The 1st 7 Seconds Rule for Websites

by TedV

My introductory 1st 7 Seconds Rules of Relevance Marketing article stated that the idea for this series came from the marketing concept that a typical website viewer spends on average 7 seconds on a webpage. Here are my Relevance Marketing suggestions to increase that time for your site.

The “F” Pattern is the natural viewing practice for site visitors on a webpage. It’s proven that people look across the top of a site, like the head of a capital “F,” down the left side, and then to your 2nd line. Only disrupt the “F” Pattern if you have a plan that corresponds with your core message, written so your prospects can indentify with it immediately.

A client of mine, FSA Merchandising, works with grocery chains providing a variety of retail merchandising services. Kathy Jorsch has a great operation as her client testimonies confirm. Screenshot

Here’s the link to the FSA Merchandising site under construction.

The Big 3 Attention Points

FSA has three main customer types:

• Manufacturers – Makers of packaged foods, cleaners – typical grocery stock
• Retailers – Owners and Operators of grocery stores
• Research – Marketing Research firms who analyze purchasing patterns

Anyone who goes to the FSA site other than by accident will be in one of those three categories. This is a B-2-B business, so the site isn’t going viral so that the masses will come to look at it. Even if they did come, FSA will see no sales increase unless it comes from one of those types of businesses. So, forgetting everyone else on the web, FSA right away addresses those three types of business people.

The Questions

Under each customer category type, there is a question designed to draw in the visitor to click and explore further.

Manufacturers “When you need your project handled as if you did it yourself, who can you call?” – These product vendors have trained representatives who, in addition to everything else, know what needs to be done to make sure their products are displayed properly. However, their territories are too large to cover every store on a timely basis. Add to this the fact that when a change needs to occur, both the manufacturers and their retail store clients want the changes done immediately in every store.

As I talked to FSA’s client manufacturer sales managers, repeatedly they said that FSA’s merchandisers accomplish the work “just as if we did it ourselves.” There is no higher praise or recommendation for FSA to other manufacturers.

Retailers “When you don’t have an in-house team, or just need extra staff, where can you go for experienced help?” – Supermarket management have had their own merchandising staff in the past, but most of those personnel have been drastically downsized or eliminated all together. You can’t just hire anyone to do this type of work, although many of FSA’s competitors have tried. Store manager after store manager have nothing but praise for the people of FSA. It’s not that they are perfect, but they even get top points for handling matters on the rare occasion that there is a problem.

Research “Who can you rely on to meet your deadline with accurate data collection?” – As you might guess, the big market research firms don’t have enough experienced staffers to conduct surveys, audits, and other types of research. As you may also figure, accurate data derived in a timely fashion is paramount. Once again, FSA gets high praise from its Research clients.

The Quotation at the Bottom

The finished website will display a satisfied client quotation on every page. There’s nothing quite as effective as a good testimony, unless it’s a testimony from someone the website visitor knows personally. (Figure out how to arrange that for every website visitor and you can make some serious money.)

The Whole Enchilada

So, here’s the process a website visitor goes through when they land at

1) Only those looking for FSA go there, so they see the correct name at the top and see what they expect in the way of navigation. (1-2 second)
2) Of the 3 categories – Manufacturer, Retailer, Research – they know which one they are, so they read the pertinent question underneath (2-3 seconds)
3a) 80% will click on that link and go to what interests them
3b) 20% are curious about the quotation below. They are the ones not bound by the 7-second factor. They have already made their decision to go to the appropriate link, but will read the quotation before doing so.

After Clicking on the Link – On the linked page for each category, the visitor will see the same navigation up top, but going down the left hand side of the page, following the “F” Pattern, they will see navigation for specific, pertinent services offered. The body copy is written about the services, but in a manner that allows visitors to see themselves benefitting from using FSA as their provider.

This will not be written “all about the prospect” as I always emphasize. At this point it doesn’t need to be. Relevance Marketing allows the message recipients to see themselves succeeding in their problems or activities relating to the product you offer. You do eventually have to explain your products and/or services, but you need to hook them so they really want to know before you tell them. This is the place on a website to do so.

I’ve enjoyed working with Kathy Jorsch to crystallize her vast knowledge of this industry into the exact categories and content approach her website will use to cause visitors to want to read past the typical 7 seconds.

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