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The website 3-second test

By February 8, 2012 February 4th, 2019 2 Comments

If someone visits your website for the first time, looks around for three seconds and leaves, will they know exactly what you do? They should. We call this the 3-second test. You’re losing business if your website fails this critical, and somewhat obvious, test.

Here they are, there they go

I’ve said this before, but people have the attention span of a fruit fly. You can’t assume that they’re going to read every word of that carefully-crafted intro paragraph on your homepage. They won’t.

This is why most magazines and newspapers start with a headline. It’s the one thing they want you to know about that article. Then, after they grab your attention with that, the first paragraph is often in a bigger font to ease you into the main content. They do this because it works.

The same concept applies to your website. You need to hit the visitor over the head with a headline (sometimes called a hero statement). If they read just ONE thing, this should be it. Otherwise, you risk the chance of them leaving your site and going back to watching funny cat videos on YouTube.

What’s in a headline

A good headline is NOT “Welcome to our website” or “Superior service for 20 years.” That doesn’t say anything. Are you a garbage company or a financial services firm? We can’t tell by reading that headline.

A better headline would be something like “Real estate insurance solutions for landlords.” Boom! We know exactly what your company does.

Do you pass?

Take a look at your website. Does it pass the 3-second test?

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