Any internet business owner must have understood the importance of traffic. No internet business can survive without it. One thing is to get the traffic and yet another is the convert them to customers. And that is always seems the harder part. If visitors come to your website and then leave immediately, it means that the bounce rate of your site is high. There are several ways through which you can lower this bounce rate and increase the stickiness of your website.
- Website And Layout Design
The very first thing that welcomes any visitor to a website is the website design. It goes along way in determining whether the visitor will stay or leave immediately. Your website should be designed by an expert with a clean theme that is easy to navigate. It should be logically organized. Avoid inserting pop-ups, pop-downs, or any other graphics that will prompt out from the middle of your site, down or top, they are distractive and irritating.
- Make Your Blog Post Engaging
Fluff sentences will definitely get your readers upset soon. Don’t make them read 5 pages before they come across a point; give them 5 points in one page. Be precise and professional in your posts, people like concise and easy to read posts. You can add video, audio, etc, to your post to make it stickier and clarify readers. When you are writing about the affects of traffic congestion on the road, a short video, audio or perhaps pictures conveying the live experience of people will rate your post high.
- Do Not Distract Your Visitor
Visitors are looking for places they will get satisfied with what they want and not what you want. Although you might be making money online, do not overload your website with a lot of stuff at once, products, ads, links, and other pre-selling short articles. They will get angry and leave your site, especially when they can’t find what they are after. Make your website easy and simple. The navigating menu should be arrange in categories and kept at a selected place.
- Well-Written Text
Text selection and arrangement is an important factor in retaining visitors on your site. Use page titles, headers and meta-tags that convey the same meaning with the rest of your page. Opening your page with a short paragraph or perhaps an answer to the question they might be after is an added credit to making visitors stay longer. Use well-optimized informative contents, contents that will be sufficient enough for your visitors.
- Target Specific Topics
Do not just put down a broad post. Visitors tend to be more specific on what they want. Write to satisfy those needs. Focus more on the specific items, products, or solution to a specific problem. Do not write like a maniac, write humanly and friendly. Communicating with your audience in short sentences and in their language will get you more results.
- Have Links Open In A New Window
Links that open in the same window may rid chances of navigating back to your site. Make your exit links to open in a new window, leaving your own site open so visitors can easily come back and check out something.
- Optimize The Size And Speed Of Your Web Pages
Site that are easy to load, navigate and are still informative will definitely go far. Ensure that the graphics on your site is just appropriate and doesn’t slow the loading time. Keep the text/HTML code ratio very low. Make sure you have the optimal screen resolution for you website (see also screen resolution 2011). These will encourage visitors to come back often.
- Increase Comments
Comments have turned out to be very vital internet marketing. Establishing this portal and increasing it in your blog will make readers understand that your blog is active. Visitors will spend much time reading the comments and may even decide to drop theirs. If you are just making your first post, you might consider to changing the default “0 comments” to something better, like “please leave a comment”, “have any idea on this?” etc. Now that is more human than the initial “0 comments”.
32 thoughts on “How To Make Your Visitors Spend More Time In Your Blog”
A clean navigation structure plays an important role if you want to make visitors spend more time on your blog, but too long is not good either. All call-to-action pages should be 1-3 clicks away from the homepage or entrance page.
Steven – Great article on decreasing the bounce rate of a website. I think the most important tip you gave was the first. The layout design of your website should have a welcoming feel to it, which will make visitors want to hang around the site for a while.
This is where most webmasters drop the ball, but the good news it’s a quick fix when you know what you’re looking for. Thanks for the tip on targeting specific topics.
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I’ve noticed that comments definitely do help with getting people to interact which is why it’s vitally important to answer them as soon as they come in – it tells people “hey, there’s a lot of activity going on here, you should join in” – it’s a bit subliminal and definitely works.
Agreed. Commenting is one of the best forms of interacting with your visitors and at all possible should be replied to. In some cases I understand when someone does not answer to my comment because of time issues and all excuses. But there is one thing that annoys me is when I leave a question and I do get a reply. That kinda “ticks” me off.
Those pop up as damn annoying. If one of the blogs I regularly read uses them I will come back, but I don’t know what they’re trying to sell because I close them straight away. If it happens to be a new blog that I’ve found and it pops up I just leave.
There are a couple of plugins I use that I hope decrease the bounce rate. One is Popular Posts and another one mimics the New York Times and pops out as the reader scrolls down the post showing them the next similar post in that post’s category. I also use a related articles plugin that shows the reader other posts that may be related.
Regarding ads, the ones they hate the most are those flashing ones. I had to remove mine because I had some complaining about them.
I second you on those pop-ups Sire. They really annoy me and as you said, I never get to see what it even says because I click on that “x” spot so quickly. I am also using the plugin that mimics the NYT, but not here. The plugin I am using does not have the possibility of changing the “colors” of the links so it does not blend very well here. It works fine on my other websites. And YES, popular posts and that plugin does “retain” the users a while longer 😉
Hi Steven & DiTesco
Some really salient points in this post. Should be read by newbies for sure. Like Sire, I close popups and never read anything on them. Some sites with them on, if they don’t close quickly I leave immediately!
Also I like a site that is easy to navigate. If it is my first visit, I like to read an “About Me” so I know who I am talking with. Also seeing the other recent posts will keep me there too. Especially if they are easy to find.
Patricia Perth Australia
Hi Patricia. Yeah, I’m with you and Sire about the pop-ups. Can’t stress enough how I hate them and yet people insists on putting them. For sites that I already know, its OK, I’ll just ignore it, but for those that it is my first time, it is most likely that I will leave, unless I am really dying to read a specific post. Either way, I don’t give a %/%$”# about it, lol. Good to see you here. Hope you had a wonderful new year.
Yes, patricia, the About me page is a must and it should be very easily found in the website. The new visitor should be able to see who is behind this. Thanks for your points.
Very useful and informative tips. I guess I am following most of these tips. Bounce rate is a very big issue for bloggers and webmasters alike. You really need people to stick to your site for long or you are most likely not to reap monetary benefits from your site in the long run. You need to have a right balance between design and content to get thing going your way.
Good article Steve,
I myself am trying to optimize my site to decrease my (very high at the moment) bounce rate.
When I go to a site I despise pop-ups. It immediately irritates me and compels to leave unless something else very interesting catches my eye first.
navigation and simplicity is my first attractor in any site I visit.
yes huzefa, simplicity and neatness attracts the eye. Too many colors and banners tend to perplex the reader. Good luck at your endeavors
Ana @ Traffic Generation
Nicely done, Steven and Francisco – I wish more bloggers started coding their links to open in new windows. Such a little thing, yet so powerful.
I actually wrote a post on this in the past, just to add to your discussion: http://www.trafficgenerationcafe.com/reduce-blog-bounce-rate/
hi Ana, thanks for stopping by.
Have a blessed year
I am confident that when I launch my new blog design I will keep my visitors for longer as the ads will be scaled down and the blog will load faster. 🙂
The design is the first thing they see so having a eye pleasing website is definitely a plus and will surely help you in lowering that bounce rate.
After the design they see all the flashing images or ads you have (so having to many will definitely not help you)
When they are satisfied with how your page looks they start to read the content, and if your introduction is long and doesn’t appeal to them, they’re off again.
And if you want them to engage with your blog through comments they have to see that other people are already doing it (you know the herd effect – people want to feel they belong to a group).
Great tips Steven, this are some great adivices to follow when you find yourself in a situation with low ROI or to few leads captured.
Andy @ FirstFound
Steven, I love you. And just for one line of that post.
The generation that spent years whining about popup ads now takes perverse pleasure in ensuring every blog post is interrupted by –SIGN UP FOR MY FREE NEWSLETTER HERE– popups asking for you to sign up for things.
I think having a simple layout design is very important, something that’s easy to browse without having to spend time routing around for what you are looking for.
Comments is also another important one, to get more and more people to interact with one another, the blog founder should also make sure they reply asap to questions that are asked to them so readers don’t feel ignored.
Nice post Steven! 😀
Hey Phil, thanks for your comment. I visited your nice blog; you are doing a great job there with your well written posts. Keep it up man!
Garen @ Web Hosting Reviews
The simpler the design, the better; is the general rule of thumb that I go by. Clean navigation is also a great asset to have on your site if you don’t want to confuse your readers. But, one important tidbit is to always respond to comments because it shows you are active to your readers.
Some important facts here the layout and design is a great way to attract and keep visitors to your blog as you rightly said traffic is the blood of our blog without it our blog is non existence. Thanks for sharing
Good tips but for me the one thing that worked perfectly is having a landing page where you outline your best stuff to your new visitors. Not only you’re getting them to stay more, but you also get to prove yourself as someone who is knowledgeable in talking about that topic.
That’s right Melvin, thanks
Allie @ FaqSoftware
Great post. Just a question, what if all these qualities are present in a blog and yet they still won’t spend more time. How do I get or find my target audience so I know they will be interested with what I write?
Before launchign a blog you should check if the field of your blog attracts visitors , if there are other blogs in the same field with high traffic, hundreds of posts and plenty of comments. That’s the life of a blog. Then you need to get active in other blogs with quality posting and comments. As for your audience, you will find what they like by looking for blog posts in your field with the highest effect and more comments.
Great article, Steven. You’re not just a man of words but of actions which is absolutely great. I love it when the article writer replies back to my comments because it does makes me want to come back to the site. Great tips as well. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for sharing this great tips on how to attract more visitors on my blog..
I think it is the hardest part of the SEO, but you mentioned the techniques to overcome the bounce rate of the commercial and business sites but its become very hard to control the bounce rate of blog, it is very difficult to hold the people to at least make them read some part most of the users just open the blog and than close it I think the difficult part is to where to find the targeted people who have same thinking like you… Specially if your blog is not general but a specific one
thanks william for your comment. You are posing a good question here. If you want to attract a specific target group you have to rank in google search results for these specific keyword that are use by that group. How? Except from the quality content which gives solutions, guest posting with these specific keywords as your backlinks is the best way to climb up the rankings in Google.
Hi Steven and DiTesco, very good points here Steven. I like the point about blog layout and design. It is very important. I hate going to sites and blogs where everything is all over the place and it’s very hard to navigate around. I like a website and blog that is easy on the eyes.
Having links open in a new window is also very important so when the visitor closes the new window your site will still be open (meaning your website or blog is siting in the back of the new window). A lot of people don’t know what this means. Also a very good point. Good informative post Steve.
thanks a lot Terry. You know, constant learning applies even more in online business where everything evolves very fast. What seemed to be a proper design 4 years ago, now is overpacked and slow. Remember those long flash intros that used to be a must back then. Now, it’s a waste of time…
Fantastic tips Steven!
I think one of the best ways to reduce bounce rate is to have a clean navigation system and putting your best content as links (in sidebar or under a post or wherever) in front of the visitors. Its all about keeping them interested a few more seconds, over and over again!
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