What if I told you that you only had eight seconds to make a sale?

You’d probably throw back your head and laugh. Or you’d tell me that it’s downright impossible. Maybe you’d even point out all the reasons why eight seconds just isn’t enough time to win over customer trust and show them why they should purchase your product.

That’s all well and good – but unfortunately, none of that matters when it comes to making a sale online.

According to a recent article by the Telegraph, studies have shown that the average attention span has fallen from twelve seconds in 2000 to a lightning-fast eight seconds today. That means we have shorter attention spans than goldfish!

This is all interesting – but what does that mean for you as a business owner or marketer?

Knowing just how long you have to capture an online visitor’s attention can help direct your online marketing efforts in a much more productive way. For example, instead of spending time crafting the perfect message for the sixth paragraph on your home page, you know now to spend more resources capturing attention at the top of the page fold (the part of the site that appears first on a mobile or desktop screen).

Wondering what else you need to do to capture an online visitor’s attention right away? Take a look:

Invest in a strong hero image: The hero image is the first image that your online visitors will see on your website. I’m not kidding when I say that picking the right hero image is critical to your site’s success. If the image doesn’t immediately capture their attention and provoke them to continue scrolling down the page, you’re missing out on pivotal sales.

Invest in a strong hero text: Don’t run the risk of relying too heavily on hero images to capture attention. Website copy and design are constantly entwined in a delicate dance – you can’t have too much of one without the other. A strong three- to- four-word slogan should accompany your hero image, followed with a brief sentence designed to entice visitors to keep on reading.

Appeal to them: Don’t run the mistake of introducing your company right from the get-go. Your visitors aren’t at your site to learn more about your company mission; they have a specific problem, and they want it solved immediately. Save the company mission for another page, as those eight seconds are far too pivotal to spend it introducing your CEO.

Remember, those eight seconds are pivotal to not just keeping your visitors on your site, but increasing your sales. Try out these tips to see what happens to your bottom line!