You've Got 6 Seconds to Get Their Attention

brand identity brand strategy customer journey Sep 29, 2021

Is your website easily scannable?

Because in 6 seconds you need to answer these three questions for your visitor: 

  1. Who are you?
  2. What are you selling? 
  3. What’s the next step? 

People are looking for quick answers when they browse the web. 

Eye Tracking research shows that people scan web pages and phone screens in various patterns, one of them being the shape of the letter F.

Check out the heat map image and see how it illustrates what this F-Pattern looks like. 

The red parts are where people spent the most time looking and the purple parts the least.  

See the rough F-shape? 

  1. First, the top part shows a horizontal track that forms the top of the F.
  2. A little further down is the second horizontal track -  a shorter area than #1. 
  3. After that, the reader shoots down vertically, scanning on the left side of the content. 

Note that this is different from the way people would read a newspaper or magazine. 

Do you know why? Is it laziness? In a hurry? Or does it strain the eyes to read lots of text on a computer screen?


But here ‘s the real reason: 

People are looking for a specific answer to a question they have, and they don’t want to have to search the page for it. 

They will scan your content for that answer. If they do find something that gets their attention, then they will start to read more.

But - if they don’t find that answer quickly and easily they’ll leave, go back to the search engine, and try another link.

The solution?  Write scannable content!

  • Create bulleted lists. (like this 🤓 )
  • Give each point a subheading & its own paragraph
  • Use emotive content that's value-packed (terms that are searched for) in your subheadings
  • Write in 2-3 sentence paragraphs
  • Create plenty of white space to allow easy flow through the content
  • Highlight your key points in bold - people's eyes naturally look for content that stands out

You can see from this post that I use line breaks and short 1-2 sentence paragraphs to create the white space. This way you can scan this post and get the important points.

Don't write long paragraphs for this type of content.

No jargon or fancy marketing speak. 

Use simple language so that someone scanning the copy can easily pinpoint what they’re looking for without having to translate and struggle with your industry jargon or marketing speak.

Dumb it down so they can scan. They’ll remember you for that.

You can’t undo a first impression. 

Visitors to your website decide in about 50 milliseconds (1/10th of a second) whether they'll stay or leave!  

Keep everything clear and easy to navigate.  

Your website's purpose (and all digital content) is to deliver information as quickly and clearly as possible

Get your main point across in the first couple of paragraphs (the F-Pattern 👀 ) .

The point is that people only read 20% of content because they scan, and you probably didn’t even get this far, did you? 🤷‍♀️

Scan your own homepage - but JUST THE HEADINGS. Does your message get across through the headings and subheadings alone?  

I’m curious to see how much of this post you actually read. 😉

Did you scan it?

Please let me know in the comments. I won’t take it personal if you say you only read 20% 🙌🏽

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