You’re walking through the mall (perhaps looking for something specific, but maybe not). You come across a compelling storefront with a nice green tie in the window. You decide to pop your head in and take a quick walk around. As you walk around, your experience is great. You are not harassed by a sales associate, the store is neat and tidy and you are drawn all around the store and finally find that table of green ties. You commit and buy one.
This good old retail rule applies much the same to websites:
1) Grab Their Attention
Compelling graphic design and a professional look and feel makes all the difference in the next step of actually getting someone to commit to come dig in deeper and spend the next 30 seconds. You have 3 seconds to catch their attention and make them find something that they want to click on. For this, Site Architecture and proper navigation is key.
2) Give Them Something Of Value
Have information of value to your target audience that draws them to spend the next 30 seconds finding some areas that they wan to commit to. Caution against putting too much fuzzy “about us” content front and centre. Give people calls to action that answer the things that they need.
3) Have Them Commit
If you’ve done the job of giving them something to chew on, your site visitors will spend another 3 minutes exploring through the site. This critical path and end result will lead to your goal on the website, whether that is making a call, donating now, making a purchase, posting a comment or more…
How do you know that the 3:30:3 rule is in effect on your website?
Check your Google Analytics reports. If your bounce rates are high, that is usually an indicator that people are not finding what it is that they need off of your homepage and some work may be required. In addition, check and see the average time spent on your site. It should be greater than 3 minutes.