Nobody can stay on your web page forever. Each and every visitor has to leave eventually. How long they stay, however, depends on how interesting they find your content and appealing they find your design, as well as a few other factors, including site load time, the user interface, and overall user experience.
MarketingLand.com lists “bad navigation”, “monotonous content”, and “not staying in touch” as three reasons why you may have a high bounce rate.
Here are some tricks you can do to keep visitors on your page for a lot longer:
Know what’s already working – Take a look at your analytics to learn which keywords are bringing visitors to which pages, and which of those pages people are spending the most time on. It’s not necessarily the most visited pages that are the most popular, but the ones that have the lowest bounce rate. What is it about these pages that makes people want to stay on them? This will give you some idea of how to make improvements and what to do and not to do in the future.
Structure your content for easy scanning – It doesn’t matter how insightful your article is. It could be about the cure for cancer, the secret of life, or the key to asset recovery. if it’s not displayed properly, it will never be read. In fact, it probably won’t even be looked at for very long. It’s also not a good idea to post it across multiple pages. Clicking “next” at the bottom of the page is very annoying. Slate explains that website owners should “stop pagination now”. Make content scannable and easy to read with the use of headlines, sub headings, short paragraphs, numbered lists, etc.
Don’t make visitors guess – Navigation and user interface should be clear and straightforward. People don’t want to have to figure out where to go or what link to click on to get to a certain page. Yes, you DO have to spell it out to them. “Click here for THIS” The layout and navigation bar should be logical. Don’t forget about mobile users, either. Make it easy for them to tap on whatever link they want to visit with their finger.
Add related posts at the end of each page – If a visitor stays long enough on a page to read the content, or at least scan through it, invite them to read related content. Otherwise, they might just leave the site. For example, if the page is about “the benefits of working with barter companies”, then you would want to link to similar posts about that particular topic, or other topics that may interest them.
Comment redirecting – If you use WordPress for your site or blog, Yoast offers a nifty tool that reroutes first-time commenters to a page of your choosing. You don’t want them to go away or close the browser out after leaving a comment, do you? It’s recommended that you have them rerouted to a “thank you page” on which you can tell them about other neat stuff on the site or offer them a free ebook download.
Make use of “popular posts widgets” – Another highly effective way to keep users on your site is to encourage them to check out the most popular pages. Have the highest converting posts appear at the top of the widget. Placing the widget on the sidebar is ideal, as it makes the post headlines more prominent.
With a bit of research and editing, you can reduce the bounce rate and get the average visitor to stay on your website longer.