How to Keep Customers on Your Website
So you’ve built a website. You have a product to sell or content to promote and your site is ready to go. There are a number of excellent ways to entice visitors onto your site, but once they arrive what are the best ways to keep them coming back?
You take user experience seriously
When visitors drop off your site prematurely, you’re not just losing out on a potential sale. Google considers visitor behaviour in its ranking algorithm. When visitors are seen to leave the site soon after first finding it, Google deduces that the site is not as useful or valid. It is why search engine optimisation authorities like MOZ and SEO agencies alike harp on about the importance of user experience in SEO and monitoring bounce rate.
You have embedded media
Explainer videos and brand films can instantly engage visitors and encourage them to stay on your site longer. It is something corporate video production companies want you to know about. TellyJuice, who have worked with the likes of Lloyds, National Geographic and The Guardian, point out that whilst visitors often leave after less than 8 seconds on a page, having a corporate or explainer video on that page can keep them there for up to two minutes.
Other useful examples of embedded media include social media posts, slideshows, videos from external sites and audio clips. These can add an interactive element to your site as well as connecting visitors to your social media accounts and other relevant pages.
Once they’re done engaging with this content, ensure your visitors have somewhere else to click - or they’ll bounce out.
Your pages load quickly
No one has the patience for a slow site - even when the final result is a really well designed, image-rich experience. Data from KISSMetrics shows a direct correlation between page loading time and page abandonment. The data also revealed that 49% of mobile web users would abandon a page if it took more than ten seconds to load.
There are a number of way to increase your page speed and reduce the number of visitors to your site that give up and look elsewhere.
Your website is easy to navigate
Ensure that your website is easy to use and intuitive to navigate. Most websites follow a similar layout with the main pages of the site at the top of the home page, and a clearly marked search function.
In recent years it has become a necessity to optimize websites for smartphones and tablets to achieve a high ranking in Google search results. A 2014 comScore study found that, as predicted, mobile internet usage has overtaken that of computer desktops.
If the majority of your visitors use a smartphone or tablet to access your site they will be far more likely to remain if it works well on these devices.
And for when they get to a dead end - customize your 404 error page with a link to your home page, or any other relevant pages, and a search bar to encourage visitors to continue exploring your site.
Social proof describes the phenomenon of having increasing numbers of customers interacting with your site simply because others are already doing so. Clear evidence of interaction with your site, such as customer testimonials, blog comments and followers on social media, will encourage new visitors to also use your services.
Make it possible for customers to leave reviews and post comments on your blog - and resist temptation to curate them too strictly.