Do you know that approximately 70 to 96 percent of users leave your site and never return?

Your main goal is to turn those one-time visitors into loyal customers. However, you can’t reach those goals if users aren’t staying and noticing your content.

Here’s the thing: the longer visitors stay on your site, the higher the chance that you can convert them.

The more engaged they will be, it will keep your site’s bounce rates at a minimum.

Let’s look at some of the ways on how to engage visitors and make them stay on your site longer.

1. Know Your Target Audience

What are the types of users who access your site? If you can’t come up with a definite answer, then you have to address the problem with your target audience first.

Websites do stand out if they’re written and tailored for a specific type of user. Don’t let your audience be too broad that you have a vague demographic of “everyone.”

It’s better to appeal to a particular demographic. That way, you’ll keep users interested and you’ll be able to present your site for an extended period.

2. Make Your Website Clear

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Most users won’t pay attention if you have a cluttered site. In a study from Microsoft Corp., the average attention span of users is now down to eight seconds as compared to 12 seconds in 2000.

Don’t let your web design look cluttered, with several visual elements all crammed together. Chances are, you’ll be struggling to keep your viewer’s attention. As a result, you’ll have a shorter session duration.

If you want to keep visitors in your site for extended periods, then focus on creating a clean, modern design that effectively sends your brand message across.

3. Make it Easy to Navigate

How your website’s design is structured significantly affects how long users will stay. Sometimes, putting a link to every single page on the sidebar or header menu isn’t an effective strategy.

As your site grows with more pages, you may have several unsorted links on the menu. Thus, making it challenging for users to find your content on particular topics.

Instead, you can utilize a breadcrumb-style navigation structure that involves category pages that are hierarchically organized.

You can put links on the top-level category pages on your header menu or website’s sidebar, which users can click to look for pages with related content.

4. Improve Page Load Speed

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Most web users bounce from a site if it takes longer than average to load. Always remember that when visiting a website from organic search, a user is given with nine other options (not including ads.)

So, if your site isn’t loading quickly, most users will click the back button and try out other websites instead.

To avoid this from happening, make sure your site is hosted in a modern CMS.

Moreover, if you have plug-ins that take longer than usual to load, it’s better to replace or remove them. If they’re slowing down your site, then it’s better to replace them with more lightweight tools.

5. Provide High-quality, Long-Form Content

Long form content is the very core of having a highly efficient SEO strategy. Aside from driving in higher search rankings, it lets visitors stay on your site much longer.

According to research, on average, an adult can read about 250 words per minute.

So, if you’re publishing a 250-word article on your site, then most probably users are going to stay there for only a minute.

However, if you stretch out your site’s content to up to 1,000 words, then most probably users are going to stay about four minutes in your site.

6. Add Videos and Images

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If you want to spice up your site, then go for less text.

Of course, if you’re running a blog, the written word is your primary means of communication. But if you want to have a more minimalist touch, then you’ll do well with placing visual media in your posts like:

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Slideshows

Believe us, your readers are going to thank you in the end!

7. Implement of Proper CTAs

Do you want to know the best time for visitors to take action? Well, it’s right after they’ve finished reading your blog post.

Most users tend to leave a site after they found the information they’ve been searching for. However, with the right call-to-action (CTA) you giving them a better reason to stay on your site.

But the bigger question is this: Are users noticing your call-to-action?

Placing a static CTA on the content area of your post isn’t going to cut it anymore. Visitors tend to ignore it.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to utilize a slide-in opt-in. Placing an animated slide-in grabs your audience’s attention without disturbing them.

8. Updating Your Website Regularly

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There is something else that is guaranteed to make users stay on your site longer. You need to add new content to your site regularly.

Although, that might be daunting especially if you own a portfolio site. Your previous client might not agree to let you post your latest work for them. So if that’s the case, why not consider adding a blog and write there as often as you can?

It doesn’t have to include client work directly. Side projects, thoughts about the latest industry trends, and anything that might be of interest to your audience can work.

Aside from giving people a great reason to stay on your site and visit it more often, you’re also regularly updating your content, which is excellent for your SEO.

9. Practice Internal Linking

You can make users stay on your site longer by guiding them to other relevant pages on your website. Think of it this way: The more pages users will access, the more likely they will stay.

Users can always access your site’s main navigation menu to look for other pages. But you can also utilize internal contextual links to guide them to your website a little bit further.

If a user comes through the linked word or phrase when reading a post, then they can learn more about the linked topic through another page.

Internal linking is excellent for your SEO, too. The great thing about it is that you don’t have to buy an external tool or plug-in. Just see to it that you’re linking to relevant pages and articles to your site in context.

10. Show How Credible Your Website Is

People want to know whether they can trust your site or not. Therefore, adding photos of real people on your website will make it appear credible and trustworthy.

Also, put testimonials and bios on your web pages. Aside from that, linking to your social profiles helps you build your influence.

Moreover, place trust marks like BBB ratings, secure site signs, awards, and certifications. These will make people more confident in sharing their personal information and do business with your site.

11. Get Smart With Mobile

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It’s no secret that the growing popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices led to an increase in online traffic of smartphones, tablets, and everything in between.

Because of this, Google has introduced the “mobile-friendly tag” on its search results. Aside from that, it stated that mobile friendliness is also part of its ranking algorithm.

So if you want to keep people around that use their iPads and Android smartphones to surf the net, then it’s essential for your site to look good on those mobile devices.

There are different ways to achieve this goal. Either you use a responsive theme or utilize a plugin that will make your site more mobile-friendly.

12. Add Value

By adding value to your content, the more likely people will stay longer and come back. You’re the one who knows your audience the most. So think of what kind of content they value the most, then give it to them.

It might be in terms of resources, (UX kits, photo wallpapers, free design assets) or advice and education (infographics, checklists, and how-to blog posts.)

In other words, if they found one thing that they like about your site, then they’re more likely to stick around and want to find out more.

Over to You

According to Sytian Productions, a web design outsourcing company, “Keeping visitors in your site and decreasing the bounce rate is crucial. Visitors that are more engaged with what you have to offer are more likely going to sign-up on your newsletter, buy your product, or tell their personal network that you have kick-ass content. However, attracting users to your site is only beneficial to your business if they stay there for a significant period.”

Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do to make this possible. While users leaving your side is unavoidable, you can encourage them to stay longer by following these tips. So put those strategies into good use and keep the traffic coming.

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