Not all that glitters is gold when it comes to most aspects of search engine optimization (SEO). That adage holds true for website traffic; your traffic might be surprisingly or even commendably high but if your website’s bounce rate is also high, then a significant portion of that traffic goes to waste. It means your audience leaves immediately and it’s time to find ways to increase visitor time.
In some cases, the amount of time your visitors spend on your website can be more important than how many they are, especially if you’re not yet set up for ad revenue and are just looking for better conversion. Luckily, we’re here to discuss some ways to increase visitor time on your blog or website; so that the content you make isn’t wasted or you don’t suffer a high bounce rate.
Without further ado, here are some things you can do to increase visitor time on your website; some of them are also applicable in effectively reducing bounce rate.
Better content layout
One of the most immediate reasons why visitors tend to forego finishing or viewing content is due to how badly presented it is. No matter how well-made the content is, the layout or format it is presented with usually takes precedence. Such is the for visitors regardless of whether they’re old and have poor eyes or simply repulsed by poor presentation.
One thing that comes to mind when making content with better layout is structuring it by using headings or even making long articles into lists. Adding better spacing between the fonts and making them more legible by picking or choosing the most practical font also helps immensely. Last but not least, adhering to Yoast’s readability metric should be enough to make your content as presentable as possible that the only factors beyond your control will affect whether visitors finish your content or not.
Cleaner and faster site design
Most new websiteS tend to not have this problem since the new themes and website builders all go by the most modern standards of design. With that said, what exactly is this standard? At the moment, the current fad is improving user experience with minimalism. It’s certainly way more popular now than before. Moreover, it allows for the best of both worlds: a fast website (due to fewer design elements) and a cleaner design.
Of course, site speed isn’t always reliant on how minimalist your website is. There are other factors in the backend like old code, archive buildup, and bad servers. In any case, you’ll have to work well with your web developer to address this site speed issue; even a short delay can cause the most impatient yet loyal visitors to lose interest. As for the design, you can start with some WordPress themes or resort to overhauling your website with a better page layout.
This is only hard to do for people living under a rock. However, if you’re not particularly interested in a certain issue related to your blog niche, then you’re potentially losing out on visitors and their valuable time on your website. Thankfully, this is easy to remedy; a quick search on Google’s tools (Trends, etc.) can reveal which is a hot topic.
Making sure to publish timely and relevant content even if the keywords look like they don’t rank well is better than picking a random topic out of nowhere and wasting your brain energy on it only for visitors to ignore. All in all, relevant content (or something your that sparks your visitors’ interest) is always bound to be consumed. Tutorials and how-to articles are the most popular methods for this.
Videos and galleries
Text alone might not be enough for a significant portion of your audience. After all, visuals tell a better story and serve to break the ice of a long read. That’s why adding videos and photo galleries work well to increase visitor time especially if the videos or images are related to the content.
For some dauntingly long articles, you might even want to add the video or image gallery at the start of the content so that you still get some semblance of conversion. Now, if your content is video or image-based primarily, then the other way around also works; adding text to summarize a long video or an image with no context is always good practice.
Internal linking and related content
One of the most widely used methods in this is would be internal linking. This is when you hyperlink older content related to another content in case visitors want to view about the subject matter. The other kind, related content, is more straightforward; it’s where you present a related content with its own title as the anchor text near the end of the article.
The key for internal links is that their anchor text need to be clear and specific all the while being related to the article. This way, visitors know where the link is leading to. You might also want to do this for old evergreen articles which are still getting views. This way, you can maximize visitor time with one of the most minimal efforts available on this list.
When website visitors want to leave, they always click the browser buttons. That’s why exit-intent pop-ups were cleverly invented– to detect such activity. These pop-ups halt the users with, well, pop-ups that offer promos, discounts, content, and many other gimmicks to overturn their decision to leave or at least prolong their stay a bit more.
If you’ve no promising freebies to offer when it comes to these pop-ups, you can at least prompt them to subscribe via email or so. It’s practically a last-ditch effort to increase visitor time; however, at times, it might end up winning some visitors over. You can find some examples here of exit-intent pop-ups.
Last but not least we have asynchronous loading. This can also determine whether your bounce rate improves or worsens. As website visitors ourselves, it’s often frustrating to see the ads load first instead of the content. Many are put off by this, especially those in a hurry and some will abruptly close the website.
Asynchronous loading makes it so that your blog or website page has a load order prioritizing content. Certain plugins for asynchronous loading can also speed up the website by deferring to load certain page elements. Now you’re better equipped to handle the new demands of 2020, starting with the knowledge to increase visitor time for your website!