But you know something? All this effort will go down the drain when your visitors stay only for a few seconds before clicking away. Or when majority of them leave without reading any other page besides the landing page! This means your website has a high bounce rate. A website’s success is determined not only by how many visitors it receives but also how long do they stay and action on whatever you want them to do!
Why is staying longer so important?
High traffic is important but all your efforts will come to naught if your visitors don’t stay or click to any of your other web pages. Granted, there will definitely be those hi-and-bye types of visitors. The trick is to reduce this percentage and increase the number of pages your visitors click on.
Why is this important? Well, the longer they stay:
- The more traffic and pageviews you get
- The higher your chance of monetizing from their visit
- The higher a possibility they will return
- The better your SEO will be
How do I get my visitors to stay longer
Here are some of the simple actions you can take to get your visitors to stay longer at your website.
Call to action
One of the simplest and most effective ways is to include a “call to action” remark. A call to action is a jargon the marketing people use to indicate an action that you want your visitors to make when they come by.
Take for example you have included some free video or e-books and had invited your visitors to “Download Now”. Or perhaps “Buy Now for a 50% Discount”. The words “free”, “discount”, “offer” and “sale” are frequently used to attract visitors to take action and well, stay longer too!
Just do not include too many call to action links out of your website.
Page loading and navigation
One of my major turnoff when visiting any website is slow loading. No matter how interesting the website is, if it loads slowly, I would click away. I am sure many of you would do the same too.
So do ensure you don’t stuff your website with too many graphics, videos, audios or plugins that can slow your website down tremendously. Keep to a minimum and install only those that are necessary. You can also make your website load faster by making sure that you host on a good web host.
The other thing is to ensure that your website is easy to navigate. Remember how your mum would nag at you for having a messy room and how she couldn’t find anything? Well, your visitors too do not enjoy a cluttered website.
How you can increase the ease of navigation is by making your website simple. Place navigation menu at the top and at the sidebar, especially if yours has lengthy pages. Also include a search option and an archives page.
Go slow on advertising
Yes, I hear you. Advertising is one of your major sources of online income and any reduction is a cut on your income. That probably is the fact why some web owners crammed their websites with banner ads, links, pop-ups, and etc.
But do consider this. Many visitors view advertisements as either as a hard sell approach or simply a nuisance. Most would be comfortable if you have a few well-placed advertisements but if they feel that your website is an advertisement maze, they would get frustrated and end up leaving!
So what can you do? Keep these advertisements to a fair minimum and have them placed in strategic location where they do not crowd your posts and yet can be easily seen.
Advertisements too are a great way for your visitors to leave prematurely. This happens when your visitors, intentionally or unintentionally, click on these advertisements. How do you avoid this? The next tip addresses this challenge.
Links open in new tab or window
Opening links and advertisements in the same tab or window as your website can only make your visitors leave before they intend to. In order to avoid having links or advertisements work completely against you, set these to open up in another tab or window when clicked on.
This way, your website still exists on their browser and they can more easily return to it.
Use internal deep linking
Talking about links, another way to ensure your visitors stay longer on your website is to use internal deep linking. In other words, you simply link to relevant posts which you have previously posted.
This helps your visitors to easily find more information regarding a topic while ensuring they stay on your website, rather than having them search for details elsewhere. An example may be a post on the top 10 web hosting providers and how you would link each of these 10 providers to individual detailed posts that you had written earlier.
Another way is to use LinkWithin. This is a widget that is usually placed under each posts, highlighting related stories from your archive. The idea is to keep your visitors engaged with relevant topics, thus increasing pageviews and time spent on your website, and reduce bounce rate!
With the increase of Internet-ready mobile devices, you may want to consider a responsive design for your website. Many themes providers like Elegant Themes, are churning out responsive themes or upgrading existing designs to be responsive, so finding one that fits your website and is affordable is easier than ever.
Having a website that automatically scales itself to fit a browser can enhance your visitors’ mobile surfing experiences. Ultimately, this would contribute to an increase of traffic too.
The above guide is only some of the actions you can take to increase the stickiness of your website. A good combination of web design, content and plugins are able to make your website more interesting and thus, your visitors will stay longer, interact with you and return for more.
Do remember to constantly check to ensure that your website is updated and optimized to welcoming your visitors to stay rather than sending them away!