Your website is your second home. One of its benefits is that you can accept as many guests as you want without worrying that it will fill up.
But what if your guests leave as soon as they cross the threshold? There’re bouncing like crazy rabbits chased by a scary wolf? I’ll tell you a top-secret now… You are that wolf. Your site is repelling the visitors.
In Google Analytics this association is called the “Bounce rate”. While you want to improve the rest of your stats you don’t want a higher bounce rate.
The conversion rate is directly related to the bounce rate. There are two scenarios:
- Bounce rate↑ = Conversions↓
- Conversions↑ = Bounce rate↓
Our goal is the second scenario. It can be achieved in many ways. We’ll break down the basics of how to increase the average time users spend on your website.
Basics of the two metrics – Bounce rate and Average on-page time
Average time on page
This metric speaks for itself. This is the amount of time website visitors are spending on a specific page on your website.
Google’s secret calculation
Google calculates average time on page by dividing the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) for a specific page by the total number of sessions that page generates.
However, it’s not always that easy. To measure the actual length of a session, Google calculates the difference between the timestamps of hits on a page.
The first hit is the entrance to the page, the second being any interaction tracked by Google Analytics.
For example, the analytics tool often tracks playing a video as a hit.
There are two interesting things to know about the average time on page:
- If the visitors bounce (leave after viewing only one page), the tool won’t record any time.
- Google can’t measure the time spent on the last page. If users exit the site by closing the window, opening a new tab, typing a new URL, Google Analytics can’t track this.
Google’s # 1 issue is matching search queries with search results
The better they are at this, the more people will use their search engine.
And one way Google measures whether a search result matches a search query is how long a visitor stays on your page.
Let’s say that someone types a query into Google, finds your page, clicks on it, and then bounce back straight back the search results. That tells Google that your page didn’t match the search query.
What happens next?
Google moves your page down in the rankings.
For a longer time on page, it’s the opposite. These examples show you how important it’s to understand the analysis and how you benefit from it.
This term is used when someone enters your site and then leaves without interacting further with it.
The bounce rate % you see on your report is your site-wide bounce rate. It’s calculated by dividing the average number of bounces by the total number of visits to all these pages over the same period.
There aren’t exactly established rates. However, many researched report similar numbers for bounce rates:
- Very low: under 20%
- Very high: over 70%
- Average: around 40-56%
- Perfect: 26-40%
Keep in mind that these stats aren’t true for every website. The type of site plays a big role in determining the bounce rate %.
Visitors need less than a few seconds to decide if they want to leave a webpage or stay on it. If you want them to stay, you’ll need to step up your aesthetics game.
The website’s design can catch a person’s attention for a second and turn them off just as fast.
Try to keep yours neat and clean. In other words, don’t put 12 pages in the menu. Instead, make them 4-5. This way the users won’t get confused at what to look.
Also, make sure that the most important content is on top. It’ll provide your visitors with useful information the second they land on the webpage.
Check your site’s loading time
Your website’s speed is crucial when we are talking about keeping visitors.
An average person is willing to wait for only 2 seconds and the average speed for a webpage to load is approximately 7.72 seconds.
Here’re some more stats.
Every one second of page load delay results in:
- 16% decline in visitor satisfaction
- 11% fewer page views
- 75% loss in conversions
How can you fill the time gap?
Tools such as Pingdom can help you improve the loading time of your pages. They track your site performance, run tests and give you thorough insights.
Large images slow down your site’s loading time. One way to remove this difficulty is by decreasing their size.
The tricky part is to maintain high quality. Some free tools to use are:
- The JPEG Compressor
- The PNG Compressor
- GIF Reducer for static GIF files
- EZGIF for animated GIFS
- Online Convert
If you’re using WordPress plugins will do the work. EWWW Image Optimizer is one of the most popular plugins. It can optimize all image files in your Media Library to a minimum and maintain the quality.
In his guest publication on Hubspot, Neil Patel advice us to use an image every 350 words.
People tend to learn better with a visual representation of the written information. There several types of images you can use in your articles:
If you worry about the cost of using these images, we got you. Here is a list of sites that offer free images (under Creative Commons or free of copyright restriction):
Various types of content
Multiple types of content help visitors to understand the information better. Instead of publishing only plain text add some visual components.
As you can see the audiovisual content retention rate is 10% higher than reading. It’ll be even better if you can demonstrate your audience how to do something or use something.
There are many ways to do so.
Most of us have heard the following saying:
“Google loves long-form content.”
While long articles will improve your SEO, many people won’t commit to reading the full post.
There’s a reason why YouTube is the second most popular social media.
For more complex topics and how-to guides, people will expect to find a video.
Make sure you know your audience and the video content is relevant to your text.
Many bloggers and marketers get a daunting feeling when it comes to creating videos. You don’t need to make an hour-long record.
The optimal length starts from 2 minutes up to 11.
After that, the engagement rates start to drop. Read the full research to understand what length to use for different social platforms.
Charts and Infographics are excellent to use when you want to present a lot of data and numbers in appealing and easy to understand way.
Provide content suggestions to keep people reading
This is a widely used technique and it’s proven to work. When a visitor reads the full blog post or watches the full video, it shows that he has an interest in your content.
Take that opportunity and extend their stay on the website.
Adding a short section on each post or article showcasing other relevant pieces will keep readers go from page to page.
How to add related posts
Jetpack comes with a few widgets. One of them is the popular post widget. It’ll show your audience the most popular publications on your site.
If you have created content on many different topics, it’s a good idea to showcase articles related to the one they are reading currently.
Jetpack can do the job again or you can use Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP).
Improve your text’s readability
Has it ever happened to you to land on a website which text is almost impossible to read? There are large chunks of text. The font size is so small that you touch your screen with your nose when you read.
Awful! Here are five ways to make your posts easier to read.
It’s important to help our brains process information easier. Choosing the right font affects how we act.
For example, Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana are classified as easy-to-read fonts.
On the other hand, some of the creative fonts are harder to read but make the message more appealing.
Try to use both of these options where applicable.
Based on Smashing Magazine research, for large devices, the ideal size for text is:
- 19-pixel Verdana
- 22-pixel Georgia for the article,
- 26-pixel Georgia for the introduction.
People don’t read on the Internet. They scan the information. Thus, wide columns of text are putting a strain on your readers’ eyes.
When we put peripheral vision and bullet points in the bills what we get is this:
The ideal measure is 45 to 75 characters where 65 is referred to as the perfect length.
We’re sure you know that pages with more white space are easier to read.
Short paragraphs of 3-4 lines mixed with bullet points and images? Perfection.
People go to sites to find particular information. If you want to help them (yourself too) add headings.
They make it easy to orientate in the text. Headings break up your text and make it easier to proceed.
Add new heading every 4-5 paragraphs and write them in sentence case. It’s easier to read.
Use internal linking to increase dwell time
One SEO tactic is using internal linking in your post. You’re trying to increase your overall time on site so why not refer the visitors to another blog post.
To make the most out of internal linking optimize the anchor text and link to relevant content.
The premium version of Yoast SEO can help a lot with this strategy. It automatically suggests related posts that are a good target for internal links.
Don’t let the users escape
Every visitor will leave your site at some point. Take action and get maximum results.
Target users when they’re about to exit. One way to this is with OptinMonster’s Exit-Intent® technology. Offer your visitors:
- Special discounts
- Free files to download
- To subscribe to your email list
This is your last chance to convert visitors to clients. If you use this technique properly, your bounce rate may decrease and there’re going to be returning visitors.
Set all links (internal and external) to open in a new tab.That way if the reader is drawn away for a few minutes to another page, they will return back to the original post, because the initial window will still be open.
Vasilena is a digital marketing and finance writer. People have told her to keep her oddities to herself but Vasilena decided to do the opposite. Now she is sharing her passion with the world through writing. When Vasilena is not crafting the successful future of companies and entrepreneurs she is probably at the dojo or freaking out with her friends.