Keeping people on your website for as long as possible is something everyone who owns a website wrestles with. The longer people stay on your site, the more engaged they become, the more you can sell—whether it’s your services or web advertisements.
But how do you do it? How do you engage your visitors and entice them to click through more of your pages?
Getting 1,000,000 unique visitors a month will not matter that much if they are all leaving in droves as soon as they get to your homepage. Keeping that traffic on your website is just as important as getting them to your website in the first place. —SloDive
Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, tackles this very topic in one of his recent “Ask Gerber” videos on Inc.com. I found his points to be helpful, so I thought I’d share some of his tips, along with tips from others, in this blog post.
Embed Slideshows and Videos
Scott Gerber’s video on Inc.com was just under 3 minutes long, and I had to watch a 30 second CapitalOne commercial beforehand. After Gerber was done sharing his tips, Emerson Spartz, founder of Spartz Media, came on to share his own tips. I watched the whole thing. Sure, I thought the guys were talking WAY too fast, but I understand that they are trying to squeeze a lot of information into a short amount of time. No one wants to watch a really long video.
When I worked for Inc.com, one of the things I got to do was create slideshows to accompany some of the stories I wrote. These slideshows were added visual content that complimented my stories, and I thought they worked really well. It was a way for people to learn more about a topic in a different way—with out the hassle of all those annoying words…
Video can be used in so many ways that can be engaging to the user. It can be a way to showcase your product or service, learn about the company, meet the employees, get testimonials from customers, create training videos, how to videos, or video blogs. —StayOnSearch
Videos and slideshows should be kept short so you don’t lose the attention span of your viewer. But done right, videos and slideshows can keep people on your site for minutes longer than if they didn’t exist at all.
Break Up Content on Multiple Pages
Have a really long blog post? Put it on two pages! That way your visitors are looking at more pages on your site, boosting your ratings. The more pages people view on your site the more chances they get to engage with your brand and be enticed by advertisers.
Include Links to Complementary Content
Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material. —CopyBlogger
Use keywords to link back to other content on your site. My personal goal is to include at least three internal links for every blog post I write. Most of the time, it’s more. This not only keeps people on your site longer, it offers them additional information on a topic they are interested about.
Google likes internal linking on your site if the links go to related topics. It’s good to link to one or two other blog posts within your blog content, but only if it ‘makes sense’ within your post. This helps the search engine spiders to crawl your site easier, and most importantly, it will help to keep readers on your blog longer. —ProffitBlog
Format Your Writing
Think bullets, numbered lists, headers—all of these “tricks” will make it easier for viewers to read your content and find what they are interested in. If your site has a lot of content, Gerber suggests creating “Most Popular” and “Most Recent” lists for your site where you list a series of blog posts. Newspapers do this all the time. Whenever I go to NYTimes.com, I always check out their “Most E-Mailed” list of stories to see what other people have shared.
If you make someone want to leave a comment or take a poll, you are getting them to interact with your site. The more people interact with you the longer they will stick around. —SloDive
When my company launched a dream wedding giveaway contest on our website, the engagement on our site skyrocketed. Part of the contest included public vote, and vote they did! Not only did people vote in droves, they kept coming back to our site to find out the results on what they voted on. Driving people to our contest on our website through Facebook and Twitter has helped, too.
These are just a few tips on how to keep people on your website longer. Do you have any ideas to share that have worked for you?