The Rule Of Three

They say you never have a second chance to make a good first impression. On the web, first impressions are especially important. If you don’t impress the visitor right away, they’ll leave your site before you have a chance to convert them into a customer. A good rule of thumb for a website is the 3-30-3 rule. You have three seconds to make a first impression. If they stay for three seconds, you have thirty seconds to give them what they came to the site for. If they stay for 30 seconds, the visitor is engaged with the site, and an engaged user is more likely to stay for a longer period of time on the site. If your visitor stays on your site for 3 minutes or more, they are more likely to share your content with others and become a valued customer.

To see if your website meets the 3-30-3 rule, try this: visit a site other than your own and count off three seconds: 1… 2… 3… That’s all the time your website has to make an impression. If that website fails to make a positive impression in these three seconds, the visitor will leave the site, along with any chance of them becoming a valued customer.

How do you get someone to stay more than 3 seconds? First, ensure your site looks credible. People have been conditioned to be wary of sites that look outdated. They may think the site is spam or an imposter site and will leave very quickly. A good rule of thumb is that if your site looks more than 3 years old, it should be refreshed, so it does not look outdated. Not only will a fresh design ensure new visitors they are in the correct place, it will also re-engage returning visitors and keep your site active.

Once your site has made a positive impression and has the visitor’s attention, it’s time to capitalize. You’ll have 30 seconds to get them what they want before they look elsewhere. A well-planned design can help users find what they need and more. A clean site that is easy to navigate is key to getting your users where they need to be to find the content they want. Analytics are a great tool that will help you determine what your users are most interested in and what they are looking for. Knowing what your users are interested in will help you refine your site to better serve their needs.

Now that the user has what they came for, your ultimate goal is to engage them on the site and serve them more content they might be interested in. In today’s world, 3 minutes is a lifetime. If you can get someone to spend 3 minutes exploring your site, they are more likely to engage, reach out and do something. One way to engage more users is to offer value added services, such as a blog with industry news and opinions, helpful tips, or how-to articles. Multimedia, such as video or photo galleries, drive user engagement more than static content, so be sure to incorporate multimedia in your content.

In the age of instant access, hundreds of sites are offering the same information, so your site needs to assure users they are in the right place, grab their attention, give them what they came for, and encourage them to interact further. Designing sites and planning content around the 3-30-3 rule can increase interaction on your site, and increase conversion rates. Give your site the 3-30-3 test today, and if it doesn’t pass, fatrabbit CREATIVE can help!

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