Some years ago, a friend of mine who had been reading an internet marketing book asked me: “How long do you think the average website visitor spends on a site?”. I forgot my answer, but it was somewhere around a couple minutes. To my surprise, she replied “nope, 3 to 5 seconds”. Seconds?! Don’t let the title of this article scare you too much. It’s more common than you think. Here’s 8 things that can be done to help maximize a visitors time on your website, keep them reading your useful info and earn more revenue.
I manage multiple websites for clients after I build them. These numbers I am using come from a handful of these established websites. So they’re not low-quality quickly thrown-together sites. These sites offer products or services and have visitors on a regular basis.
A majority of the sites followed around this structure. In order from the majority to the minority: Green, tan, yellow, blue, orange, red.
Now, the below chart is an example of one of the better performing sites in terms of visitor length. Any visit length up to an hour or more isn’t necessarily a good thing (depending on what kind of site you have). It probably means the visitor just left your website open while he walked away, or fell asleep at the computer. Anyway, this is a well established site that offers products that visitors want.
So what can be done to help maximize visitor length to my website?
1. Your website must offer QUALITY content
This is the most obvious answer. Your website must offer something that is very useful. Whether it’s a great product, service, information or entertainment. Spammy sites can be picked out easily within the first 5 seconds of the visit. Content is king!
2. Put Important Content “ABOVE THE FOLD”
“Above the fold” refers to the area of your website that the visitor will first see. This is the area that you see before you even start to scroll down. Here’s an example of me stating clearly what my website is about, all above the fold.
3. Shorten Your Loading Time
4. Don’t Clutter Your Site!
While having lots of useful content is a very good thing, you must display it in way that doesn’t spin your visitors head around like The Excorcist. Too much clutter scares your traffic away.
5. Offer Easy Navigation
Your navigation menu should be clearly displayed, intuitive and relevant. For example, I tend to stay away from menus that pop out from the side of the webpage.
6. Have a Professional Design
Don’t confuse “professional design” with fancy or over the top. Whether your site needs a simple design, fancy, dark, light, or whatever else; there’s different styles of professional. It should just look professional! You don’t want it to look like it was thrown together by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Your visitors won’t take you seriously.
7. Show That Your Site is Safe
One of the big fears that website visitors have today when visiting a site is that they’ll catch a virus, be hacked, or become a victim of fraud. Especially if your site is new to them. If they get any hint that your website is not as trustworthy as they’d like, they’ll immediately click away in search of a site that is more reputable. This applies especially if you sell products or services from your site and accept payments or any other private information. In this case, you’ll also need an SSL certificate installed on your site. Maleware scanner seals offer a peace of mind as well.
8. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Smartphone and tablet users are taking over the desktop when it comes to browsing the internet. While I dislike the fact that all these mobile users won’t be getting their first impression of my site in it’s full, big screen desktop glory, I do like the fact that they can find my site from wherever they are without having to be at home on their desktop. With that said, having a RESPONSIVE, mobile friendly design is crucial in today’s world. A responsive website design adjusts and responds to the screen size of the device that the user is using. Making it easier to read and navigate while they’re on the go.
I offer all of these features in my website development process and stay on top of the always changing web development world. Putting these tips to use can help improve your visitor’s time, and ultimately provide more conversions.