14 Ways to Increase Visitor On-Page Time and Drop Your Bounce Rate

14 Ways to Increase Visitor On-Page Time and Drop Your Bounce Rate

14 Ways to Increase Visitor On-Page Time and Drop Your Bounce Rate
November 4, 2016

#bounce rate
#user engagement

When was the last time you checked your WordPress websites analytics? How about your sites conversion rate? If the two pictures dont quite sync up (e.g. youre getting a lot of visitors, but sales are in a slump), then its time to figure out whats going on with your website.

Let me ask you a few questions:

What was your websites bounce rate this month?
Which pages experienced the highest exit rate?
How long do visitors stay on each page of your site, on average?

Analytics are a tricky thing. You may see a bunch of glowing green indicators telling you that page views are on the up and up or that youve got more new visitors than last month, but those numbers dont mean much if you dont dig deeper.

If youve got a high quantity of visitors coming to your site, but theyre jumping ship within a matter of seconds without engaging, theres something wrong quality-wise. Today I want to discuss how your websites content and design may be the source of the problem and offer a number of ways you can go about lifting your visitors on-page time and dropping your sites bounce rate.
Why Its Time to Revisit Your Sites Content and Design

Imagine you had a brick-and-mortar shop and people were always walking by the front window, looking in, and then walking on by. Or, even worse, imagine that people were stepping inside your shop, taking a look around, and then immediately leaving. This is exactly what happens on your website every time it registers a bounce.

Visitors to your website should be excited to learn more about you and your business after catching that first glance. However, when they bounce off your site without taking any further steps into other pages or engaging with the elements on your site, then youve got a big problem.

When it comes to design, there are a lot of factors that may cause visitors to hightail it out of your site:

Are the stock photos too cheesy?
Is the typography difficult to read?
Are there too many pop-ups?
Do the colors stir up a negative emotion?
Are there too many steps in the conversion process?
Is the content irrelevant?
Are calls-to-action getting lost?
Is the menu too difficult to navigate?
Or is it something else?

While I cant say exactly what may be the cause of your particular sites pain, I can give you some guidelines to follow when assessing and fixing whats wrong with it.
Increasing Your Visitors On-Page Time

While the time your visitors spend on the pages of your website isnt the only statistic you need to keep an eye on, its a good indicator of their overall interest. And with more time spent on-page, more pages visited, and a lower bounce rate, its safe to assume that your visitors will be more likely to convert.

Here are some ways to drive this engagement.
Tell a Story

Every website should tell a story. And by story, I mean there should be a clear problem-and-resolution that visitors notice when looking through your site.

If youre not sure what story your website tells (or if it even has one), it may be time to rethink your websites design and content for a stronger, more cohesive message that captures your audiences attention.

Solution: Tell Your Story
Revamp Your Menu

If you find that your visitors commonly deviate from the pre-determined path youve established for them, then your navigation may not be as straight-forward as you think.

If there is related content that visitors are missing out on, a redo of your sites navigation might not be such a bad idea. It would also give you an opportunity to better clearly tell your story by placing pages in a logical order within the menu.

Solution: Give Your Menu a Redo
Remove the Clutter

Theres a tendency in this day and age to overshare ? to tweet our thoughts, Instagram our meals, Snapchat our adventures. When it comes to websites, though, think of them like the 140-character restriction on Twitter. Say as much as possible in as little space as you can.

This is why minimalist design is hot right now; it forces visitors to focus on the most important parts of the site and not get distracted by the rest.

Solution: Communicate More Effectively
Optimize Your Imagery

Images are an essential part of web design. They establish a tone, set the pace, and can even tell visitors a lot about a business. When talking about optimizing images, the first thing that comes to mind for developers is photo compression. Optimization can also pertain to making the most of the images used. High-resolution imagery is a must. Unique stock photography is good, too. Even better would be using your own photography.

Solution: Optimize Your Photos
Give Your Fonts a Facelift

A lot of consideration goes into the images, colors, and placement of a website, but what about the font? If youve ever relied on the default font selection of a theme, you know that those choices arent always ideal.

While there may be other issues giving visitors a difficult time reading your content, a quick switcheroo may be enough to hold their attention.

Solution: Upgrade Your Font
Break Up Content

The key to appealing to the masses is to go with a simple and classic solution. In terms of content, consider breaking it up in the following ways:

Use shorter sentences.
Keep paragraphs brief.
Add bulleted lists.
Create numbered points.
Use a larger font and header tags for easier scanning of content.
Rely on simple words and avoid industry jargon.

Solution: Simply Revise Your Content
Personalize Your CTAs

  • You may not realize it, but your calls-to-action (CTAs) may be standing in your way. It might be because the wording seems too much like a robotic command (like Read More or Click Here). Or it might be due to the colors, placement, or size of the button. Regardless, if youre not getting as many clicks as youd like, you need a way to better manipulate an urgent, emotional need to click.