Landing Page Optimisation: The 5 Second Rule

The Trick To Slashing Your Bounce Rate

You know the old saying don’t judge a book by its cover? I wish it applied to landing pages! You may have the best offer in the world, but if your website doesn’t immediately engage your visitor, they’ll put you down and pick someone else up. There’s a well-known theory within landing page optimisation called ‘The 5 Second Rule’ that says this:

If your visitor can’t tell exactly what you do or offer within 5 seconds of visiting your page, they’ll bounce.

Google’s job is to serve the most relevant and high quality websites to the user. If the vast majority of visitors leave within a couple of seconds, that says a lot about the value of that particular site. Bounce rate is a simple, but highly insightful metric, so you better pay attention to it.

So, you’ve got 5 seconds to communicate with your visitor. What do you do?┬áThe key lies in their eye pattern behaviour…

The example below is of a Google results page. Continual search engine use has conditioned us to look for information in an F shape. This is reinforced by the fact that if we do this, we find things quicker. Therefore when we visit websites, we apply the same principle. We’re so used to fast information, that if we don’t receive it, we leave.

F Shape Eye Pattern

Quite simply then, to ensure your visitor knows exactly what you do or offer put your key message where the eye is drawn the first – bang in the top middle of the page. A simple concept I know, but you’d be surprised just how many sites overlook it and pay the price with high bounce rates.