It can be one of the most frustrating things about running an online business or an offline business that relies on traffic to its website. What we are talking about is spending time and money to generate traffic and get visitors to your website but finding that they either leave soon after, or worse, they click away immediately.
Not only does this do little to improve conversions and sales, but it can also negatively impact your website’s rankings on search engines. Google measures what is termed ‘bounces’ from your websites, which is how many people arrive and then leave within a few seconds.
The other relevant measure is the amount of time that someone remains on your website. That will include an action like them clicking through to other pages and reading or viewing the content that you have created. The more they do that, the longer they stay on your website, and in Google’s view, that means your website is engaging visitors.
The upside of that is improved ranking, so from what we have discussed so far, the goal should be to ensure that your visitors have a reason to remain on your website for as long as possible.
The other important point to remember is, not only does it mean better rankings but if someone remains on your website, they are more likely to become a customer, which is surely the goal of most businesses.
So, you want to keep visitors on your website for longer, but how? Well, here are 5 ways it can be achieved.
Put Yourself In Visitors’ Shoes
This first tactic is nothing specific, but a piece of advice to look at your website as though you were seeing through the eyes of a visitor. You might ask someone else to do this with you, who does not know that much about your business.
As you go through your website, is there anything that you find difficult to read, or understand, based on how it is presented? Are there any ways which you can make your website more welcoming?
If you are having trouble, and bear in mind you should know all the content, and what itis about, imagine how it appears and feels to a new visitor.
If you have not yet ensured that your website is mobile compatible, then you are well behind the rest of your competition. Google now prioritises those websites which are mobile compatible in its search engine ranking, so there is one way your business is losing out.
More applicable to this article is the fact that if your website does not look right on a mobile device, then visitors are not going to waste their time trying to work out what text says, for example.
With mobile internet browsing now overtaking desktop browsing, that is a lot of lost visitors you have worked hard to attract but have lost almost instantly.
Make Your Content Readable
Have you ever been faced with a huge block of text to read, and thought, ‘I can’t be bothered ploughing through all that?’. Guess what? That is exactly the same reaction your website visitors have if the written content on your website looks too difficult to read.
This is not actually that difficult to fix, in fact it is easy! All you need do is go through your content and add line breaks and split it into smaller paragraphs. Not only does this make it easier to read, but when it is first viewed on a screen, it looks more welcoming for your visitors, and therefore they are more likely to remain.
We are not entirely sure what the psychology is behind this fact, but people love lists. It may be as simple as reading down a list of items, facts, or snippets of information is easier for the brain to digest and understand.
This means if you have large amounts of information that you want your visitors to read, rather than reproducing it all in large chunks of text, instead look for opportunities to display it lists.
It may make the pages longer, but if that is enough to encourage more visitors to stay on that page, the goal of visitor retention will have been achieved.
Use Graphs, Charts, and Infographics
Let us imagine you are a legal firm and you want to put across the different levels of compensation that you have won for your clients over the past 5 years. If you were to write that in article form the chances of anyone reading all the way through it, are slim.
However, if you were to present that same information in a graph, chart, or infographic then not only is it visually more appealing, but the message about your success actually hits home with more credibility.
Seeing is believing, right? We cannot recall a phrase that says, ‘reading is believing’. So, if you have information about your business, wherever possible, put it into a graphical form.