As a web site owner, you spend a lot of time, money and effort to snag those site visitors who stop by. With 130 million sites, your piece of digital turf is almost invisible so when you do get visitors you want them to stay around as long as possible.
Why? Because the longer a site visitor stays in place (your place), the more likely they are to perform the most desired action, or MDA, whether it’s buying goods and services, opting in for a newsletter or picking up the phone to give you a call.
So, here are seven tips to keep site visitors in place. Use them and youâ€™ll see your â€œTime on Siteâ€ metrics soar. You’ll also see increased performance of the MDA.
1. Provide informational content. Tips, suggestions, helpful articles â€“ all of these keep visitors on site longer. And, if you update that information frequently, you’ll create site stickiness with visitors coming back regularly.
Add a blog to your site to provide new content easily.
2. Create an intriguing headline. The headline is half the job, or so goes the old advertising adage. Your headline should identify a problem and offer a solution, or pique the visitor’s curiosity. You have less than 10 seconds to capture the attention of a site visitor. A captivating headline gets noticed.
3. Simplify site navigation. A confused visitor is a gone visitor. Keep navigation unambiguous and always in the same place on every page. A navigation bar at the top of each page is typical, but if you have a lot of navigation links, use drop-down and fly-out sub-menus to get visitors to where they want to go.
4. Don’t lock out site visitors. You see this all the time â€“ an opt-in box on the home page. My Aunt Tilly knows that if she opts in you’re going to back sell her to the grave. And she doesn’t even know what she’s opting in for!
Show visitors the value of your site. Then show them the opt-in module that enables them to get more good info.
5. Format text. Skip long paragraphs. Web users don’t read, they scan so bullet lists and small blocks of text are simpler to absorb. Site visitors have the attention span of gnats so make it easy to scan your site text.
6. Shorten download time. If you have a shared hosting account, your web site is on a server with 2,843 other sites all competing for bandwidth – visitor access. Tests reveal that 90% of site visitors sit through a 10-second download but only 10% sit through a 30-second download so shorten download time by eliminating unnecessary design elements like Flash animations, videos and other data-dense sensory candy.
7. Describe benefits. Every visitor wants the answer to one question: What’s in it for me? They don’t care about you, the site owner. They don’t even think about you. Describe the benefits found on your site: save money, simplified buying, free shipping – all benefits.
Skip the hype about how great you and your business are. Visitors don’t care. But they do care about their own needs so describe benefits and can the hype.
It’s tough to get recognition on the W3 but when you do, focus on visitor needs, preferences and desires and watch the performance of the MDA rocket skyward.
It’s not about you. It’s about the visitor. Remember, less than 10 seconds to make an impression. Make it a good one.