The clock is ticking.

This happens every day for a local small business in Chicago. Someone goes to their website. They are scanning the website searching for whatever they are looking for. A couple of seconds have passed… What happens next? Decision time.

Should I stay or should I go?

How much time does your average website visitor spend on your website? Web analytics research has the exact answer. Eight seconds is the time after which your potential customer decides whether they leave your website or stay longer to find out more.

You only have eight seconds to convince your prospect to take action. With all the content, pictures, and videos you worked with your website designer to place on the website–it all comes down to the most crucial first eight seconds. If your website conveys a clear and effective message fast, your prospect will spend more time on the website and possibly buy into your business. If you will not deliver the information they are looking for fast and clearly, you will lose an opportunity to convert a visitor to a customer.

What action do you want your website prospect to take knowing that on average they will spend only eight seconds?

As I wrote in a previous blog post, your business website has three different goals: you are either selling on the website, capturing a lead to sell offline, or you are first and foresmost establishing credibility.

Most small business websites serve as lead generators. If the goal of your website is to capture an email, phone call or a visit to your physical location, you have to ask yourself:

Is your website design clean and easy for eyes to scroll in a couple seconds?

Do you have just enough pages on your top menu or you are overwhelming with choice?

Are your call-to-actions placed strategically?

Can you capture a lead in just eight seconds?

Is your contact information placed in the right place?

Is mobile experience optimized for eight seconds as well?

The first impression of your website is crucial. Focus on your business website goal. Remember most visitors will give you only a couple secondss of their time to make a judgement of your business.

What would my advice be if I was to judge your website so that you could sell your business as effectively as possible in eight seconds?

If you want to achieve more, you have to go with less.

Less content, less pictures, less video, less choices. Why?

Less is more.