Marketing Checklist for the First 8 Seconds

by | Feb 12, 2021 | copywriting, how to, website

8 seconds.

That’s how long you have to grab someone’s attention on your website.

Here’s a simple checklist to make sure you’re taking full advantage of your 8 seconds before someone even begins scrolling.


[  ] Have I clearly communicated what I offer?

The job of your header is to get your customer to read the rest of your website.

Allow me to introduce you to “the grunt test.”  If a caveman were to look at your website, could he immediately grunt what you offer? You can say (or grunt) “yes” if you can answer these three questions:

  1. What do you offer?
  2. How will it make my life better?
  3. What do I need to do to buy it?


[  ] Is it clear how your product or service will make your customer’s life better?

Our human brain is hardwired to do what it can to survive.  So while I may be drawn to the fact that you have integrity and your grandfather started your business out of the back of his car 50 years ago, I am only going to buy from you if you solve a problem I have.

Your ability to quickly and effectively communicate what problem your company solves will dramatically increase your revenue. Because your site’s job is to convert visitors from browsers to buyers.

People buy what helps them survive. The companies who communicate this clearly win. Every. Single. Time.


[  ] Is it clear to your customer how to buy your product or service?

I’m talking about a call to action. Once your customer has identified they want what you’re selling, their very next question is, “so what do I do?”  If you don’t make their first step clear, they won’t take action.

Practically speaking, you should have one call to action – their first step to buy. If you have many competing calls to action, your customer won’t know which step to take. And confusion costs you money. Repeat the call to action as many times as you can.  Does it pass the grunt test?

Make it big. Make it bright. Make it hard to miss!


[  ] Is my text minimal and understandable?

People don’t read websites – they scan them.  Did you know your brain actually burns calories while you’re reading?  If your customers are having to burn too many calories trying to make sense of what you offer, the brain will move on. There are too many other competing messages. The one that helps the brain survive, gets its attention.

Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of using bigger, more complicated words and insider jargon your customer won’t understand. That’s a bad habit we all picked up in grade school, where we were rewarded for complicated writing full of big, unnecessary words.

I like to tell my clients … “explain it me like I’m a 5th grader…”


[  ] Do my text and image work together?

Your customer has a need, and you can solve their problem. The photos in your header should show the success of what happens when your customer buys!

A picture is worth a thousand words. The best picture connects your customer with how they’ll feel after you solve their problem.  It should show the aspirational success your customer will experience because they chose to buy and awaken desire for them to have what you offer.


Don’t go it alone.

Sometimes you are so close to your products that it is hard to think like your customers.

Alice and I know this all too well.  At our previous j-o-b (before we set out on our own to help people like you) I had been with our company for 10 years, and Alice for 24.  We will both affirm it was often “an outsider’s” perspective that would fuel our marketing and messaging for years to come.

You need an outside eye to help you see the forest through the trees.  That’s where we love to help. At Ignite Marketing Co, we help small businesses clarify their message and create affordable marketing plans that get results. Businesses are energized when they watch their sales and profit margins grow. You deserve a marketing plan that works as hard as you do!

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