“Getting 1,000,000 unique visitors a month will not matter that much if they are all leaving in droves as soon as they get to your homepage. Keeping that traffic on your website is just as important as getting them to your website in the first place.” (SloDive)

Image: Adria Richards

Everyone knows that one of the main keys to online success is bringing in a large amount of traffic to your site, but it doesn’t end there.

Reducing your bounce rate (the percentage of people who land on a page and then leave the site without clicking through to any of your other pages) and keeping customers on the site for longer are imperative to success, giving you more chance to get your message across or make a sale.

Oh, and a low bounce rate also helps you to rank higher in Google search results too, bringing in yet more traffic – get it right, and it’s a wonderful upward spiral of success!

Here are the top 3 tips on how to get your website visitors to stick around for longer…

1.       Use Video

Everyone’s talking about video as the next big thing in marketing right now – whether you believe the hype or not, one thing is for certain and that is that videos keep users on your site for longer.

The Web is full of words, but sometimes people just don’t feel like reading! Video benefits you because whilst people can skim through an article, but a 3 minute video takes 3 minute to watch, every time.

If you’re in e-commerce, video opens up a whole new method of showing your products key features to customers. Just remember to keep it balanced – long enough that it engages and interests users, not so long they get bored and stop watching.

Image: Adria Richards

2.       Use Page Breaks

One simple trick to reduce your bounce rate is to spread your content out over two or more pages. Sure, those people who don’t find what they’re looking for after reading an article will still leave the site regardless, but at least they’ll have clicked onto at least one additional page since landing on your site.

The average Internet user has a very short attention span – everyone knows that breaking up big blocks of text into bullet points is beneficial, but go that one step further and split a long article into 2 or 3 pages as well.

3.       Link Wisely

To keep users on your website for as long as possible, you need to think strategically about the links you use.

Firstly, linking between content is a great way to encourage users to look at more pages. If you’re blogging, link to something you wrote earlier that is relevant to the topic, and if you’re selling products add features such as ‘similar items’ and ‘customers who bought this also bought…’.

You also need to review your external links. If you use affiliate links it’s easy to think that the more visible they are, the more clicks they’ll get and the more you’ll earn.

By having prominent outbound links however, especially from your homepage, you’re encouraging people to leave the site the moment they see it. Bury those links a little deeper – your bounce rate is sure to go down.