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James Parnwell

James Parnwell

3 Tools To Keep People On Your Website Longer

Did you know that you only have 10 seconds to convince people to stay on your website? And that there are three psychological triggers you need to get them to stay. If you don’t fulfil these three things, they leave and visit your competitors. However, if you can convince them to stay, they stay much longer than the 10 seconds.

In this article, we will go over the three psychological triggers you can use to analyse your company’s website and point out the possible reasons people may not be staying on your website.

If you’re struggling to get people to stay on your website, here are three tools that could help you.
This article is based on our recent podcast – Digital Marketing That Puts People First

First Tool – The 10 Second Rule

The first tool is the 10 Second Rule. When potential clients click on your website, they look for signs that they’re in the right place. The decision to stay on your website or look for another website is made in about 10 seconds. If you have what they’re looking for, all they need is a quick scan of your site to see if you have what they’re searching for.

So, your home screen must be clear and scannable. It can be tempting to use some impressive or creative image or text to try and draw in clients, but if they can’t tell what you do in ten seconds, none of that matters. The first words they see are essential. For example, if the first words on your site are “Making the Most of Your Life”, there could be many ways to be interpreted. While it may be true for your company, ‘making life better for your client’ could be a fundamental part of your business. It is hard for a client to see what you do. You could be an investment banker or a life coach, a chiropractor or a travel agent and the statement “Making the Most of Your Life” could still be relevant. The first words need to say precisely what your company does. Try boiling down your business to 5 or 6 words that can quickly explain your business and what you do.

For example, the first word you see on our site ( is “Digital Marketing that Puts People First”. This helps us, in a short amount of time, get across two critical ideas. The first one is that we are digital marketers. So, if someone is looking for digital marketing, they’re in the right spot. The second idea is our core value, we put people first. So when someone looks at our website, they can instantly see who we are and what we do.

The other essential thing influencing people’s decisions in the first 10 seconds is the pictures or videos on your home page. While you may want to use beautiful or creative images, this can take away from the message you’re trying to convey to potential clients. Using relevant images for your business can help clients stay on your site longer. When choosing an image or video, ask yourself, “Does this help represent my business?” It’s helpful to have photos or videos of you or your team doing what you do. If you’re in the care and health industry, then pictures of you caring for someone can be beneficial, or if your business is in retail, photos of your staff in your shop can help show people more about your company.

It’s essential to include images of people, particularly faces. We, as humans, are subconsciously more likely to trust someone if we can see their face. The same goes for websites and businesses. Including images of people smiling or looking happy can help potential clients trust your company and decrease their chances of leaving your website.

If you incorporate these two thoughts, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice creativity but remember it is more important that potential clients know what you do than it is for them to like the design of your website. Be more creative in other places on your site but the home page, it’s important to be precise.

Second Tool – Think/Feel/Do Test

When a person looks at your website, they make decisions very quickly. Decisions on whether to trust your business, if you have what they’re looking for and if they want to work with you. These decisions can be broken down into three tests. Think test, Feel test and Do test.

Think Test

When a person looks at the main page of your website, what do they think your company does? It’s critical to get this message across quickly and clearly. It’s similar to a storefront. For example, if you want past a shop and are hungry, you see a sign saying, “Fish and Chips”. You think, “I’m hungry. Do I want fish and chips?”. Now think if that sign had said “Mike’s Ocean”, it may have still sold fish and chips, but it might take your brain a few extra seconds to realise that. These few seconds are essential when it comes to making a decision. Likewise, when a person comes to your site, you want to instantly answer the question, “what do these people do?”. It is a good idea to say exactly what you do and who you are on your website’s home page. That may feel strange but being clear and precise is essential.

Feel Test

There’s a good chance your website is the first a person sees of you and your company. So, it’s important to give a good first impression. The design of your website plays into this. Let’s use the same Fish and Chip example as before – if you’re in a fish and chip shop and the place is a little dirty, the menu signs are fading and peeling off the wall. The person behind the counter is being quite rude. In this instance, you’d probably walk out of the shop and find somewhere else to eat. The same is true for your website. If a person doesn’t feel they can trust your business, they find another one. I’m sure most of us have experienced this as a consumer, it’s so easier to hit the back button if we don’t like the website we’re on. That’s why the design of your website is so important, the design should feel enticing to the customer and easy to use to find information.

How someone feels about your website is vital. This is where design comes into play

Do Test

After a person has found your website, they realised you’re the right company and feel they can trust your business. What do they do next? This is an important question because it can turn a person into a client. This is when you need a call to action.

A call to action is precisely that. It’s the next step a person can take. This usually takes the form of a button saying, “Contact Us” or “Get A Quote” or “Buy Now”, etc. This step usually includes the first step in your sale process. For us, it’s a 5-minute quick chat, so we use “Book a Quick Chat”

There are also many other ways you can help a person take the following steps. For example, having a business phone number in the top right corner is an excellent way of helping people find the next step to working with your business. Or having an email contact available for when the phone number is unavailable. Incorporating different calls to action throughout your website ensures that customers have the most accessibility possible to engage with you.

Using the Think-Feel-Do test your ability to analyse your website, figure out if it’s clearly representing your business to people and design your site to help people stay on there for longer.

Third Tool – Clarity Test

The clarity test is exactly what it sounds like. Make sure your website is clear, making sure a person can clearly and quickly understand what your business does and what makes it different from any other company.

This all starts with your website development. Whether you’ve hired a website designer or used a site template, your site has probably been designed to look good and work well. This is important. You want your website to look good and function properly, but then you need to look at your site from a different eye, from a customer’s eyes.

Remembering this may be the first time a person has seen your website, so everything needs to be clear. If this is the first time a customer is looking at your website, what will they see? How will they interpret the information you’ve displayed? How clear is the information you have provided?

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether your website passes the clarity test.

Using the 10 Second Rule, the Think-Feel-Do Test, and the Clarity Test can help you better understand how someone sees your website and your business for the first time. It can help you make educated decisions to improve the design of your site to better interact with potential clients and can help get people to stay on your site for longer.

Our team is dedicated to helping businesses like yours get the most out of your digital marketing. If you’re looking for further support in digital marketing, we have a Digital Marketing Playbook process where we set up a 12-month plan for your marketing.

James Parnwell
James Parnwell

James is the Managing Director and resident strategist at TheOnlineCo. He is clever and creative with a flair for making complex things sound simple. He has been in the marketing game for over 2 decades and has watched the landscape slowly shift. James has his finger on the pulse of every aspect within TheOnlineCo, meeting with all clients as well as every core team member and strategising a specific plan tailored to each client.

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