Keeping Users on Your Website
Successfully attracting users to your website is only the first step when trying to secure more business. Once users arrive, they need to be given a reason to stay. If someone “walks through the door” of your website but simply clicks off to leave, it’s unlikely any new business will result. An effective web site draws visitors through “the door” of the site and then ushers them in to explore its content by providing them with relevant and valuable information and compelling imagery, structured in a user-friendly manner. This is how a real connection is made with the user, and securing new or additional business becomes far more likely.
Implementing and Tracking Analytics
How successful is your site at holding the attention of visitors? An excellent way to gauge this is to integrate analytics tracking (such as Google Analytics) with your website. You can track important metrics such as how many users are visiting your site per month, where they live, how long they remain on your site, and more. This data indicates whether your users are satisfied with your website and is critical to decisions regarding how to improve marketing strategies.
If your website has multiple pages and user success is determined by whether or not they visit more than one page, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for your site’s “Bounce Rate.” This is the metric that describes how often users leave your site after visiting only a single page. With a multi-page site, you’ll want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible. If your bounce rate is high, it may mean that either the wrong users are being attracted to your site – probably because your acquisition funnel is projecting the wrong image – or the right users are visiting but the content they’re seeing on the home page isn’t compelling enough to them to have them explore further.
However, if you have a single page scrolling site, Bounce Rate may not be as important as Session Duration. This metric describes how long (in seconds) users are remaining on your site before navigating away. If you have a low Session Duration, users aren’t sticking around for long, which means they aren’t finding what they’re looking for.
Finally, you'll want to keep track of "Conversions". A Conversion is the moment when a user is converted from a simple visitor to a lead or sale, depending on the goals and functionality of your website. Many Analytics platforms can be configured to track Conversions when users complete a task on your site like finishing a transaction or filling out a contact or inquiry form. Paying attention to the ratio between the number of visitors your site has and how many are converted can help you determine whether or not your site is performing as it should.
Visual Appeal and Usability
The appearance of a website’s homepage plays a major role in user retention. It sets the tone for the entire site, and leaves users with a lasting impression of your brand and organization. If you have a visually lackluster home page, or if the content it features is well designed but uninteresting or irrelevant to viewers, they have little incentive to stick around.
A site’s Visual Appeal is key to user retention. Poor choice of color, structure, font, and lack of interesting or relevant imagery will drive users away, while correct selections will keep them coming back. If you’d like to know more about how to improve the Visual Appeal of your website, check out our previous Tech Factor posts on crafting a professional design for your site and making proper use of imagery and text.
Usability is also key to a site’s effectiveness and to the appeal it has to visitors. A well thought out website that can be navigated intuitively will engage users, while one that doesn’t provide intuitive navigation is likely to annoy and drive away visitors. Try visiting some competitor’s websites to see how their menus, page names and structures are set up. Do they feel the sites offer intuitive navigation, or do you often find yourself having difficulty locating the info you need? Try to emulate what they do right, and avoid what they do wrong when implementing changes to your site’s User Interface.
Getting users to your site is not enough. Following the tips above can help increase the likelihood that users will remain on your website. If you think you could use the help of an experienced web designer to set your site up with Analytics Tracking or analyze your site's Visual Appeal and Usability, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you implement solid steps that can make a world of difference. Contact us today!