Back from Florida last night and reading a summary of a recent Carewords research project put together by the client. Just about perfect with one exception... an advisory to people working on their websites that they had about 30 seconds to make an impression and engage with a visitor to the page.
It would be nice if that were true. But alas, you don't have nearly that long to capture initial attention and get someone to stay on a website page. In my "Writing Right for the Web" workshops, I often say 2 to 5 seconds is the limit. That's from my direct marketing background and it is closer to reality than 30 seconds.
10 Seconds at the Most!
Also waiting for me when I returned was the May issue of Website Magazine. Taking a quick first look, I noticed an article on "The First 10 Seconds." And that's probably a good compromise. Personally, I'd still err on the side of thinking you really have to make an almost instant connection in the time it takes someone to first run their eyes over your page. That scan is very quick indeed.
Subscribe to Website Magazine
A subscription to the print copy of the magazine is free at http://www.websitemagazine.com/ and you can also read the "10 second" article online when you visit even if you don't subscribe.