How To Keep Users on Your Webpage for More than 8 Seconds

Most of your website’s visitors leave after 8 seconds. Learn why they leave, and some simple design tips to keep eyes glued to your content, and increase conversions.

People have short attention spans these days. Or, put another way, people tend to have a lower threshold of tolerance for things they don’t need, understand, or can’t manipulate. Your website’s landing page has about 8 seconds before most viewers leave, or bounce. Soon after more bounce, only a select few will stay, and fewer will convert. You want to keep more people on your page through these first 8 seconds. Let’s dive into some basic design changes crafted for usability that can greatly increase your page’s viewership, and conversion.

Page Design Tips

An Overview

  • Design with the user in mind
  • Headlines
  • Why craft a good headline?
  • Emphasize your user’s problem & your services benefits
  • Testimonials

user perspective
‍Crafting your website with the user’s perspective in mind

Design for the User’s Perspective

When you look at something for hours on end, like your website or a piece of writing, your familiarity allows you to miss errors that seem apparent to anyone upon first look. Often, you write from a perspective where you already know the answers. Your user, however, may not.  User based web design avoids this downfall by taking the user’s perspective into account from the get go. The focus from the forefront is usability: how will someone perusing your site encounter and engage with its material? You may say, “they will engage with my page however I design it,” but that’s where you’re wrong. Your users eyes and cursors will go to where they go to, which may not be where your design intended them to. The goal of user based web design is to incorporate design elements to guide your user toward your desired action. If you want them to jump through a hoop, make that hoop clear and accessible.

looking view
‍During that 8 second window, your headlines may be the only thing users see

Why Craft a Good Headline?

People tend to remember more about things when they appear at the very beginning or end of a sequence. This is known as the serial positioning effect. It makes sense, then, that headlines are important to keeping and hooking your page’s users. Your users read your headline first, and on mobile devices they read social media headlines before even clicking on your site. Think of a headline as an icebreaker that illustrates to the user why they should stay on your page, keep reading, and eventually complete the desired action. You want your headline to be prominent on the page and left aligned, so that users can’t mistake something else to be more important. The first thing your user sees may be the last, so make it visible.

effective headline Mesothelioma Lawyer Center
‍This headline emphasizes first the problem the user faces and then offers a solution

User Problem and Your Solution

Your headline should do two things. First, you want to describe the challenge, inconvenience, or pain the user must deal with. For instance, the above screenshot details the challenge that finding a local mesothelioma lawyer presents. Second, you want to demonstrate that your website offers a solution to that problem. Whatever solution you offer, the user must access it by converting. In this case the user accesses the solution by requesting a free financial compensation packet. You want to focus on the “so what” your service provides to the user, however, not just what the service is. This is where perspective taking comes into play. For this mesothelioma site, they highlight a solution, the packet, but do not offer anything with regard to its relevance to the user. Saying something like, “Our FREE financial compensation packet will get you the help you seek,” instead may have increased their conversion rate.

testimonial
‍Testimonials go a long way toward establishing authority

Customer/User Testimonials

We live in an age where we can read dozens of restaurant reviews before ever taking a bite, and shuffle through hundreds of cars for sale with our fingers. The bottom line is we like to hear about others experiences before we make a decisions. Putting testimonial on your webpage can be instrumental in increasing your conversion rates. Placing your testimonial before the action you want your user to perform can be useful in them actually following through with the action. The testimonial validates the call to action in the user’s mind.

gift testimonial
‍This testimonial nudges the user toward making a gift.


You can also place your testimonials farther down the page, especially if your copy is enthralling and details all of the benefits your service provides to the user. Placing a testimonial after that sort of backs up your thoughts, which gives your writing extra authority, because you have an actual user on your side who converted and loved it. Placing your testimonial after relevant information is another way to guide your user toward and action.

Design With the User in Mind

The fast paced world where your website lives only gets faster as time moves on, so you should make sure your page design keeps up. Your users will not all convert. However you should design your site so that as many people as possible will stay on your page in those 8 seconds. In short, make it easy on them to understand and to navigate, and you will see a great increase in how many stay on your page, and convert.