Internet users have a really short attention span. You can allure them to your website with catchy advertisement or an article titled to peak their interest, but how long would they stay on your website? That’s hard to say.
If your Google Analytics has been screaming of a very high bounce rate (something to the tune of 80% consistently), you’re not alone. Most business websites and blogs face a similar issue, no matter how well thought they optimization strategy is.
So here’s taking a look at a few ways to keep a visitor engaged on your website for a longer period:
1. Make it pleasing to the eye
The first and foremost way to prevent a bounce off is to make each of your web pages pleasing to the eye. If a visitor doesn’t like what he sees on landing, he is bound to leave almost immediately. Here are a few tips to follow for the same:
- Choose a simpler, decluttered or a plain background
- Create space around your content to make it stand out
- Increase the font size and line height to boost readability
- Pick an easy to read font like Helvetica and Arial
2. Dive into target market data
The only way to engage your target market on a deeper level is to give them exactly what they are looking for on the internet. But for this, you need to dive deeper into data while strategizing your content marketing tactics.
Understand and segment your target audience beyond their general demographics. Use data points like their internet behaviour, location, devices used, pain points, purchase triggers and more to create robust content strategies.
The more you dig deeper, the better insights and understanding of your audience you get. And this in turn, helps you create more personalized, engaging content, that keeps the visitors on your website for a longer period of time.
3. Create longer and engaging content
Contrary to popular belief, there are a considerable number of internet users who look for ‘more informative’ pieces around topics that interest them. It gives them a sense of ‘understanding’ more from the industry and establishes the image of the business being an authority in their niche.
As a matter of fact, even Google ranks longer content pieces higher in the search results. And as we all know, the first 10 recommends from the search engine are what we tend to engage with the most.
4. Offer a variety of content types
Don’t just clutter your blog site or case studies page with lots of content in the same format. Understand that a visitor might come looking for information with lesser time on hand or might be someone who is a visual learner and prefers not to go through textual content pieces.
In this case, having a variety of content types on your website is a great way to reduce bounce rates. Offer videos, gifs, audio files, blogs, infographics and other content formats to suit every segment of your website visitors.
For instance, Gary Vaynerchuk breaks down his content into different formats – quotes for sharing on Instagram, gifs, small videos, etc; in the end, boosting the reach of his content pieces by manifolds!
5. Make your content scannable and consumable
Here’s the thing about typical internet users – they want to know more about a lot of things, but don’t really want to work hard for it. This means if you need to share information with them, you have to make it extremely consumable.
Break your content into smaller paragraphs, make use of more graphics in the content piece, include a video or more to break the textual monotony and boredom a reader might go through. The easier it is to read through your content, the more likely he is to read it till the very end!
6. Strike a conversation with your reader
Internet users like to know that a business wants to interact with them, know them better and offer more valuable things to them. This only goes to say that don’t wait for a visitor to strike a conversation with you, take the initiative of doing so!
Whether it is replying to comments on a blog post, forum, social shares, asking them for feedback or suggestions, find a common plane to start a conversation with your target audience while they’re still interested.
7. Collect email addresses to stay in touch
When a reader is engaged in what you have shared, it is a good time for you to ask for his contact information on the basis of sharing more of what he likes. Collect email addresses using subscription call-to-actions across your web pages, that encourage him to opt-in to your newsletters.
If you want to take this opportunity to get email addresses a notch higher, use content lockers on longer and more informative content pieces. These tools lock out a certain piece of your content, that a reader can access only by opting in to your email list.
8. Link internally to more content
Interlinking your blog posts is like using your own content to boost the views or engagement on your other content pieces. This practice also lets the reader know how diversified your knowledge about the industry is, gives your content more exposure and keeps the reader longer on the website.
But while doing so, ensure that you don’t open these links in new tabs. This is because often to reduce the number of tabs on one’s browser, a reader might accidentally close your tab and you lose his session there.
9. Open external links in new tabs
If you’re trying to share informative content with your audience, it is almost a given that you would link to external studies, reports, infographics and more to back your opinion or tips. While doing so increases your credibility and your knowledge of the industry in the eyes of the reader, it also increases the chances of them abandoning your website to ‘see more’ on the original source.
To avoid losing this traffic, ensure that all the external links in your post open in a new tab. If you think this isn’t important, think of how many times you actually pressed the back button of your browser to go back to a page.
10. Showcase your popular posts
Usually a visitor comes via social sharing, advertisement, a specific search result, etc – meaning, they land on one piece of content that they are interested in at ‘that moment’. Instead of letting them consume only one piece of content and leave, why not show them the other popular pieces as well that would further add value to them?
Showcase your popular blog posts in the sidebar and your home page. Knowing that a lot of other people are reading that content piece, peaks the reader’s interest enough for him to take a look at it. This in turn, increases the time the visitor spends on your website.
11. Optimize for mobile traffic
The number of internet users on mobile devices has exceed those from desktop. That means there is a high chance that the visitors on your website are trying to access or engage with your business using a smartphone, tablet or any other mobile device.
So optimize your website for this segment of visitors. Also, if your website is tagged as ‘mobile friendly’, Google automatically ranks you higher in search results – which in turn, will boost your organic traffic and make you look more reliable as well.
12. Reduce your web page loading time
In one of our previous posts, we shared how 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. For that matter, about 40% of internet users abandon a website simply because it took more than 3 seconds to load.
If you do the math right, you’re actually losing 7% of possible conversions by a one second delay in the page loading time. And that’s a considerable lot!
Here are a few things you could do right away to optimize your load time:
- Enable browser caching
- Optimize your images
- Use compression
- Optimize your CSS
- Add scripts after the content or before the closing body tag
13. Retarget them before they leave
Who says you can retarget your website visitors only once they have left, using social media retargeting ads? Using exit intent technology offered by Exit Bee, you can practically retarget them right before they leave.
The exit intent popups get triggered only when a visitor shows an intent of leaving the webpage. This gives marketers the perfect opportunity to retarget them with a personalized message that will hold them back a bit longer and possibly drive a conversion.
For instance, if a reader landed on your blog for an article on Facebook marketing, you could retarget him with a popup that recommends similar content pieces that are trending on your website, and are bound to add more value to him.
Engaging your visitors at the right time, with the right message and in the right manner, is the secret to reduced bounce rates and higher engagement on websites!