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Our Denver Website Design Agency Asks: Can Your Website Ace the Five-Second Test?

By Erin  |   Business Website Tips | Online Marketing

Can Your Website Ace the Five-Second Test?

Not to be confused with the always-useful five second rule, the Five Second Test commonly used in the world of websites actually has nothing to do with whether your site is still edible after being dropped on the floor.

The Five Second Test is much simpler than that, and has the ability to directly impact your business’s website. 

Read on to learn how.

The million dollar (but actually invaluable) question…

Here’s the million dollar question the Five Second Test answers for clients of our Denver website design agency—and the question the Five Second Test will answer for you:

Within five seconds of visiting your site, can a visitor correctly understand what you do?

If a visitor to your website determines in their first 5 seconds on your site that you obviously sell manufacturing equipment to businesses in San Diego, that's not much use to you if you're actually a stellar Denver web design agency.  

(And no, we’ve not had visitors mistake our website design agency for a manufacturing equipment sales company.)

Why should I care?

It's critical to make sure your website passes the Five Second Test with flying colors.


Because the average person's attention span is about 8 seconds, and it’s likely you’ll have even less time than that before a visitor decides whether or not you're the right fit for what they need.

If you actually are the right fit for them but they think you’re not, that’s a big problem, and it’s costing you money as visitors leave your site to look for solutions elsewhere.

So how can you make sure the first impression your website makes is the right one, and that your visitors will likely be instantly clear about what you do?

Acing the Five Second Test is more of an art than a science

Not only is your business unique, your website’s chosen combination of design elements, words, logos and images all work together to help you pass the five-second test.
Each of these elements within your website gives you the opportunity to make what you do more obvious to your visitors.

However, the most powerful element you can make sure you add to your website’s homepage that increases the likelihood that visitors will instantly know what you do is this:

Place a large, prominent statement clearly stating what you do near the top of your homepage.

If you don’t a large, difficult-to-miss statement boldly proclaiming what you do, you’re making visitors work hard to figure that out on their own.

Don’t make your visitors work. Don’t make them think.

Make it easy for them. Give them a clear explanation right upfront. In large, bold words.

For bonus points: Have a statement sharing what you do at the top of *every* page in your site.

Using the Five Second Test on your business's website

First things first: have a handful of people take the five-second test

Sure, you think your homepage makes what you do obvious and clear, and it’s likely most of your friends and family can, too.

For the Five Second Test to provide your business with value and insight though, you've got to find some fresh, unbiased eyes.

Either try to find a friend of a friend who's never visited your site before and use a tool like, or try out one of the online services that can help you get your site in front of new, unbiased people just waiting to give you feedback.

Second things second

If your website passes the Five Second Test—congrats!

If you get more off-base answers than accurate ones, I’m guessing you don’t have a large, bold statement at the top of your page that clearly states what you do.  Is my hunch correct?  If so, just add that in and ask some additional people to take the test.  See if that fixes your problem.

Has your website passed the Five Second Test?  (Ours has, which is good, as it would probably be a very bad thing if a web agency’s own website didn’t pass this test.)

Let us know if your site has passed the test in the comments below.

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