Why users leave a website blog banner

10 Second Rule | Why Users Leave a Website

June 12, 2022

Why users leave a website blog banner

Do you find yourself wondering why users leave a website? Specifically, why isn’t the beautifully crafted photography page you optimized for SEO generating leads? This post will tell you what you need on your page to keep the right clients from leaving and how you can test this in 10 seconds.

Optimizing for SEO is only one-half of the battle for generating clients from Google. I agree it’s a HUGE half, but the second piece to consider is what happens once your SEO brings a client to your photography site.

If you’ve already optimized your site for SEO, but the clicks aren’t converting, this post is a must-read. However, if you’re still working on getting seen on google, I suggest the following SEO blogs first.

Special Note – I’m writing this with a photographer in mind, but these tips will work for any service-based business.

What exactly is the 10-second rule for websites?

This rule simply means you have 10 seconds worth of your prospective clients’ time before a user leaves a website and looks elsewhere. It’s the window you have to connect enough with a person to convince them to hang out longer.

A judgment on if you’re a possible good fit will happen that fast. Promise.

Why users leave a website bounce rate graphic

Why Users Leave a Website? Tell Them These Three Things So They Don’t

A user needs to see where you’re located on your webpage. 

Someone being able to see where you’re located on your webpage is critical. One of the first things a prospective client will check is to see if you are located in the same area. If they can’t see your location, this is a quick exit from your page.

Check this first if you’re wondering why a user leaves a website fast.

Many photographers don’t like to advertise their location as boldly because they’d like to travel. 

However, in omitting your location, you will alienate the people in your local area.

Try saying things like the following examples.

  • “Located in Spokane, WA and traveling in the Pacific NW.”
  • “Spokane, WA, traveling to your destination.”
  • “Spokane, WA serving clients in the US.”

Tell users what you do right away

Make sure to call out exactly what you do with text and pictures. Be bold and be specific, so people know what type of photography you do.  

Don’t get me wrong. What you do, does not need to be a type of photography like weddings or newborns. It could! However, it could also be documentary photography for all stages of life. Or high-end, polished portraits.

If you’re a photographer, go deeper than “I do photography.” Give people enough details to connect deeper.

Lastly, if you’re wondering why users leave a website, tell them who you serve

 This is where you will speak directly to a user before they think about going off your website. Who exactly do you want to help? Tell this group of people now before they think of clicking out of your photography website.

Do you serve adventurous, dog-loving couples? What about crazy, loud families bursting with love and laughter at the seams? Now is your chance to hook in exactly who you want to serve.

Test Your Website To See if it Passes the 10 Second Test

To wrap it up, a user needs to see where you serve people, who you specifically serve, and what you do. Have a friend jump on your website, set a timer, and answer those questions. See how long it takes to find good answers to these questions.

10 second test for websites

Please remember, the more detailed, the better. A photographer who takes photos of people in Washington is too vague for someone to decide to contact you. Get granular with your copy and share only the images that light you up.

Your website’s who, what, and where is critically important to convey in the first 10 seconds. If you’d like, I’d love to test this for you too!

Send me an email to mb@mbbryantimages.com with your website, and I’ll tell you how fast it took me to find the answers to those questions.

Are you looking for more support for your photography business? Jump on my free small business newsletter. Every two weeks, I drop in with actionable business advice you can use to move the needle in your business.


MB – 15 years as a business analyst, photographer + owner, and now helping others run their creative business confidently.

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

+ Newborns

+ Families

+ Brands