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Tips to help keep your visitors for longer (and increase conversion rate)

August 8, 2012

Steve McKinney
Steve
Steve is CandidSky's lead front-end developer. He makes things look great, and believes in building responsive websites with the core principles of usability and simplicity.

A problem that we often hear companies  have is holding visitors on their website for any decent length of time. We find that the solution often comes down to how relevant your content is and the way that you present it. In this blog I’ll cover a few points which can help to decrease bounce rates, increase time spent on the site as well as increasing conversion rate.

time spent on site increases conversionsSpeed is of the essence

When the internet first become widespread, slow connection speeds meant that website creators needed to scale back and optimise websites in order to keep loading times to an absolute minimum.

Today for those with broadband internet this is less of a problem, but if a website uses lots of high quality imagery and animation it can still slow down the site and affect loading times. Within a matter of seconds the visitor’s attention can be lost, and they may choose to navigate away.

Research conducted by Google has shown that even improvements as small as 100 milliseconds can increase the number of users who choose to stay on a site. This in turn can have a dramatic knock on effect on the amount of people who convert to either a sale or desired action.

Click to view info graphic full screen.

Question everything

When creating content for your website, question every part of your content. If any part of it offers no value to your users, then why is it there?Remove it, it’s one less distraction.

Readability

If you want to keep users engaged, make sure your content is easy to read. If a visitor finds it hard to read content they will more than likely seek out another source. Take cues from services like Instapaper and Readability, they both offer exceptional reading experiences.

Who are you and what do you do?

If I can’t find out who you are and what you’re offering quickly, chances are I’m going to leave your site right away. Most users will follow suit. Make sure it’s clear what your company offers and where you want them to go next.

Don’t be intrusive

It might seem like a good idea to add a popup on visiting your website to get the user to sign up to a newsletter, to inform them of an offer or to ask them to follow you on a social network.

Some visitors may respond to these techniques but you are in danger of irritating other users in the process, making it more likely that they will leave. If your newsletter or offer is that good, let your content convince the user to sign up.

Getting more signups

Do you have a really long form requiring a full life story about the user before they can sign up? I’ll guess you don’t get many signups.

It’s proven fewer sign up fields can increase conversions by very large amounts. If this is a newsletter registration, asking for only the email address may help to increase responses.

Include everyone

When considering the mobile aspect of your site, you may consider cutting certain parts of the page content down so that it more easily fits inside the mobile window. For a very large section of people, mobile is their primary method of accessing the internet.

If visitors believe they are viewing a watered down version of the site they may simply choose to view full web version of a site anyway, or worse still, leave the site altogether.

If you are faced with this dilemma its often better to simply show the full version of the site by default and test extensively across a wide range of devices to ensure that it will offer an acceptable experience.

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