The Vine Test: Pinpoint Website Weaknesses in 6 Seconds or Less

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When today’s time-pressed and hyperactive visitors arrive at a website, the homepage needs to slap them in the face with what they'll find on that site and who that company is.

We see a lot of unclear or poorly defined products and services in the B2B space. That's just the nature of the B2B beast. But a website that leaves the viewer as confused about the products you sell just won't do. Market Creation Group recently began a campaign to help companies identify messaging problems that leave websites in the dark.

Tell me what you do

“We make it easy to find used cars.”Perfect. Simple and clear: a visitor knows exactly what to expect from this website because it tells you right up front.

The ability to clearly and concisely say what you do can be a competitive advantage. As a company that focuses solely on B2B technologies, MCG feels the pain of conveying the confounding offerings in your market space.

But don’t worry, we won’t leave you stranded; MCG has devised a solution for you.

We call it the Vine Test

Vine is a Twitter-enabled mobile app that allows you to capture and share 6 second videos. The limited content forces users to be creative and effective with their use of space and time. Vine provides the perfect test for whether a website can clearly express it's message or purpose in the appropriate amount of time. Put your website to the Vine Test in four simple steps.

Step 1: Download the Vine app

Step 2: Film your company's homepage for 6 seconds

Step 3: Post the video to Twitter

Step 4: Ask social media followers to try to identify what it is your company does.

Oftentimes a web visitor may already know what it is a company offers, but by exposing those individuals to a 6 second clip and asking them if the messaging comes across will help to override any familiarities or biases.

Realizing that visitors may not immediately understand the purpose of your website is just the first step though. Next comes the task of fixing the problem. Here are several common issues that will assuredly lead a website to fail a Vine Test.

1. Over-clutter

Hey, I know how we'll keep visitors on our site: we'll put so much stuff on our homepage that they'll have no choice but to stay there for a while to read it all! Wrong.

Today's website viewers are looking for any excuse to move on from where they land. Welcome visitors in with a clean viewing experience centered on a single message. Clarify your website's purpose so the message has a chance to resonate.

After all, a cluttered homepage might only serve to remind visitors of how much they need to organize their inbox. A cluttered homepage is like a front door with 10 doorknobs: you don’t know what to grab ahold of.

2. I don't know about you, but this makes sense to me

You're an expert at what you do. And while you should be proud of that fact, keep in mind: the people who come to your company's website may have a different frame of reference.

Avoid over-complicated industry phrasing and terminology on the immediate customer facing homepage of your website. Instead, replace the proof of just how adept you are in exchange for a relatable message. Get your visitors comfortable before your whip out the big guns.

Go forth and perfect your website messaging

Hubspot says we have between 3 and 5 seconds to capture a website visitor before they move on. They call this "The Blink Test." In those 3 to 5 seconds, you must not only avoid scaring them away, but also tell them exactly what they can expect to find on your site with clear and concise message statement.

The short window of opportunity to grab a viewer’s attention coincides perfectly with the brevity of the Vine app. The Vine Test is the perfect tool for identifying where your website is missing the mark with it’s messaging. Improve your website's first impression and start attracting more dedicated visitors. Download the Vine app here and put your website to the test.


This is a great idea! I blogged about Vine when it first came out - that it could be used to test branding or positioning, but I love asking people whether they can get your website in 6 seconds!

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