The longer you’re able to keep visitors on your website, the higher the likelihood that you’ll convert them into customers. If you've worked hard to create a website then you want it to work for you.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. This is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish! Your website needs to work hard to keep visitors interested.
Here are our 7 tips to keep visitors on your website for longer:
1. Optimise website page load times
40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Technology has advanced so much that we no longer have the patience to wait more than a few second for a web page to load. Make sure you website is optimised for speed.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will show you what to fix to improve the speed of your website. Even just a few poorly optimised images can have quite a dramatic effect on download times.
A faster website will not only keep visitors on your website for longer but will help with your rankings in Google.
2. Make your website visually attractive
A website which is well laid out and visually attractive is instantly more appealing to a visitor and will encourage them to stay longer. Break up chunks of text with headings, sub-headings and bullet points to make it easier to use. Include images in your website and ensure your colour scheme is consistent and on brand throughout.
3. Make your website easy to navigate
How often have you left a website, frustrated because you couldn't find the information you wanted? Make it obvious for your visitor to find what they are looking for with a straightforward navigation structure.
Don't try to be clever. Stick to a standard navigation. Visitors expect to find horizontal navigation across the top or vertical navigation down the left side. Putting your navigation in standard places makes your site easier to use. Navigation is not the place to be creative!
4. Include internal links within your website
Internal links within your website to other related pages provide additional information and interest. They also have search engine optimisation (SEO) value.
Many retail websites do this well by directing you towards other items by highlighting other products that may be relevant to you - "you may also like" or "people who viewed this also viewed".
You can install a 'related posts' plugin to your blog which will direct visitors to other blogs that might interest them.
5. Use multimedia in your website
Some people prefer to receive information in ways other than text. Adding multimedia files to your website such as video clips and slideshow presentations will satisfy these visitors as well as creating additional interest. Last year we blogged on the importance of online video and shared some compelling statistics. Video is fast becoming a website must have.
[Note the internal link we did there!]
6. Make sure your website is mobile responsive
Mobile search has now overtaken desktop search. With most visitors now preferring to use a mobile device to access the Internet it is essential that your website is mobile responsive. If it isn't then you're probably going to see a dramatic increase in your bounce rate. Very few people have the patience to navigate their way through a desktop site on a mobile!
7. Content, content, content
Lastly and most importantly, if you want to keep visitors on your website you need to provide them with great content. Keep blogging, doing videos and adding fresh content on a regular basis.
Your visitors will keep coming back for more and Google will reward you with a higher search ranking.
If you have any other tips to add please add them in the comments box below.