Your website should be designed to attract visitors and encourage engagement. The last thing you want is visitors to leave your website too quickly. The ideal scenario is having visitors stay longer on your website, keeping up engagement and ideally generating a conversion. ‘Dwell time’ is a ranking factor for Google’s SEO algorithms affecting your business SERP results. Here are ten helpful ways to entice visitors to stay on your website longer and reduce bounce rates.
1. Snap judgements demand good design
Did you know that it takes someone about 6 seconds to decide if they like the look of a website! Putting this into perspective, you have that very short span of 6 seconds to get your brand or a message across to a viewer. Your web pages’ visual appeal needs to make an immediate good impression.
A badly designed website could result in losing customers. Many people base the credibility of a company on the web design and is often the first impression, therefore the look and feel of a website is so important. Visual appeal matters, so use the graphic and the videos that will attract attention and keep viewers interested – a website needs to be attractive 😉
2. Quality content
Firstly, your content needs to match your titles. There is no point in having headlines that don’t deliver quality content relative to the hype. Content should be as effective as possible at portraying your company in a positive light. Visual content is a great way to keep viewers on your site. For example, ‘explainer’ or ‘how to’ videos for home improvement, or ‘destination/holiday’ videos for travel sites, these are just some examples of videos. A background video playing on your homepage is also a great way to hold a viewer’s attention.
Generally, people are looking for what you can offer to help them, so ensure that your website offers solutions. Make your message about them, not about you. A good web designer will know how to help you with creative images and headlines that will catch viewers’ attention, evoking emotional responses as required.
3. Mega menus for simplifying navigation
Mega menus, or expandable menus, are a great way for users to quickly scan what is available in different categories on a website. They work well for site navigation and are normally in a dropdown format. With a mega menu, everything should be shown at once and no scrolling should be required. A mega menu can contain sub menus which will open when a user hovers or clicks on the menu item. Good navigation in a site will play a large part of whether a user remains on a site or leaves quickly.
4. Exit intent pop-ups
Exit intent pop-ups are generally not considered to be disturbing to users. When detecting that someone is leaving the site, you can make one last attempt at keeping the person interested or converting a sale. At that pivotal moment, try and grab their attention before they close the door. Exit intent pop-ups are a great way to reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions.
According to research, 53% of abandoning visitors can be recovered through exit intent pop-ups. Some examples of exit intent pop-ups that work are: recommending that a user speaks to an agent, or offering an irresistible lead magnet, or recommending a user to read a great blog post. These will encourage visitors to stay on your site longer.
5. Page loading time
Reducing the time that a page loads is essential. If an eCommerce page has a 1 second delay when loading, it could cost you to lose sales. Hard to believe, but it’s a fact. According to Kissmetrics, loading time of a page can have a direct impact on your bottom line. Google’s PageSpeed tool can help you determine an overall load time score and analyse page speed.
By compressing images, you can reduce load time. A content delivery network (CDN) server can also help your pages to download faster. A CDN will cache the files of your site and deliver them to a visitor through a server that is closest to them, cutting down valuable time.
Whether you add a call-to-action (CTA) for a visitor to sign up to a newsletter or make a comment, your CTA’s have a great influence on how long visitors stay on your website. An animated slide-in CTA is eye catching and non-intrusive to viewers. A tool such as OptinMonster can help you build your slide-in CTA’s.
Too often websites don’t have a CTA on their homepage which may cause visitors to leave and go to another site. For example, if you are a locksmith business and someone searches for a locksmith if they need help right away, the phone number should be a prominent feature CTA on the page in order for visitors to access your services quickly.
Timing is everything with a CTA. When used wisely it will help to keep visitors on a site or help to convert a shopping cart into an actual purchase. Seldom will anyone subscribe to a newsletter unless they are asked to, as well as learning more about products and services.
7. Match your voice to your audience
Think of what your target audience is looking for and match your voice to your audience. Try not to use pretentious language and use a friendly approach to your audience. Point out the value of products instead of just their features. Your website should reflect the type of conversation you would have with a customer as if you were face to face.
8. Headlines that impress
Headlines that get results are very important as this is what your visitors will probably see first. Once the headline has hooked the visitor in, there is a strong possibility that some more of your content will be read. A good example is Netflix where often a headline will be ‘See what’s next’. Word of advice – obsess over your headlines.
9. Links within your website
There’s nothing more powerful than boosting your own brand or products. For this reason, creating links to further info or products within your website will keep visitors linked to your website for long periods of time. Avoid using links in your first paragraph, as you normally want visitors to read on a bit more before linking.
10. Add a question
To create more interaction with your visitors, add a question or ask for a comment. A good place to add this, is at the end of your posts. If visitors do ask questions or leave comments, this will ensure that they are spending more time on your website. In this way, you are encouraging people to get involved with your content.
These 10 ways to make visitors stay longer on your website are worth taking heed of and implementing in your web design. Imagery, gifs and videos have strong pull effects on visitors, and may all add to the appeal of your site. Once your site is created, connect a Google Analytics account and collect user stats. Keep tracking and improving your site frequently.
Digital Noir is a master of web design with many years of experience and satisfied clients. Design is our game and we have the knowledge and tools to assist your business.