How to Increase the Amount of Time Users Spend on Your Site

Ellan Dineen

In this day and age, a business’s digital presence is often essential to its success. From social media and blog posts to web pages and online stores, you’ll want to ensure your online equities are functioning to the best of their abilities. When it comes to the number of time users spend on your website, more time is always better. The more time users spend on your site, the more interested they are in your brand, and the more likely they are to make a purchase, get in contact, complete the desired CTA, etc. This is why monitoring your Analytics frequently and working to improve your metrics (such as your bounce rate and average time on page) is something all wise marketers should do.
The following post will help set you on the right path towards a website that will capture the attention of visitors and make them want to stay awhile…

What are the metrics I should be watching?

Careful analysis and an understanding of Analytics data will alert you to red flags on your website and other issues that require your attention. For the purposes of this article, there are two crucial Analytics metrics we recommend monitoring closely.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is defined by Hub Spot as “The percentage of people who land on a page on your website and then leave without clicking on anything else or navigating to any other pages on your site.” For instance, let’s say an individual navigates to your homepage via a social media post or from the Google search results pages. Once they land on that first page, they may have a look at it, and/or read some of its content, but they don’t go on to visit any other pages. What this tells you is that whatever content you have on those pages is likely not compelling enough to get visitors interested further in your company. You may have to rework your design or content to better retain the attention of potential customers.

Average time on page

This metric is exactly what it sounds like. It is the average amount of time users to your site spend on any given page. This data is important because it lets you know which pages users are spending time interacting with, and which pages aren’t as popular. From here, you can try to optimize the pages that are underperforming and ensure to maximize the impact of the pages that are already functioning well.

How can I improve the amount of time visitors spend on my website?

Now, down to the real reason you’re here: to find out how you can increase the amount of time individuals spend on your site (and hopefully decrease your bounce rate in the process).

Invest in good content

Good content means compelling content—content that people will want to read and that is interesting enough to warrant your visitor’s precious time. Content should be of value to visitors. Research the inbound marketing methodology to help you craft engaging content that people will be happy read, and find easy to digest.

Have content structured accordingly

You have about seven seconds to capture someone’s attention. Make the most of those seven seconds with a headline that stands out, and body paragraphs that are easy to absorb. This means taking advantage of headings, subheadings, numerical lists, bullet points, etc. Think of your own online browsing habits—how likely are you to spend time reading through a long, monotonous chunk of plain text? Chances are you’d shut the page before even finishing the first paragraph! There’s a reason those Buzzfeed-type listicles have gained in popularity recently—with the population overstimulated by so many different outlets, the attention spans of today’s users are growing shorter and shorter. So, just remember—when in doubt, spread it out!

Make use of videos

Continuing on from above, there are certain types of quality content that will draw visitors in and coax them into spending more time on your website. One of the best types of media for this is videos. Videos will immerse your visitors in a visual and aural experience that they will truly appreciate.

Display client testimonials and case studies

Additionally, other content such as client testimonials and case studies will also be of particular interest to your visitors. Visitors will be keen to find out how others responded to your products/services and having the opinions and experiences of existing customers will give potential customers something intriguing to read. If you’re selling products, displaying customer reviews on your site is also a good idea. People spend time both looking at reviews and writing them! Good reviews will go a long way for marketing your product, so if you’re confident in what you’re selling (and you should be!) encourage those reviews!

Urge visitors to complete a CTA

Another way to actively increase the amount of time visitors spend on your site is by urging them to complete a call to action. This usually means signing up for a mailing list with their email address or entering other types of personal information. It’s important to note that customers will be far more likely to complete these CTAs if they’re given something in return, such as a 20% off coupon, a free trial of your products, a free consultation, etc.

Ask visitors for their feedback

Today’s customers are opinionated. They want their voices to be heard and aren’t afraid of sharing their opinions, regardless of whether it’s good or bad! Harness the energy of your potential customers (while increasing the amount of time they spend on your site) by asking for their feedback. Ask them what they think of your site, their reasons for navigating to your web pages, etc. Not only will their feedback be valuable to you as you strive to make improvements, but you’ll also be showing them that their opinion matters— and this will help your brand image and increase brand loyalty.

Pay attention to the design and structure of your pages

The visual content of the page is just as important as the written content of the page. If a web page is poorly designed, it will irritate visitors and make them less likely to spend time on your site. Make sure that your pages look professional, have an easy-to-navigate structure, and a nice color palette. There should be a link to your homepage on each page, and visitors should never feel “lost” on your site. The structure of your site should be intuitive, making navigation a breeze for those that visit. When it comes to the colors you use, stay away from bright, in-your-face primary colors and go for shades that won’t be offensive to the eyes.

Ensure your pages are operating smoothly

When it comes to your site, there are not many things that are more annoying than slow loading pages, broken links, and/or other operational issues. Dealing with these issues is certainly enough to make any visitor give up and navigate away from your site! It’s imperative that these problems are regularly scanned for and repaired immediately if found.

Use graphics—but make sure they’re quality

Graphics are great at attracting attention, and interesting graphics are excellent ways to keep visitors entertained while on your site. However, you need to ensure these graphics are high-quality and relevant to the pages/posts they’re found on or within. Bad graphics can certainly work against you, but good graphics will help attract visitors to your pages.

Stay away from pop up ads

Pop-up ads can greatly hinder the user experience. Generally speaking, they are irritating, obnoxious, and despised by web users the world over! Pop-ups will surely exasperate your visitors and make them quickly exit your site.

Include internal links

If you want to increase the amount of time people spend on your site, make it easy for them to find more content they’ll be interested in. Include hyperlinks to related content within blog posts and web content, and ensure the main navigation bar is easily accessible, regardless of which page you’re on.
Increasing the number of time users spend on your site is key to conversions, sales, and profit. The above steps will help you optimize your website for a more enjoyable user experience.

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