Why Me? The First Impression

why-meAn attractive woman and a man are sitting in a crowded singles bar when she sneezes due to an allergic reaction to his cologne. To her horror, her glass eye pops out and sails into the man’s shirt pocket. Embarrassed, she flees to the ladies room. After composing herself, she returns to the bar and the man sheepishly returns her missing orb. They begin to chuckle as she fixes herself up and he comments how beautiful she really is. Just a few hours later, he’s waking up at her place as she’s cooking breakfast after a night of sex that almost melted the windows. While chatting, she reveals she never picked up a man in a bar before. “Why me?” he asks wondering how he got so lucky. She shrugs “You just caught my eye”.

Oh, quit your groaning, you're reading this to learn marketing tips, its not a comedy shop.

 

But the point is still: why me?

Google.com searches 2,469,940,685 web pages. Crikey! I think we can guess that the chances of somebody spending time on your page is slim. Why you? Well, lets just say you caught their eye. Now keep it. That random wanderer might be a fan.

People move fast on the web. They want to see what they want NOW. Quick look and move on. It's called a "browser" for a reason. You have about 30 seconds to get your point across on why I should listen to your music. If your page takes 29 seconds to load - well, bye bye. Actually, OK, lets talk facts. You have 8 seconds. I'm not kidding. If your page does not load in 8 seconds, half of your visitors are gone. And it's a geometric decay curve.

The way it works is this: 1000 people kindly decide to look at your page. After 8 seconds, only 500 are tolerating it. After 16 total seconds, 250 remain. 24 seconds has 125 users. After 30 seconds, your curve worsens, so we won't discuss that.

Do you REALLY need that animated graphic that takes a minute to load? Not if no one sees it. Assume the worst technology for your users. Just because you have a cable modem (highly recommended in this field), does not mean your fans do. Want a cool tool? Of course you do, that's why you're here. www.netmechanic.com. You can find out wonderful things (like the fact that I didn't make up that 8 second rule) about your site and you can get average load times for your pages. Just click "improve your site" and go from there. There's some OK image optimizers there too, if you're in a pinch and want to shorten load time.

 

Well, your page loaded. Now what?

Now make sure I don't just thumb click you out of there. (Thumb click: side mounted button on a mouse that acts as the back button on a browser, hit with the thumb).

 

IMAGE

And I don't mean GIF or JPG, although that is part. I mean vibe and feel of your page. Very few goth bands have powder blue pages with carebears on them. There's a reason. BUT never sacrifice readability for image! (We're so dark that our page is dark grey writing on a black background - not a good idea.)

Turning your attention to actual pictures now - try a few different ones out. Get some feedback. Check your page visits. Getting lots of visits and no one listens to your music? Maybe your just too ugly. Seriously. If your picture, be it of you, your band, or your house cat, does not appeal to your target audience, then its useless. I did a test last month and removed all images from my page. I could not believe the impact. My plain page lost listens like crazy. I put new images up and my listens came right back. Put images, just make sure they fit your image. You know what I mean.

 

)(

No, this is not some demented smiley of some obscene thing. This is called the Eyescan pattern. In truth, the symbols should pass through each other, but it will have to do. When someone pick s up a piece of paper or sees something on the screen, their eye assembles the data by looking at the top left, mid right, bottom left, top right, mid left, bottom right. Eyes stop the longest at top left and bottom right.

How useless is this bit of trivia? Plan your page this way, with points of interest at those positions ON SCREEN - no scrolling. Pictures grab attention. Put one top left. It will be the first thing seen.

 

Make me stay on your page now

Make it EASY to use. Give me something to look at or read while I listen to a song. Convince me I need to hear a song. Don't you dare tell me there's nothing like you on the web. Tell me WHY there's nothing like you on the web and let me decide if you're unique. Don't tell me I'll love it, don't tell me you're the hottest band since Uncle Earl's Jug Band. Prove it to me, make me listen and then make me decide. Won any awards? Got a song sung in Tibetan? What else besides your word that you're cool? Tell me why you're so different that I should waste my 30 seconds on you. Just don't say "We're different" and leave it at that. BS. That means Be Specific. It also means a little of what you thought it meant when you first read it, which also loses surfers. Be intriguing.

Lots of content is good - it keeps people interested. But keep it CLEAR and SIMPLE or it just looks like a bunch of junk no one wants to see. If your stuff is hypercool but I have to actually decipher how to use the menu, I'm outta there.

Discuss this article in our Music Forum.

 

About Paul DeStefano

GeospherePaul DeStefano (aka Geosphere)

Music is my religion.”
Jimi Hendrix