In less than three seconds your website has made an impression, shouldn’t it be a good one?
When was the last time you looked at your website? Fine the way it is? You think it makes a great first impression?As part of your online audiology marketing strategy it should be. Maybe it is, maybe not, but there are some facts you need to know to make a decent assesment.
When viewing a website, it takes users less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression, according to recent eye-tracking research conducted at Missouri University of Science and Technology. But it takes a little longer – about 2.6 seconds – for a user’s eyes to land on that area of a website that most influences their first impression.
Missouri University Of Science & Technology
So if It takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand, what is your website saying about yours? The researchers also said that it takes just another 2.6 seconds for that viewer’s eyes to concentrate in a way, or view the elements, that reinforce the formed first impression.
The study was one of many undertaken using eye tracking software. The premise is that the researchers monitored students’ eye movements as they scanned the web pages. The researchers then analyzed the eye-tracking data to determine how long it took for the students to focus on specific sections of a page – such as the menu, logo, images and social media icons – before they moved on to another section.
The sections that they found students spent most time on were
- The institution’s logo. Users spent about 6.48 seconds focused on this area before moving on.
- The main navigation menu. Almost as popular as the logo, subjects spent an average of 6.44 seconds viewing the menu.
- The search box, where users focused for just over 6 seconds.
- Social networking links to sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Users spent about 5.95 seconds viewing these areas.
- The site’s main image, where users’ eyes fixated for an average of 5.94 seconds.
- The site’s written content, where users spent about 5.59 seconds.
- The bottom of a website, where users spent about 5.25 seconds.
A potential Patient’s first impression of you and your Practice was perhaps once via the yellow pages or some other traditional audiology marketing channel. Or perhaps via your shop front or premises. Patient’s expectations tended to be low or unformed. They never had access to information to be able to form an impression about your Practice. Or indeed about how your Practice compared to others. The Internet has changed the potential Patients first impression experience, it has also changed their access to information and influenced probable expectations.
But what does that mean to you?
It boils down to several facts, most important among them is that you better have a website. But more than that it better look good, It better function well, It needs to cater to their desire for information and it needs to leave them with a favourable first impression. Maybe its time you took a long look at your website again and honestly assessed it for the parameters we have discussed.
One of the things that became obvious to the researchers was that “The longer the participants stayed on the page, the more favourable their impressions were,”. So it is key that you should ensure that the content on your site encourages a viewer to stay.
Research referenced: Eyes Don’t Lie: Understanding Users’ First Impressions on Website Design Using Eye Tracking (PDF). Sheng, Hong; Dahal, Sirjana, 1986-; hsheng; cfisher; murray; rhall; Missouri University of Science of Technology. Information Science & Technology; Missouri University of Science of Technology. Laboratory for Information Technology Evaluation – LITE; Fisher, Caroline;Murray, Susan L.; Hall, Richard H.