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You’ve gotten people to your website. Now what?

Written by: Phillip Nones

Getting someone to your website doesn’t mean much if the visitor doesn’t stick around to interact with you in some meaningful manner.

But too often … that’s exactly what doesn’t happen. The 2012 Google Benchmarking Report tells us the average “bounce” rate for business websites is around 43%.

… And the average amount of time spent on any given website is about five minutes.

Clearly, keeping visitors engaged on your website improves the odds they’ll ultimately make a purchase. Give them reasons to stay rather than to leave.

  • Design your site from the user’s perspective:  Easy-to-scan copy … intuitive navigation … logical progression of content that’s easy to find.
  • Don’t be boring!  You can make most any topic interesting if you use a little imagination.  Since people like to read about others’ experiences, personal stories and anecdotes often work well.
  • Offer something of value for free … such as brief product overviews or “how-to” pieces that are instantly accessible.  Offer content of even greater value to those who are willing to give you an e-mail address.
  • Keep content dynamic:  Sidebar articles … videos … quick polls … loads of internal links to and from other information on your website are all ways to make your site more “sticky” so they’ll “stick around.”
  • Provide sharing opportunities:  As social media is “everywhere”, visitors are no longer shy about sharing content with others.  Make it easy for them to like, tweet, or comment – anything that keeps them engaged.

If these actions sound like they’ll require a big effort … you’re right. But it will be well worth it in terms of more time spent on your site, more pages viewed, lower bounce rates, and other improved metrics.

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