Did you know that on average, 55% of people visiting a website spend fewer than 15 seconds on the landing page?
That’s really not long at all. So while your analytics may indicate you are getting plenty of hits to your site, that doesn’t mean that people are sticking around.
The main roles your website needs to fulfill are to attract visitors, but also encourage them to stay.
If over half of your site visitors are leaving within 15 seconds, how confident are you that they got an accurate picture of your website?
And if they didn’t stick around the first time, how likely is it they will return to your site?
With so many websites to choose from, it can be difficult to create a site that grabs readers’ attention straight away and prevents them from finding another more captivating website.
But creating a “sticky” website will encourage more traffic, and will also be better for your SEO ranking.
Read our guide on what makes a good website that people won’t want to leave.
What Is Bounce Rate?
When reading about Google analytics, you may have heard the term “bounce rate”. But what does it actually mean?
The bounce rate of a website is basically the percentage of visitors to a website that leaves after only visiting one page. Google analytics calculate this by dividing the total number of site visits by the number of sessions that involved page.
A high bounce rate indicates that people generally don’t spend much time on your site and don’t click around.
A great method for lowering your site bounce rate, is to make sure that you have a fast loading website. This is one of the most common reasons why someone will leave a site a few seconds after first visiting it.
This is not generally a good sign. It means that people are not engaging with your site and are almost certainly finding a more pleasing alternative.
Looks Are Important
So how do you get people to spend more time on your site?
Well, with potentially only 15 seconds to hook your site visitor, first impressions are important.
Designing a website that looks interesting, cool, modern and professional is not easy. But it is important.
We have all clicked onto a site and immediately left because it looked amateur and unappealing. If we do not think that a site looks professional and credible we are less likely to trust the content.
Using WordPress themes and other design tools will help you make your website look great without taking too much time or costing a lot.
Avoid pages of unbroken text as they can look daunting. Use plenty of photos and visual content that will immediately grab the reader’s eye when they land on the page.
Learn more about quality website design tips, to make your site look great.
Keep It Current
Another big turn-off for website visitors is stale content.
If you click on a blog and the last post was dated a year ago, it gives the impression that the website is out of date and possibly even abandoned.
News articles and statistics should be updated regularly to show that your site is fresh and well maintained.
Similarly, if your website is for a business, make sure any events listings and contact details are always kept up to date.
Make Sure Everything Works
Making sure that all aspects of your site function as they should is incredibly important. You can have the most beautifully designed website full of great content, but if it is too slow to load, people will leave before they have even seen it.
Make sure that you do regular checks on all of the links on your site pages to make sure they all work.
If you have animation or video content, this should load quickly and be easy to watch when someone lands on the page.
Also, make sure that any embedded content is updated so you are not left with a dead link on your page.
Write Killer Content
The content is the backbone of your website. Making sure your content is interesting and well written is vital in order to get people spending more time on your site.
Think about the purpose of your site, and make sure that the content reflects that.
If a user is clicking on your site to find something out, or solve a problem, then the content on the page should help them immediately. If they have to scroll for too long to find basic information, they will lose interest pretty quickly.
Make every page as high quality as possible. You can’t assume that all users are going to land on the home page first. They could arrive at your site via a Google search that has directed them to a specific page.
So while your homepage may look stunning and have lots of great features, don’t neglect deeper content and things like contact pages.
Encourage Users to Explore
Encouraging users to explore your website is what will reduce your bounce rate and keep them on your site for longer.
Include plenty of internal links to other pages on your site within the main content. This will make it very easy for them to start exploring more content.
Make It Interactive
A lot of internet users expect to be able to interact with websites. The internet experience has become a lot less passive over the years, and so a static website with no options for interaction can be a turn-off.
Include tools and widgets that allow your readers to share articles on social media.
If you run a commercial site, then include online booking, seating plans, product creators and other tools that users can play with. This will create a much more enjoyable experience for the customer, as well as keeping them on your site for longer.
Learn More About What Makes a Good Website
So those are some tips on what makes a good website and how to reduce your bounce rate.
Inspire confidence by making sure your site not only looks great but is up-to-date and fresh.
Write killer content that demonstrates your expertise and leaves the reader wanting more. And create ways for your readers to interact and engage with the site, to make their experience enjoyable and last longer.
Check out our showcase of successful websites to see how it’s done, and get in touch to find out more about the services we offer.