The primary metric Google Analytics users track is overall users. How many people visit your site is obviously important! Another metric, however, is perhaps an even more important consideration: How long do your users stay on your website? If you share a link to your website and someone visits it, that’s great. But does that person stay on your site for more than a few seconds? Here are 3 ideas to help you get your visitors to spend more time on your website.
1. Immediately grab the attention of your visitors
The average website session lasts 2 to 3 minutes. For reference, a “session” is simply a visit to your website — beginning with the moment a user visits a page on your site and ending with either a visit to another site or 30 minutes of inactivity.
Think about your web browsing habits and you’ll probably discover you do the same when you peruse the Internet. If there’s something you want to know, you probably run a quick Google search, find a link with relevant content, skim to find the answer you’re looking for, and then move on to something else. It only takes a couple of minutes, and that’s completely natural.
One thing you can do to boost session length is to increase the floor — that is, raise the lowest number factored into the average. To arrive at an average session length of 2 to 3 minutes, some users stay quite a bit longer and others are gone after 5 or 10 seconds. So how can you grab the attention of those visitors and keep them around longer? You need to grab their attention — not with something gimmicky, but with good quality content that piques their interest. Design helps as well. Add pictures or video to a web page to make it more interesting and keep users from clicking the back button before they ever truly discover what you have to offer.
2. Link to related content
For visitors who find your website, read one article, and then go on their merry way, links to related content can help get them to visit a second page on your site. There are several ways to accomplish this. Jetpack offers a Related Posts block you can use to feature related content at the bottom of a post. Of course, these are automatically generated based on analysis of your content, so the suggestions might not always be perfect.
Additionally, you can link to related content within your content itself. This is known as internal linking. For SEO purposes, internal links a good idea anyway, so consider linking to other pages on your site in your content and you’ll knock out two birds with one stone.
3. Make your site easy to navigate
If your site is difficult to navigate, your users will be sure to move on quickly. No one enjoys a frustrating experience. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as many of your visitors will be browsing from a phone. Avoid iframes and embedded code if you can. Make sure your content is accessible to everyone.
And by the way, those internal links in the paragraph above will all take you to relevant content on our website. See what we did there?
You’ve likely spent hours making sure you’re providing great content for the people who come to your website. It would be a shame for all of that to go to waste, so use these tips and make sure they stay around long enough to enjoy the fruit of your labor.