If you kept up with popular news stories a few years back, you probably read posts or articles on how goldfish can focus for a full 9 seconds while we humans clocked in at an embarrassing 8.
This was major news around the world but the story turned out to be a myth.
For one thing, there’s no real way to measure the attention span of a goldfish and so there’s no indication that goldfish — or any other kind of fish — get sidetracked easily.
As for humans? Our attention span is task-dependent.
You can focus for hours on a favorite movie or a thrilling spy novel but not so much when you’re listening to great grandma Muriel go on and on about “the good old days.”
And so, it’s official… there’s NO evidence that goldfish can concentrate longer than we do 🙂
But don’t celebrate just yet because there’s an even scarier statistic out there…
According to research published in the Behavior and Information Technology Journal, you have about 50 milliseconds for a website visitor to form an opinion of you and your business…
That’s less than a second for someone to decide if they’re going to stay on your site or leave forever.
This might seem kind of crazy to most people but to me… it sounds about right.
Not everyone knows this but we’re not just about business training here at Live Your Message. We’re also a branding and web design agency.
We’ve worked with some of the biggest names online — people like Eben Pagan, Susan Peirce Thompson, Callan Rush, Justin Livingston, Danny Iny and many more… to build attractive, attention-grabbing websites that transform visitors into paying customers.
And here’s what we’ve learned…
When someone lands on your site, the No.1 goal is to grab and hold their attention so they take action and connect with you in some way.
This could be signing up for your newsletter, scheduling a discovery call with you or emailing you to find out more about your programs or services.
A Waste of Digital Space
So, your website should be the doorway that takes people from “one-time-only visitors” to “paying clients and customers.”
But that’s not how most entrepreneurs see it.
When they’re building or re-branding their site most people focus on the font and the colors and the design.
They spend hours, days, weeks — even months — coming up with the perfect logo and tagline.
Then they invest a ton of hard-earned cash to build out a complicated site with a bunch of pages — the home page, services page, contact page, about page and more.
Some sites even feature pull down or “dropdown” menus which basically means there are “sub-categories or sub-pages” that pop up when you click on each of the main pages.
But if you’re NOT in charge of a major corporation or organization with hundreds of employees, if you’re starting out or you have just a handful of clients and customers, then those pages are a waste of digital space.
They’re nothing more than distractions that confuse website visitors who’ll hit the back button and never come back.
This leads to lost subscribers, lost clients and customers and of course… lost revenue.
So, here’s what I recommend…
Forget the extras — the multiple pages, complicated design details, and all the other bells and whistles — and do the smart thing.
Keep it simple… build a 1-page website.
Fiddly vs. Functional
There’s a whole bunch of benefits to building a 1-page website especially when you’re new or just starting to grow your business.
First thing to know… 1-page sites are easy to create. You’ll save a ton of time and those extra hours can go to sales, marketing and other important growth and income-generating activities in your business.
And you’ll also get to sidestep the “my website isn’t ready yet” excuse…This is one of the most common “reasons” I get when I talk to entrepreneurs about why they haven’t launched their business or product yet.
But here’s the thing…
In the early stage of your business, building a complicated, multiple-page website is a bad idea because things can — and will — change fast.
It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time, energy and money designing and developing all those extra pages when you’ll have to make changes in a few months — or even a few weeks — as you gain more clarity around your message, your niche, your target audience and all the rest.
Plus building a 1-page website is a powerful antidote to the “1 second problem” because everything is laid out on a single page — your “about me” story, your services, contact information and more.
Visitors can simply scroll down one page and get instant access to all the information they want and need about you and your business.
No fiddly dropdown menus, images, slideshows or worse — 90s-style flash animations — that distract attention.
1-page sites are clean, modern, to the point and — most importantly — they grab and hold people’s attention long enough to take action.
And if you’re worried that a 1-page website sounds ultra-minimalistic and kind of boring, I want you to remember the key goal I talked about earlier…
Your website is a doorway that can transform “one-time visitors” into “repeat customers and clients” and we want to keep it as short, simple and easy to navigate as possible.
Think of it this way…
If you have the power to get people to take action and sign up or connect with you with just one page, why would you want stretch that out to 5 or 6 pages or even more?
Why spend time, money and energy building the “perfect” website when you can skip that to quickly create a site that converts visitors to subscribers and clients?
As the owner of a web design and branding agency I probably shouldn’t tell you what I’m about to say…
But I’m a straight shooter so here goes!
The kind of massive web design projects we take on at Live Your Message only make sense when you’re an established company or online persona and if your business is generating at least $500K a year.
Full-er Disclosure: some of the more complicated sites cost anywhere between $25K and $50K or even more and they take months to create.
1-page websites are the opposite…
You can publish your site quickly and spend that extra time and energy on client-attracting, business-building activities.
1-page sites are also easy on the pocket and if you want to save even more you can take the DIY route with a robust website-builder.
There wasn’t a website builder out there that allows for both the design customization and business results I wanted, so my husband Murray and I built one.
It’s called Heroic and it’s both powerful and easy to use. It’s so intuitive a total tech newbie could go “live” with a new website in 24 hours or even less.
Heroic also comes with a powerful website editor that lets you “click, drag, drop and swap” so you don’t have to be a Ninja Coder to get it done 🙂
And thanks to gorgeous done-for-you designs and templates, your site will look like it’s been created by a top designer.
Check out Heroic here.
Now that you know what a 1-page website can do, what are your thoughts?
If you’re just starting out or if you haven’t hit the $500K per year mark, would you consider building a 1-page site?
Share in the comments below and if you have any questions or concerns, I’m happy to help 🙂