Attracting visitors to your website is half the battle. It doesn’t make too much sense when people enter your site and then leave it after a minute. Such visits cannot bring revenue or increase brand awareness — neither users make purchases, nor they see enough content or remember about you an hour later.
As a website owner, you want them to get hooked, explore your offers, and finally — opt for your products or services. Gladly, there are some simple website tricks to keep visitors longer. And the best part – these techniques work for every type of resource. Let’s discuss them!
Reasons to Increase the Average Time Visitors Spend on your Website
The key reason to encourage users to stay on your site for longer is obvious: the chance that they will purchase your goods increases — more time, more conversion. And, of course, SEO strategies aimed at prolonged user sessions improve your Google ranking.
As a rule, people leave for the following reasons:
- Your site is too slow
- The content is not interesting/useful/engaging
- Design, fonts, and overall outlook of the page is poor
- Exploring your website is not convenient
- Your site is not mobile-friendly
- They cannot find answers to their questions
- There are structural errors, 404 pages, and other troubles that spoil the user experience.
Google and other search engines penalize websites that have such problems and what is even more frustrating; users do the same. They simply leave, never come back, avoid buying, and bounce. This way, you lose traffic and sales.
What is a bounce rate, and why should you care?
When a user enters your site and then closes it immediately without taking action, it is called a bounce. Bounce rate is a term in web analytics that indicates the percentage of visitors who left the website within seconds. The higher the bounce rate, the worse it is for Google statistics. Bounces are considered the fourth most important ranking factor. What more, if a user closes the site right away and doesn’t visit at least one additional page, Google perceives the resource as not very useful.
This is how the bounce rate is displayed in Google Analytics:
Image source: neilpatel.com
You can track the bounce rate of a separate page, segment, or entire website. For e-commerce sites with blogs, segmented analysis is more appropriate. The reason is that the informational and commercial pages usually have a different bounce rate.
Metrics: are they too high?
The metrics are always individual – they depend on numerous factors, like business type, niche, etc. Some websites can function properly with a 50% bounce rate; the others – cannot. To find out which rate is acceptable for your particular service, you should analyze the average bounce rate of your niche and consider these numbers as an orienteer. In case your bounce rate is higher than your competitors’, you should try to decrease it.
How to measure time spent on the website?
Both bounce rate and on-site time can be measured with free tools like Google Analytics or WordPress plugins.
1. Google Analytics
Millions of web owners and SEO specialists prefer Google Analytics to find out how much time users spend on their resources. With this tool, you can view information about all aspects of users’ behaviour, including session durations. There are numerous instruments and dashboards for tracking, analysis, and other details here. All of them are extremely useful, but if you are new to SEO, they might be a bit overwhelming. If you feel lost – read guidelines and tutorials from Google.
If you use the WordPress sample for your website, then the analysis of users’ behaviour might be easier. There are WordPress plugins that use Google Analytics dashboards for WordPress like Analytify or WP Statistics.
Tips to Keep Visitors Longer on your Website
Finally, let’s discuss how to minimize the bounce rate and keep visitors longer on your website!
Here are some practical tips to try:
Make your content more engaging
This might sound a bit wacky: just go and make your content perfect! Do it! Well, you must be totally aware that great content is necessary. To increase theThis might sound a bit wacky: just go and make your content perfect! Do it! Well, you must be aware that great content is necessary. To increase the average time spent on site, try to provide users with something they are looking for. Make your text not just descriptive, but captivating. Write product descriptions that are not just promotional but informative or story-like. Use engaging headlines to encourage clicks and write extended texts to keep users reading. People love useful articles and stories!
Less text, more media
Don’t restrict yourself to text! Create infographics, add videos, images, and photos. Media gets more attention than text, and your readers will surely spend more time on your site being charmed with a beautiful clip or visual product description.
Take care of the mobile version
You must be aware that mobile websites and applications become more and more popular among users. Making an online purchase with the help of a small screen can be challenging in case a website doesn’t have a well-done mobile version. When users try to open your site on the mobile phone, and it fails to function correctly, they will bounce off immediately. As a result, the average time spent on a website will decrease significantly.
Image source: truconversion.com
Mind the speed of your website
Indeed, most users won’t stay on your website for more than a minute in case the page-load is too slow. There are too many alternatives (your competitors) out there; it is much easier for your potential buyer to find another similar site.
If your pages are stuffed with large pictures, interactive elements, and moving visuals, they may load slowly. As we have already claimed, media elements are captivating and may increase users’ average time on the website. However, they can also be too heavy. Try to find the balance and avoid overloading your site. Optimize your imagery, and keep it lively, but not too heavyweight.
Make links and navigation convenient
Make your website easy to browse. The links should be user-friendly and interconnected. Implement breadcrumb navigation into your site and make sure to add backlinks to relevant content or landings. This will allow your readers to travel around your resources and do detailed research viewing your products.
Maybe it’s time to redesign your site
Bouncing unavoidably happens when your website is not catchy enough. Just imagine that someone enters your shop, looks around for a second, and runs away. This is what happens when your design and user experience is a bit… lame.
Maybe, it is time to stop using stock photos? How about the annoying pop-ups? Are the fonts and typography readable? Take a critical look at your website and give yourself an honest answer if you really like how it looks and feels. If not – then the time has come to change something. Or everything! Remember, if your design is painful for users, their first time will surely become the last time.
Make your CTAs personalized
It is not easy to make call-to-action (CTAs) messages truly original. Is it even possible to invent a more engaging way of saying “read more” or “click here”? Still, such wording can sound pretty robotic and not very motivating. In most cases, users don’t feel anything when they read such cold and senseless CTAs. Try to make them more emotional and urgent. You can be even a bit manipulative here. Just a bit!
Implement a live chat
Some users are too lazy; the others are in a hurry or just cannot find the answer to their question. Don’t let them leave your site in frustration! They might be experiencing a problem and need some help. Use leading live chat software to put an online messaging module on your website and get someone to support your visitors. Online chatting will prevent an unnecessary bounce off and will surely increase the time users have spent on your resources.
Fix mistakes and broken links
Your users prefer moving smoothly through the endless chain of links instead of experiencing a dead-end. Broken links can be extremely frustrating! They spoil your SEO as well as user-experience. Don’t annoy Google bots as well as your potential buyers – fix the broken links and let them enjoy a long and fruitful journey.
Image source: varvy.com
Locate a search bar on every page
The search bar should appear on every page of your website to allow visitors to find what they need immediately. When it comes to the location of a search bar, it is better to place it like everyone else – in the right upper corner or the middle of a page. People are used to seeing the search bars there, so you should follow the general “convention.” In case you don’t locate the search bar there, visitors will think that your website doesn’t have it at all.
Improving the way your website feels and looks will definitely make users stay with you longer. It is essential to get rid of all obstacles first and then optimize and improve the existing features. Make sure to fix the broken links, speed up the loading time, improve navigation, and design elements. Take care of such helpful aspects as live chat, search bar, and mobile version of the site. Remember that your main aim is to be helpful – this will attract customers and make them interested in your offers. Provide useful and entertaining content that looks great to captivate users’ attention.
Mind the aspects highlighted above, and your metrics will surely get better. When the site is nice, clear, helpful, and convenient, users stay there for longer. Google ranks the websites considering user experience and convenience, so the better site you have, the higher position you will take. Everything is interconnected!