In the Blink of an Eye

viejo relojFirst published August 7, 2008

How long do we have to convey our key messages to prospective customers as they cruise through our websites? Not long at all judging from some of the analytics results I've seen on various websites. So what are the industry norms for this metric? It's logical that different industries would have different metrics, don't you agree?In the magazine business, we used to have the "10-second rule" which was about the time it took a reader to scan a page, determine if there was anything of interest to read and turn the page to the next spread. I've heard that we have as little as 7 seconds per web screen to tell our story before the reader is off to the next click.

Michael Firsikov, Director of IT, VerkkoStadi Technologies Inc. has reviewed the metrics for the large social networking site he manages. As he shared this week in the Target Marketing Magazine webinar on email, Michael found that within 30 seconds, 48% of the audience is gone and within 40 seconds 63% are gone.The thing that made me sit up and take notice was his assertion that often "Your first impression is your last impression." It's probably safe to say that educators looking for solutions to their particular problems are willing to spend a bit more time scanning a website for kernels of help. It's probably true for most professionals in most markets. But since we may be talking about the difference of nano-seconds, we ignore the customer behavior above at our peril. Even though the examples are based on social consumer behavior, educators are consumers too.

So if our first impression is our last impression, what kind of impression are you making with your website?

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