Have you ever wondered why some people leave your website so quickly? Just because you spend time and money building a website doesn't mean anyone is going to visit it, let alone stick around long enough to read anything. Good compelling content can help keep visitor retention, however, it’s not easy to continually churn out good content which is well laid out, with good graphics with an interesting subject matter. Good content alone may not make visitors stay and avoiding some common pitfalls will help make your website become stickier.
In this article, I will define a sticky website, as a site where your visitor's average stay time is longer than 2 minutes. If you don't know how to tell how long visitors are staying on your page, I recommend installing Google Analytics on your site. Any page that can not keep average viewer attention for over two minutes is bad. Anything less than one minute is terrible. Another good indicator that your website is working is when you get fan mail on a regular basis. If your content is good, people will go out of their way to tell you how good it is, or how helpful it is. A final indicator is repeat visitors, how many people re-visit your website after finding it? If your website has a low retention rate, the tips below may be able to help you improve things 😊.
Let's be honest, most of us visit a website for a specific reason. We want to know, learn, or buy something. On this site, people mainly come here to learn about web development. My content strategy is to write tutorials that explain how to build things simply. Personally, I hate it when you want to learn something specific, and a writer is being too flowery in their prose, or, trying to cover too much detail. If an article is written by someone who is bad at writing I usually jog on. Technical writers who hinder reader comprehension by trying to show off their superior knowledge with too much jargon or technical fluff will lose readers. Like development, keep things simple and easy to understand. The biggest aim when writing content is to engage with people. What this means to you and your audience, will be different from mine. Fundamentally, the aim is to write good content using plain English and stay away from the bullshit!
Forced Sign-Up Banners
The first time I visit a website, I don't want to be immediately presented with a big notification that prevents me from doing anything until I subscribe to something. I am not alone, the stats also show people are more likely to bounce when confronted with banners like this. You wouldn't go up to a stranger in the streets and randomly ask for their email address, so why do it online? The worst offender of this offence, in my opinion, is Groupon. Their pop up annoyed me so much I stopped using the site completely.
As a website builder, making a websites page load times performant is a big part of my job. If your web pages take more than 2 seconds to load, the research claims your conversion rates will drop 7% per second. We have access to more content than ever before. With so much content available to us now, don’t make me wait, otherwise, I'll be hitting that back button as fast as possible. Making your website quick can be technically very challenging. If you need technical advice about improving your website's performance, you can get in contact with me here 😊.
Anyone who reads a lot of my writing might think this point ironic. I've had spelling difficulties since childhood, however, I haven't let that stop me from writing. At the time of writing, this website averages over 15,000 page views a month.. not bad for someone who can't spell! If you do not have spelling difficulties, you don't have an excuse... typos and poor grammar send bad signals to the visitor. I've had people email me saying they love my content but get too frustrated by the typos. If your website has too many typos then you will end up alienating your visitors. If you do not have the time hire a content editor. If you don't have the money, a tool like NaturalReader.com can help you to edit your content easily.
Have you ever opened a website at work and then noise suddenly starts blaring out of your PCs speakers. The whole office stops and looks at you while you're desperately trying to turn the sound off... it's annoying! I think video content within websites is a trend that will continue gaining momentum in 2017 and onwards, however, let the user start the interaction rather than force noise at them!!!!
Implment Good Pagination
Have you ever visited to see an article, for example, to see the '10 Best Christmas films' and you have then been forced to click hundreds of buttons to see the entire list? Have you noticed ads pop up whenever you click? These systems are designed to increase ad impressions and inflate page views, however, they make the user experience terrible. DON'T DO IT! If you need to render lists on your website, focus on good interactions and a good user experience. Do not use a technique simply for ad views. Infinite scrolls with lazy-loading of content create nice experience. The less time a user has to wait for a page to load, the better the experience. Think about pagination carefully when implementing a new site.
I think we all understand, running a website costs money. Website owners people need to make money to fund it... ads help website owners achieve this. I think we can all live with a few ads, however, too many ads that take priority over your site content is a very easy way for you to stop people visiting your site.
Make It Easy For People To Find Your Content
This website started off as a simple blog. After the first 100 articles, I found it increasingly difficult to find the information I was looking for. To help make this process easier, I started to refine the design. I added tags, categories, and breadcrumbs to this site in order to aid in user navigation. Getting people to your site is the hard part. When you have viewer attention you need to make sure your website makes it easy for people to find related content. Good menus, breadcrumbs, and tagging will help people find the content they need
Selling Your Best Content
When I started this website, I was hesitant to give my best advice and tips away for free. The plan was to write an ebook and make money (the book is still in the works!). Holding back on good content is silly. There is so much content out there, someone else will share the same ideas as you eventually. Do not let that site steal your traffic! Don't hold your best content back. Also, do not wait until your site is more popular before publishing your best ideas, otherwise, you won't get to where you want to go. The good thing about writing and sharing your best content now is that it will force you to come up with new, better ideas later on! Making your site even better in the future 💥💥💥
I have been running a site for over five years now. These tips helped me grow my audience by 25%. I hope you find the same success. Happy Coding 🤘