Eight seconds. That’s the average attention span of an online user. That’s about the time it took you to read this. In that time, your mind has already wandered. To-do lists, Facebook posts, cat clothing, coffee, anything having to do with weekend plans. A cool interactive website is a site that uses different types of software to create rich, engaging experiences for the user, for more than eight seconds. Find out how.
Eight seconds. That’s the average attention span of an online user. That’s about the time it took you to read this. In that time, your mind has already wandered. To-do lists, Facebook posts, cat clothing, coffee, anything having to do with weekend plans. Asking a user to read is asking a lot, it seems. Suppose you’ve got a business, and you’re trying to get people to read about it, click a link, fill out a form. In that case, you’re bucking years of evolution, which dictates that a person’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter.
The Reduction of Attention Span
Way back in 2020, a time known as the attention span luxury years, you could get a user to stay on your website for 15 seconds. Imagine that? 15 whole seconds. That’s a lifetime; that’s a steak dinner with dessert. That’s one entire paragraph of content. Oh, those were the days.
Less Than A Goldfish
For those of you keeping track of this kind of thing, the human attention span has now dropped to one second below that of the famously poorly focused goldfish. A goldfish will stay focused on one thing for 9 seconds.
According to Personal Creations, a company that has created an infographic called “How Long Does It Take to Read Popular Books?” which explores how long it takes to read different titles. It takes the average human reader about 33 hours to read Tolstoy’s War and Peace. That comes out to 118,800 seconds. It would take a goldfish only 118,799 seconds to read it.
How to Hold Attention
Now, you’re probably thinking, that’s insane; there’s no way a goldfish is going to read War and Peace that fast; he’d struggle with the Russian names. True; however, that’s not the point. The point is, you have less and less time every day to get a user engaged and active on your website. So, you have two choices; A) Start marketing to goldfish or B) build an interactive website.
B is the better choice as goldfish have no thumbs.
What is An Interactive Website?
A popular example of interaction would be a page that displays weather forecasts for specific regions. An interactive version of this would allow the user to type in their area of the country, area code, street address, etc., and they would see a display of what the weather is going to be for them that day.
There are other popular forms of interactive websites that we use every day. Most common are blogs, wikis, and social media networks. A cool interactive site allows users to change how the website displays, play games, interact with friends and perform tasks. Tasks that are usually done on an interactive website include; online transactions, submitting stories or photos for contests, clickable maps such as ones for weather updates, calculators, live chats, help screens, chat windows, and much more.
An interactive website gives the user an element of control and participation. Instead of just looking at the website, the user is physically connected by submitting content or clicking maps. It’s the difference between looking at and doing with.
Interactive Website Examples & Benefits
One of the most apparent benefits of an interactive website is that it will hold your goldfish’s attention for the entire nine seconds. Beyond the piscine entertainment value, interactive websites have many human benefits as well.
A more personal experience. An interactive website creates a connection between the user and the content on your site. This connection will allow for a more personal experience on your site, which goes beyond simply browsing.
Another plus here is that the interactions can be measured so that you know when, where and how visitors are clicking. You can use this data to make adjustments and personalize your interactive website even further.
Users are engaged and active. This means your interactive website elevates communication from a one-way situation to a two-way situation. A conversation can be engaged. This happens through online chat windows, the ability to leave comments, or indicate preferences.
Communication, a simple back and forth between the business and the user, is much more engaging and will keep your customers on your site for more than eight seconds.
A positive experience. Even if something isn’t bought, never underestimate the power of a positive experience on your website. If a user feels empowered by voting or asking a question, or even choosing their own location, they’ll leave feeling good. That good feeling can easily translate to the user expressing the emotion to friends or colleagues later on. That can lead to more traffic.
When a user leaves feeling good, they will undoubtedly come back. You have already engaged them, and they are now on their second visit. Now, you can direct them to a carefully curated offer. The best part is, a happy customer is a loyal customer.
Your website looks fresh and attractive. Interactive infographics or animations catch the user’s eye, and they convey information in a more playful, engaging, and fun manner. This keeps them longer, but it also helps them to digest info better.
If you update your interactive site with a new animation or infographic display, the information may be the same, but it will always look fresh and new.
Increase conversions. Interactive websites attract more users, and the interactive elements keep users on the page longer. This longer engagement time builds trust with the brand, and that trust translates to more interest. More interest means the user is apt to dig deeper into your website, which leads to finding more points of interest, leading to more conversions.
And again, all of this is measurable, so you can tweak the site to focus and target and constantly increase and improve the user’s personal experience.
More sharing. We alluded to this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you create engaging, interactive content on your website and people have a meaningful experience there; they will naturally want to share that with others. And unless your website is exclusively for curmudgeons and hermits, the more people sharing your site, the better it is for your visibility and conversion rates.
Quality natural backlinks for SEO. When you’ve got attractive, high-quality interactive elements on your website, this raises the chances that more people will want to link to your site from their websites. Links are valuable because they guide people to your site, but Google also recognizes these links from other sites, which can give you a higher ranking factor. Building backlinks are vital for SEO.
Site authority. Well-built interactive websites generate more backlinks, and that improves Google’s perception of your site. Once the all-seeing, all-knowing Google notices more dwell time, reduced bounce rate, and more traffic through referrals and shares, you will be rewarded with a higher page ranking.
A leg up on the competition. A lot of businesses aren’t investing in interactive websites. This is due to the lack of in-house skills to develop this type of site or the concern over expense and upkeep. This is a misconception.
You can take advantage of this and build a cool, modern, engaging, interactive website and leave your competition in the dust.
So Much Good Interaction
As you can see, an interactive website has so many positive benefits. Interactive elements on your site will elevate your brand by getting you seen by more people, ranking you higher on a Google search, improving your SEO, and engaging customers longer, leading to more conversions.
All this doesn’t even address the fun factor. Never underestimate the power of a user having a little fun on your website. Fun is something that people will return for again and again. If your interactive website is fun, who knows? Maybe your goldfish will put down War and Peace and stay engaged for eighteen seconds.
Interactive Websites by ThoughtLab
One of the significant hurdles companies face when thinking about creating an interactive website is not having in-house skills to produce one. You don’t want to do this halfway. You want your interactive website to be clean, smooth, well functioning, and, well, interactive. If it’s not user-friendly or it just plain doesn’t work, that defeats the point of having a cool interactive website.
That’s okay; you don’t need the in-house skills when you have ThoughtLab.We build beautiful, engaging, fun, interactive websites that will elevate your brand, hold user’s attention, get you ranked on Google, and keep your goldfish mesmerized for hours.
Contact ThoughtLab today for a free consultation and let us build you that interactive website you’ve been dreaming of. We have decades of experience and passion for building slick, effective interactive websites. Let us build yours today.