continue interacting further.

If you create or optimise your business site around the three-second rule, you will build trust in your website, reduce your bounce rate and see more extended site sessions along with more customers.

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