Will your website pass the 5 second test?

One of the biggest headaches webmasters face is getting your website visitors to stay on your website and ultimately take a desired action.

Due to the high volume of websites competing for the same visitors, it is important to ensure that they stay on your website and do not go to your competitor.

An average visitor will stay for about five (5) seconds on your website. If it doesn’t provide you with what you want, you will surely abandon your website. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen to you.

What you need to keep visitors on your website is to pass the five (5) second test. I suggest you use the following seven (7) steps.

1. Define the purpose of your website.

You have to determine what you want your website to achieve. Do you want your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to buy your product? Or do you want them to click on your AdSense?

You need to define what your main goal is and strive to make your website focus on that goal.

2. Select to test.

Identify the typical or likely user of your site. Ask someone you know who fits that profile to act as an evaluator.

3. Instruct the tester.

Tell the evaluator that you will see a particular page for 5 seconds. Ask the evaluator to try to remember everything he sees in that short period.

4. Show your web page to the evaluator.

Meet physically with the tester and show him your website. Remember to make sure you don’t see the page for more than 5 seconds.

5. Write down your findings.

Ask the person doing the test to write down everything they remember on the page.

6. Complete a report.

When the evaluator is done with that, ask 2 questions to assess whether you were able to perform the task defined in step 1. Give the evaluator a chance to fully answer and perhaps write down their findings.

7. Analyze the results.

Collect the findings recorded in steps 5 and 6 and analyze them carefully. If the evaluator easily remembers the main objective and knows how to do what they are supposed to do on the page, they have succeeded.

If the tester is having trouble identifying the target, is unclear on how to proceed, or has only identified part of the features, you know you need to change something on the page.

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