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The 7-Second Rule of Websites

Quickly, go to your company’s website homepage. One-thousand-one, what do you see? One-thousand-two, can you immediately tell whose homepage you’re on? One-thousand-three, is it clearly marked with your logo and company colors? One-thousand-four, can you tell what your company does? One-thousand-five, does the page target a specific type of visitor/prospect/customer? One-thousand-six, would a visitor know what value there is to working with you? One-thousand-seven, what do you want the visitor to do now? One-thousand-eight, has your prospect left your site?

At Gumas, we embrace the 7-Second Rule of Websites. A visitor has seven seconds to simply identify:

Who you are “Am I on the right site?”
What do you do “Do I need this business/product/service?”
Who are you targeting “Is this business/product/service right for me?”
Why us “What’s in this for me?”
What’s our call to action “Now what do I do?”

All this in seven seconds? Yup. The website’s clear, clean, direct branding and messaging should tell the visitor all he/she needs to know in seven seconds. A brief, well-crafted positioning statement above the fold should answer these questions. For example:

“Gumas is an award-winning branding and marketing agency dedicated to helping Challenger Brands take on their better-resourced competitors and win. Click here to learn more.”

Combine your concise positioning statement with a distinctive look and feel that speaks to your brand’s mission – company colors, legible and appropriate fonts, images that connect with your prospect and navigation cues (icons/buttons) that help the visitor intuitively travel the site. Of course, if you don’t answer the above questions in the first seven seconds of the prospect’s visit, they will bounce off your site and search elsewhere for their answers.

The 7-Second Rule of Websites applies to all businesses, no matter how well-known or obscure. However, Challenger Brands must pay the closest attention to this rule as the competitive landscape will not tolerate misunderstanding or confusion in your website positioning. Prospects will simply move on to more familiar brands.

If you would like some assistance analyzing your site’s homepage to determine if it meets the 7-Second Rule of Websites, please drop us a line at:

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