This is kind of a fun little technique to try, but it can give you truly valuable insight into what might be happening in your business.
The idea is to look at your website with fresh eyes to help you find some relatively easy-to-fix problems that could be costing you clients.
Why 5 seconds? Because stats say a business has anywhere from two-tenths of a second to 15 seconds to make an impression on their website visitors that will lead them down a path to buying.
That means that even on the generous end, there’s no time to diddle around, slowly dripping out the information your prospects need to decide if you might be a good fit for them. Five seconds is just a happy medium to test your site.
If you don’t think you can be objective, ask your spouse / partner or a friend to help. Better yet, pair up with a designer friend you trust and review each others’ sites!
Here’s how to do it:
1. Start with your Home page.
2. Set a timer for 5 seconds – don’t try to count because you need to concentrate on your site.
3. Open your website on your computer (the actual site your prospects see – not your admin page where you make edits).
4. Scan the page during those 5 seconds, scrolling down if you have time.
5. At the 5 second mark, close your browser.
6. Now answer the following questions based solely on your 5 second look at the page...
· Is it obvious what you do?
· Is it obvious what geographic area you serve?
· Is the kind of design work you really want to do visually represented?
· Is it obvious how to get in touch with you?
· Is there anything on this page that is not consistent with your aesthetic, your brand values, and / or your brand voice?
· Is it obvious how you serve your clients uniquely?
7. Repeat for every page of your site.
If you answered any of these questions in the negative, you've got a money leak!
Simply put, every page of your site needs to offer every bit of that info as obviously as possible.
There's no guarantee a visitor with enter your site through your Home page. With back links coming from blog posts, Pinterest pins, and so on, plus SEO and metadata on your site page titles (just trust me on that one, OK?) you really never know onto which of your site pages a visitor may stumble first. And you certainly can’t count on them looking at every page on your site – especially if you don’t give them relevant info that makes them want to stay!
Look, I know a lot of designers feel that if someone is serious about hiring them, they'll take a good long look at the website. And that's true - but only after they've already done a quick (maybe just 5 seconds) scan of your site on their way to narrowing down which designers they want to look at more closely. It's just how people buy., so why not play the game to win (win your ideal clients' business, that is!)?
Let me know in the comments below how your site fared with this little test.
And of course, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want help fixing your website’s money leaks!