Easy Ways to Keep Your Website Visitors Longer
You have worked hard creating your site. Then why doesn’t anyone stay longer to read your content?
A high bounce rate – that is, a large percentage of visitors who have not viewed more than one page of your site – is a common problem that annoys small business sites. A number of factors can contribute to this problem, but there are also a number of easy solutions.
To determine if your site needs help keeping visitors longer, go to the Google Analytics dashboard. If you see that the bounce rate is higher than 50 and up to 60 percent of your visitors spend the average time on the site that is less than a minute, think about the possibility of using one of the following actions.
Experiment with multimedia
Multimedia files hold visitors’ attention longer. Your visitors may not sit still to read articles of two thousand words, but they can listen to all this content during one visit, if it is transmitted using video or audio.
Try experimenting with everything from embedded videos to slide show presentations, from podcasts to image galleries. Measure the effect of each of these supplements on the “stickiness” parameter to determine which techniques to use again.
Make your content more readable
If you’ve ever come across a page that consists only of a long, unformatted piece of dense text, then you know how important readability is in order to attract and detain people on a site.
To make your content more readable, select one of the following techniques:
– Make paragraphs shorter so that they consist of two to five sentences maximum;
– Use subheadings to break content into parts;
– Add bulleted or numbered lists when possible;
– Highlight keywords and phrases in bold or italics.
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These tips may seem simple, but they create more elements on the page to contact your readers, and they can significantly reduce your site’s bounce rate.
Add internal links
Another factor contributing to a high bounce rate is the inability to provide readers with options to choose content that might interest them. For example, suppose you keep the answer to the question “Who won the Super Bowl in 1997?” On a sports site. The page gives you an answer, but is unable to provide links to related pages about star players Brett Favre, Reggie White and Desmond Howard – all topics that may interest you and delay on this site longer. Instead, you get specific information and leave, contributing to a high site bounce rate.
One easy way to keep people on the site longer is to add internal links to other related pages throughout your site. While these links also add value to website search engine optimization (SEO), it’s important to structure them to help your readers find other information that they like. Do not use this opportunity to fill your links with a bunch of SEO phrases with keywords.
Install the “Posts on Topic” plugin on your blog
Similarly, if your company has a blog, consider adding a plugin like the WordPress Related Posts tool or Contextual Related Posts. Both of these two tools automatically attach a list of related articles at the end of each of your blog posts, giving readers the opportunity to go further to other pages on your site.
If you install one of these tools, do not use the standard settings. Test different headings – “You may also like it” or “Posts on a topic” and display settings (lists of posts or icons with images) to see which combinations are more likely to decrease the bounce rate.
Encourage readers to action
If you want readers to linger on your site, ask them to do something for you. For example, you can:
– invite readers to see a post on a specific topic on your site;
– encourage them to leave comments at the end of your blog posts;
– direct them to free videos on your site.
Remember that visitors to your website cannot read your mind. If you want them to take a specific action on your site to reduce your bounce rate, be sure to tell them about it.
These solutions should help improve the performance of your site, but you may still need to conduct a thorough study of your site’s analytic data.