The 3 second content test for website content.

March 22nd, 2016 | Sadie | No Comments

The 3 second content test

In the first few days of ad school we were taught to never write billboard headlines longer than six words. Six words, because that’s just about all someone can take in while speeding past at 80km/h. A simple but effective lesson. One that has served me well in writing website content.

The increased rate at which people browse websites and consume content nowadays is having such a significant impact that the mother ship of search (yes Google) has coined this hyper-search-and-consumption behavior micromoments.

They define micromoments as real-time, intent-driven engagements (mostly on mobile). “The I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments—that really matter. “ – Google geniuses

Research also tells us that it takes browsers only three seconds to decide whether or not to engage with your business further.
This adds a different level of complexity to microments – I want-to-NOW.
This new way of browsing is forcing businesses to reconsider the way they write and present content online. Especially in those vital first seconds.

Allow me to demonstrate. Think of this 3 second content test as a sort of … website speed date. Three seconds. Three websites. *Ding*

Jemma’s video from Candice Claassen on Vimeo.

Would your website survive the three second content test if it was one of five sites people were browsing between for info, products or services?

MicroContent for MicroMoments

These fleeting, but vital first impression moments calls for a [content writing formula] Link to article that ensures content with purpose. Content that is very clear about what you want your customer to do once they’ve established that you can deliver on their micro outcome – educate, move, action or conversion.

The power of purpose-driven content

Fresh books is a recent accounting favorite of mine. In their content alone Fresh books capture what their product is about. But they impress even more by how clear they are about the purpose of the page – they want people to sign up for free trials.

In the below example, I’ve taken the clear original on the left Fresh books and added more purpose to the page. On the right I offer people a free 30-day trial, I invite them to send an invoice or start expensing. That’s a lot for three seconds.


[bctt tweet=”A lack of purpose demonstrates the business’ lack of understanding of customer intent. “]

And if you don’t know what your customers’ intentions are in the different stages of your sales process, you’ll never know what the ideal purpose is of your communication. Whether it’s a website, brochure, radio ad or billboard as a matter of fact.

I’ve started penning some thoughts on a Purpose-driven content formula. Have a read and let’s discuss further on LinkedIn