Catching the Website Visitor’s Attention

By Jan Zimmerman

A successful business marketing website must act quickly to keep a visitor’s attention. You have only four seconds (that’s right — four seconds) to make a first impression on the web. That isn’t enough time for a visitor to read your content. It’s time enough only for those emotion-based lizard brains humans have to react to color, layout, design, navigation (maybe), and perhaps a headline.

If you haven’t caught people in your cybernet by then, they’re gone, probably never to return. In the following illustration, Encountour uses an attention-grabbing marketing tag, “Naked Travel, Fully Clothed” (located in the upper-left corner below the logo), along with great visuals, to engage viewers.

The marketing tag is one of several attention-grabbers on Encountour. [Credit: Courtesy of Enc
Credit: Courtesy of Encountour. Naked Travel and Encountour are trademarks of Encountour LLC.
The marketing tag is one of several attention-grabbers on Encountour.

Fonts, images, activities — everything on the site must appeal to the target audience you’re trying to reach. You wouldn’t put bright colors on a site selling urns for pet ashes, or pastels on a site aimed at teenagers. A high-tech site in silver and black has a very different look and feel than one selling country decor with gingham and duckies.

A site selling high-priced goods needs lots of white (empty) space to look rich; a discount site does well with crowded images.