11 Ways Of Getting Your Visitors To Stay And Increase Time On Page

By azfar on August 5, 2015

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increase time on page

So you’ve got all your SEO efforts in place. You got ranked and traffic is pouring in. But then what? Most online marketers and bloggers focus all of their attention on ways to boost traffic to their website through the use of social media marketing, SEO and content marketing. There’s nothing wrong with this – in fact, these strategies are all necessary for your company to both succeed and grow.

Unfortunately, they don’t put nearly as much time and effort into their visitors once they have actually made it to their website. This is a big mistake, since there’s really no point in boosting your web traffic if the visitors coming to your page are leaving right away never to return.

Not only does this hurt your ability to capture leads and convert them into customers, it can actually hurt your SEO efforts as well.

High bounce rate coupled with low dwell time is not a good sign.

High bounce rate coupled with low dwell time is not a good sign.

Google takes into account the dwell time of a page as a factor in determining your page ranking. The dwell time consists of several metrics, including the bounce rate, the session duration and the click through rate of a page. Google uses the dwell time as part of its freshness algorithm, which helps Google figure out whether your content is fresh or stale.

Related Links:

  • Scoring freshness based on dwell time comparison
  • So if you’re drawing thousands of visitors to your website because of your strong SEO efforts but aren’t keeping them there, your page ranking will actually go down, which ends up hurting your search engine ranking, thereby reducing your traffic in the end.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies that you can use in order to keep visitors from leaving. There are also a number of things that you should avoid doing to make visitors stay on your website longer.

    What Makes Visitors Leave Immediately?

    bad website design will lead to high bounce rate

    It’s not always a lack of good content that is making your visitors leave your website. The following are some of the common mistakes that result in a high bounce rate and therefore a low dwell time:

    • Too many ads – Have you ever tried to watch a movie on cable only to turn the channel because they were running commercials every five minutes? It’s an infuriating feeling and it’s the same feeling your visitors are going to have if you bombard them with ads on your website. Having some ads on your site is perfectly acceptable, it’s how you use them that will affect your bounce rate.

      First of all, the first thing your visitors see should not be an ad. Try to avoid using pop-up ads if possible as they cover the content that your visitors came to your site to read in the first place. Also, make sure you don’t use ads that take up more space than your content.

    • Persistent opt in – Instead of asking visitors to opt-in continuously through the use of pop-ups, just make it easy for them to find your opt-in page. Otherwise, they are going to feel like you are just nagging them, which will chase them away from your site.

      The least you can do is make the pop-up less annoying to increase time  on page

      The least you can do is make the pop-up less annoying.

      I know that pop-ups can be very beneficial to get conversion. If you need to include them, limit pop-ups to only be displayed once per session or give them value such as downloadable freebies to make them less annoying.

    • Register to read – Forcing your visitors to register in order to read your content isn’t doing anyone any favors. Forced registration acts as a barrier between your visitors and your content, which means that most visitors will simply leave your site and go somewhere else to find what they are looking for.

      requiring registration to read your content can also increase bounce rate

      Unless you’re THE absolute source of exclusive breaking news found nowhere else, it’s best to stay away from this one.

    • Autoplaying audio – Autoplaying audio when a visitor arrives on your website is not a good idea. It’s often abrupt and abrasive, especially if a visitor is browsing in a quiet place; for example, if the visitor is at work, in a library or at school. They will often hit the back button immediately to get the audio to stop.

      sudden autoplaying audio will also cause visitors to immediately leave and increase bounce rate.

      Most of the time users won’t even bother to find ways to pause an audio and just simply close the tab.

      If for some reason you find it absolutely necessary to play audio automatically as soon as a visitor arrives to your page, at the very least you should provide an option to pause or mute the audio after three seconds.

    • Slow loading – Every page on your website should load quickly. Remember, we don’t have a very long attention span when it comes to surfing the web. Users expect everything to be quick and easy, anything that’s not isn’t convenient enough, nor is it worth their time. Ideally, you want your pages to load within a second.

      slow loading page will also reduce user time on page

      This fraction of a delay gives users a moment to focus on their train of thought while still giving them the feeling that they can navigate your website freely. Also keep in mind that around 47 percent of your visitors will expect your website to load within two seconds, so you have a little bit of leeway. However, roughly 40 percent of your visitors will leave your website if it takes more than three seconds for a page to load.

    • Lack of activity – It will be pretty obvious to your visitors if you haven’t kept your website updated. If the first post on your blog is from three months ago, why will your visitors have any interest in sticking around? It means all of your content is probably outdated.

      Sometimes the date of your most current blog post isn’t even the telling factor – sometimes its the subject matter. If your most current blog is about saving money during the winter holidays and it’s the middle of July, your content is obviously old and stale.

    How To Make Your Visitors Stay On Your Website Longer

    Now that you know what mistakes to avoid in order to keep your bounce rate low, it’s time to go over some strategies that will help keep visitors on-site longer in order to increase your dwell time, thereby giving you a better chance at converting your leads.

    • Offer better content – When it comes to increasing your website’s dwell time, the content you provide to your visitors is key. Make sure that your content provides value to the reader, whether it is informative or helpful or both.

      Great content will surely increase time on page as your user spend their time to fully read it and look for more

      Useful is good. Useful AND interesting? Now that’s great!

      Try to avoid just writing promotional content. Remember that your content doesn’t have to be dry, encyclopedia-like articles. Your content should be entertaining to keep the interest of your visitors, so be conversational and funny when appropriate. Vary your content as well – use photographs, videos, infographics, quizzes, compilations and more.

    • Engage your visitors – Providing content for your visitors to read or watch will only engage them so much. To truly engage with your visitors, you need someone for them to engage with. There are a number of ways that you can do this. We highly recommend that you provide the ability for readers to post comments on all of your blog posts.

      This is an excellent way to incite discussions amongst your readers. You may even want to consider asking your readers to share their opinions towards the end of your blog posts. In addition to allowing them to comment on your blog, adding a public forum to your website can be a great way to build a community around your brand, thereby letting visitors ask questions and enter discussions with other like-minded visitors.

      Active comment section will also increase time on page as the visitors engage in discussions.

      Allowing readers to voice their point of view tells them that they also matter.

      You can even jump into the discussions and offer advice or ask questions. Engagement like this not only helps keep visitors on your website longer, it helps you build a stronger relationship with them, thereby increasing brand trust.

    • Use more anchor text and internal linking – The use of internal linking is vital to maximizing your SEO and will help Google to better index your entire website. It will also help keep visitors on your website longer, since they may click on anchor text that directs them to other pages on your site.

      For example, you may have a blog post about carpet cleaning tips. Somewhere within that post, you may use anchor text to direct the reader to one of your cleaning products on your e-commerce page. If it’s relevant to the content, then it will strengthen your user experience.

    • Suggest related topics via anchor text – Another excellent way to retain the interest of your visitors is to provide them with a link to another article that is relevant to the one they have just read. This way, you’ll keep them on your website for a longer period of time even after they’ve finished reading your blog post.
    • Use videos and slideshows – Internet users prefer visual content over written content. They are much more likely to watch a short video than they are to read a post. One excellent strategy is to provide a video along with a written post that covers the same thing, thereby providing visitors with the option of watching or reading.

      Like Moz's iconic Whiteboard Friday

      Like Moz’s iconic Whiteboard Friday

      Slideshows are also a great way to make list content more presentable and interesting to go through and they require visitors to click through them, thereby making the content more interactive and engaging.

    While you should still focus on boosting your website’s traffic, make sure that you use these tips in order to reduce your bounce rate and improve your dwell time. A high bounce rate means that you are doing something wrong on your website that’s resulting in the loss of a substantial amount of leads.

    A low dwell time means that you aren’t connecting with your visitors, which means you probably aren’t converting a very high percentage of your leads. A low dwell time will also damage your page ranking, which in turn will hurt your SEO efforts. So make sure that you are doing what you can to make visitors stay on your website longer.

    Related Links:

  • User Experience and SEO, Here’s What You Need To Know
  • Blogging Tip: Write In Conversational Tone To Increase Readership
  • 5 Simple Ways To Create The Perfect About Page For Your Business
  • Complete Checklist:
    32 Simple Ways To Increase More Traffic & Visitors To Your Blog

    • An awesome checklist to refer to at all times!
    • Discover all these best practices.
    • Start driving more traffic to your own blog.
    • Absolute checklist for all beginners!

    Updated: 23 July 2017

    Azfar Hisham

    About Azfar Hisham

    A copywriter with previous experience developing computer simulations, managing websites and being the social media guy. Interested in Google Patents, Knowledge Graph and questioning everything.

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