The Five Second Rule

February 26, 2013

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From the outside, it might sound strange — the kind of argument that doesn’t seem like it would matter. But in the online world, where every second matters and millions of websites are vying for the attention of billions of eyes, there is no such thing as a small detail.

How small? How about five seconds?

Actually, that’s not 100 per cent accurate.

There are people who argue a website has eight seconds to capture a visitor’s attention and keep them on your site. Others say, hold on! Eight is WAY too long — you only have three seconds to grab a visitor’s attention and convince them to stay. We’re a little more comfortable on the middle ground (plus the Five Second Rule sounds better) so we’re sticking with five seconds.

Now that we’ve established a number, let that sink in for a minute.

Kind of scary, but what does it mean? Well any way you slice it, the cold, hard truth about the Internet is it offers an infinite number of choices, and if you can’t make a compelling argument about why people should care, they’ll leave and never look back. If visitors leave, how can your organization build awareness and support?

Simple answer – you can’t.

At rtraction, we’re in the business of helping organizations engage the right people with the right message. We sweat the small details A LOT, including things like the Five Second Rule. In that spirit, we’re going to be writing a series of blog posts discussing tips we use — and you should use too — to help improve your website.

Of course, we can’t promise you’ll become an overnight Internet sensation or a social media star. But if your site tells people what they need to know quickly, you’ll be on your way to better engaging your supporters and your community!

If you know of a registered charity’s website that has trouble with the Five Second Rule, Click Here Now to Lend a Hand!

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