Do you remember the movie where an ad executive played by Billy Crystal takes time off to go on a cattle drive and he befriends an old cowboy, Curly, played by Jack Palance? While they are out, Billy’s character, who is in search of the secret of life, is told by Curly, as he lifts his index finger, that the secret of life is “Just one thing.” Sometimes I feel like that old cowboy. Being a pioneer in marketing optimization since the mid-1990s, I’m often asked what the one secret to success online is.
Marketing optimization is such a deep and complex discipline that it’s hard to limit it to just one secret. In a keynote presentation I deliver I normally like to share my “21 Secrets to Top Converting Websites.” However, I could tell you what my two most critical ones are – one is something everyone can and should do, and the second is something only a few will do.
The one that few will do is reorganize the organization to be adept at prioritizing and executing on changes in the marketplace in nearly real time. This is one thing that has given Amazon its massive success. But the one secret that everyone could do is the one most people will undervalue because it looks so simple.
So let me share with you just one thing. It’s up to you to find it and live it.
Here you can see me share this powerful first secret during my presentation:
Why should you care about just one thing? Because it is a part of the initial judgment your visitors make when they arrive on your website. This is what goes on in their minds in the first five or so seconds as they land on your page. This one thing can help them decide if they should bounce or continue to investigate your website as the solution to their wants or needs. They want to know WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? They want to know the value of doing business with you and why it will meet their needs and support their wants.
In fact, this past week I leveraged this five-second test to improve my keynote speaker page. I asked my Twitter followers to engage in a five-second test of the page. Everyone was able to tell that it was about having me as a keynote speaker, but a couple of people commented that they could not immediately tell what topics I spoke on. So immediately, I moved my list of topics located further down the page toward the top so that visitors who are in their initial scan could easily see my topics.
Using a Five-Second Test to Your Advantage
I want you to look at three websites, each for five seconds.
If you would like to experience what a formal five-second test is like, get your microphone on your computer ready and visit this link for a five-second test of Work.com.
Last time I checked CafePress.com, it was testing its UVP, showing different ones on different visits, but there is always something present.
This one thing is something easy for you to test, easy for you to implement, and doesn’t take many resources to execute. You should add this message to every one of your websites, landing pages, and social profiles.
There are now 35 more days to Black Friday. Whether you are a retailer looking for those last-minute tips or you sell B2B, you still have time to test what value proposition you communicate to your visitors.
Success depends on you defining, and your customers understanding, just one thing!
Cowboy image on home page via Shutterstock.