It’s a fact, one backed up by internet market research, that most visitors to a website never return. This puts online sales and marketing professionals in a bind, as the same market research has also shown that those visitors who stay on a site for more than a minute on their first visit, are more likely to convert and become customers. The question is, how do we make sure that our site visitors stick around on that vital first visit?
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to keep your site visitors. We can divide those steps into three categories: the positive, or actions you should take; the negative, or actions you should avoid; and the best, or proven methods for increasing visitor interaction with your site, such as Heyoya’s voice commenting platform.
The Positive: Leverage your Content to make an Appealing Website
Everything on your site starts with the content you place on it. This is your message to the visitor, and has a powerful influence on every visitor’s choice to stay or go.
Start with your site design: the graphic layout, the images used, the headlines and text. If you don’t have a great layout, your site visitors will not stick with you. Remember: today’s web users have a full generation of internet experience behind them. Web users won’t waste time ‘oohing’ over a great looking site, but they also won’t waste time leaving a poorly designed site. Getting your site design right before you go live is a necessity.
Next is the actual content that you are using to get your message across. You need to keep everything strictly business. The keys to good content are: stick to the main points, write it clearly, and keep it all well-organized. The more direct and concise you are, the better your site will read. The savvy web user has gone online to learn something, and the quicker he does, the happier he’ll be.
Related to both of the above is site navigation. Make sure that your website is easy to get around, and that all navigation is clearly intuitive. Put the most important information on the home page and the upper-level pages, so that your visitors can find it quickly and easily. It’s OK to include interior links and drill downs, but make sure to indicate that they lead to additional information or special offers further in the website.
You can also make your website more inviting by including an FAQ section. FAQs are among the most visited pages on any website. The modern web user has learned that the FAQ is where he’s most likely to find the information he’s looking for, or answers to particular questions. A good FAQ will increase the length of time visitors remain on your site.
Finally, you absolutely must update your content regularly. Launching a new product? Headline it on your site. Did a new industry development make the news? Say something about it on your homepage. The point is, keep your site current and relevant. A regularly updated website looks better to prospective customers, and regular updates will bring improvements to your SEO.
The Negative: Avoid these Common Mistakes
We’ve talked about positive uses of content to induce visitors to stay, so now let’s look at a couple of common errors that are sure to push them away.
First, avoid making your visitors fill out forms to enter the site. Avoid site logins and auto-registrations, especially on the front end of your site. Remember, you have two options for collecting visitor information: sending cookies, or putting the forms on lower-level pages. A visitor several pages into your site has demonstrated interest in what you have to offer and is less likely to be turned off by a form.
It’s also tempting to use pop-ups on your site. This is a dangerous path to travel, as pop-ups, while they can bring you valuable information, can also turn off your site visitors. Anyone using an older or slower computer is sure to be put off by a website that opens a new pop-up with every click. You are better off keeping away from pop-ups.
Another common error is failing to keep your page loading times down. Every page on your site needs to load quickly. Research into internet habits has shown that even a one second delay can translate into 7% lost traffic.
The Best: Visitor Interaction
And now we’ve reached the best step to take to get visitors to stay on your website: Visitor interaction. The modern web is perceived as, and is used as, an interactive medium. Today’s web users want their online experience active, not passive. You can take two quick steps to ensure this.
First, put a Call to Action on every page. The call to action is your shout-out to your visitors, alerting a possibly interested potential customer that this is the spot to become a customer. The call to action can be a button, a link to a sign-up form, or even just highlighted text; what matters most is that it show your customer where to interact with the website.
The final, and most important step, to take in making your website attractive to visitors is to encourage user generated content. Promoting user generated content gives your readers a stake in the website, and a degree of ownership in the on-site discussions. Allowing rich media, such as images or voice recordings, in the comment section of your website is shown to improve visitor interaction. Heyoya offers a platform for voice commenting and other rich media. Increasing User generated content is also a surefire way to keep a steady flow of fresh, new content, with all of the benefits that brings in keeping your site regularly updated and your SEO well-optimized.
Getting visitors to stay is the first job of your website, and engaged visitors are most likely to spend time on your site. Heyoya’s voice commenting platform is proven step to increasing the right kind of visitor interaction.
Heyoya is a game-changing comments platform that brings voice to online publishers, improving user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. User generated content and active comments are a proven method of leveraging your audience to work toward website promotion. Heyoya increases brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content. Join Heyoya today and grow your community.
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