My husband claims I have the attention span of a squirrel. Despite my denials, I secretly wonder if this is true?

What is Attention Span?

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. Most educators and psychologists agree that the ability to focus attention on a task is crucial for the achievement of one’s goals. It’s no surprise attention spans have been decreasing over the past decade with the increase in external stimulation. (Think smartphone, Candy Crush, Words With Friends, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the list goes on and on….)

Two questions to consider:

1 – What is the average human attention span? 

2 – How long in seconds is the average attention span?

Take a quick moment to digest the following attention span statistics from Statistic Brain:

Attention Span Statistics

To recap the above (in case you got distracted):

Between 2000 and 2015, the average attention span of an internet user has shrunk from 12 seconds to eight seconds.

To put that in perspective, the average attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds – one second more than your online customer!


The real question becomes:

What Will You Do When Your Customers No Longer Have Attention Spans?

Here is one more statistic from qSampleBlog to help understand your customers’ declining attention span with great tips from on how you can tweak your marketing to fit the amount of attention your customer is willing to give you.

  • 10 seconds is the amount of time it takes a visitor to decide whether they’re going to stay on your page. (If someone stays on your page for more than 30 seconds, they will likely stay for more than two minutes, and will probably return later.)

You have exactly 10 seconds… GO!

What can you do to keep a potential customer on your website?

1. De-clutter your website by tightening up your copy and reduce the amount of irrelevant content.

2. Identify and speak to a single customer: You can’t sell anything to everyone. Pick a specific customer and write your website to them. Imagine a single individual and write to that person. It will pull in your ideal customers and keep them there.

3. Have the core purpose, benefit and description of your site in BIG BOLD words at the top. This purpose is your headline, and the ideal length of a headline is no more than six words.

Great headline examples using six words or less:

MailChimp: Send Better Email

Copyblogger: We Power Websites That Work

Grammarly: Better Writing Made Easier

Airbnb: Welcome Home

4. Focus on the top three things you do for people: Immediately after your headline – be sure to identify the top three things that people will get or be able to do.

Two examples of websites that don’t dimish a customer’s attention span:

1 – Grammarly

Here’s an example of Grammarly’s home page clearly identifying what they will do for their customer:

Grammerly headline: Better Writing Made Easy

2 – Airbnb

And, Airbnb with a short headline and succinct tagline:

Airbnb headline: Welcome Home

More mind-numbing statistics from QSampleBlog:

  • 5 minutes is the average attention span of a person (dropping from 12 minutes in the course of the last 10 years).
  • 30 seconds is the average length of a television commercial (down from one minute in the 1950s and 1960s).
  • 90 seconds is the drop off attention in viewer retention to any marketing video.
  • 30 seconds in the considered length of an elevator pitch (formerly 118 seconds, the average length of a New York elevator ride).
  • 20% is the average email open rate of any business email (while 95% of visitors never fill out a form in any industry’s website).
  • 40% of visitors will leave a website if loading takes more than three seconds.


For more advice from DIY Marketers on the attention span of your customer, read: Tips on How to Leverage Shorter Attention Spans

For other fun attention span facts, read: What’s the Connection Between a Productive Meeting, REM Sleep, and Attention Span?