I recently heard this comment on the Fizzle podcast, “You’ve only got 10 seconds for your website’s landing page to connect.”

This is a suggestion that is always made in regard to retail packaging as well.  Some people say the time is 8 seconds or even or 5 seconds.

The message is the same.  When you are in an environment where there is a lot of competitions for your attention, you must connect with your audience quickly.

The Landing Page = Retail Package Front Panel

The landing page is the main page of your website where you hope to start the connection.  It’s the same as the front of a retail package.

The purpose of the landing page is to engage the reader enough so they will continue reading, scrolling down or clicking hyperlinks.

The purpose of the front panel of a retail package is to engage someone enough to pull the package off the shelf and read the back and the side panels.

Self Test

You can test you website with a simple question. Assume you’re a member of the target audience for you website.   Open your landing page.  Can you answer: “YES,” to this question in 10 seconds or less?

The topic of this website relates to my specific problem or interest.  (YES/NO)

If the answer is “NO,” you need to make revises.  If the answer is YES, then you should proceed to test the message with an expanded audience: your master mind group, friends, associates, members of your subscribers list, etc.

Use caution with advice from friends and family.  They may not be your target audience  and they often withhold negative feedback.

If you pass this first test, that’s just the beginning.

When one question is answered, another question always arises, like waves in the ocean.  Your job is to anticipate the next question, and the next, and provide the answers.

If you do this well, it’s a solid step toward building the trusted relationship.

Is This Enough?

Addressing the obvious questions is a great start.  But, of course this ISN”T enough.

If you put all this information on a plain black and white web site in a plain 12 pt font, it will put readers to sleep. Similarly, a retail product in a plain white box with plain black print wouldn’t attract much attention.  (Unless it’s made by Apple which can make anything look cool.)

Design is the essential companion to your core message. When it’s done well, the audience won’t even notice, it just works.  Design includes colors, graphics, pictures, line art and font selections.  All of these (plus your copy) must be in tune with your target market.

Bottom Line

A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to meet the 10 second rule. The work is much easier when you have a thorough understanding of your audience.