You’ve got a website. You’ve got content. And you’ve got products and services to sell to the people who visit your website.
Now you just need to keep them there longer.
It’s well-documented that visitors to websites spend an average of 15 seconds on a site before they click on to something new. Fifteen seconds.
That might be enough time for Stephen Curry to score nine points, but it’s barely enough time to convert a visitor into a customer.
Unless your content is a killer and your overall design is deserving of their time — and that’s easier said than done. But it can be done, especially if you take advantage of these 10 tips to keep visitors on your website longer.
1. Pay Attention to Aesthetics
If you only have 15 seconds to capture a visitor’s attention, and keep them on your website longer, you better have a good-looking site.
According to a study of Stanford University, 75 percent of website users say they make snap judgments about a company’s credibility based on the design of the company’s website. If a visitor doesn’t like the look, he or she leaves the site instantly. So one way to keep visitors on your website longer is to make sure it’s aesthetically appealing.
2. Make it Intuitive
Nobody likes to solve a puzzle in order to place an order — especially when another website offering the same products and services is only a click away. So make sure your website’s navigation makes sense; make sure it’s intuitive. If your website is difficult to navigate, your visitors will navigate to another site.
3. Connect the Content
Imagine what would happen if all of the content on your site was consistently astonishing, and connected in a way that led visitors from one article to the next, one video to another, and finally to a call to action.
Visitors would click from one strategically constructed piece of content to the next until they felt compelled to click on the call to action. This can only happen if you make the most of internal linking, which is the insanely simple practice of linking one post to another.
4. Create Killer Content
Even the most intuitive, aesthetically appealing sites with linked content won’t accomplish their goals if the content isn’t amazing. So make sure you are delivering content that your visitors actually want to read. Solve problems. Be interesting and educational. You can even be entertaining. After all, you can’t bore people into buying.
5. Break It into Blocks
Is there anything more off-putting to a reader than a large block of copy? Sure, some people like sitting down, and working their way through thousands of words at a time. But they’re reading “War and Peace.” And even “War and Peace” is broken into chapters.
Make your copy easier to ready by making sure it’s broken into easily digestible blocks. The best way to do this is to use headers and sub-headers.
There are people who like to read. There are people who prefer to watch videos. There are people who prefer infographics. And then there are those who want to get their information through a variety of mediums.
Your website needs to appeal to all of them if you want to keep visitors on your website longer. Write compelling copy, and then convert that into videos, infographics, podcasts and more.
7. Take Pride in Being Professional
If you want visitors to take your site seriously, you need to pay attention to presenting yourself in a professional manner. Proofread everything for grammar and spelling. Make sure you’re using a consistent style. And always make sure your site and all of the pages on it — is properly branded.
8. Focus on Freshness
With so much information being generated and shared on websites, it can be hard to keep your content fresh. But nobody really wants to read a blog post that’s a month old, much less a year old. So focus on keeping your content fresh.
Keeping your content timely not only attracts visitors — and keeps them coming back — but it also lets the search engines know that you’re still in business. Those are two extremely valuable benefits of being fresh, new and exciting.
9. Ask for Action
You know what you want your visitors to do. Heck, they probably know what you want them to do, too. But you are still going to want to make it clear.
Do this by putting a call to action on every page. Highlight it (but not in an obnoxious, overly zealous kind of way). Make sure all of your visitors can find it and easily use it. Sometimes, all you have to do to convert a visitor into a customer is ask them to take action.
10. Feel the Need for Speed
Remember, you only have 15 seconds with the average visitor to your website. If they spend half of that time waiting for the site to load, you’ve probably already lost them.
In fact, research conducted by Kissmetrics shows that nearly half of all website users expect sites to load in two seconds or less. Another 40 percent say they’ll leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. So feel the need for speed and you’ll keep visitors on your website for a longer period of times — and convert more visitors into more customers.
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