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Make Web Visitors Stay Longer

Updated on November 29, 2014

The Sticky Page

The longer visitors stay on your web page, the more interested they are in what you have to offer. The sticky page is just that, one that gets readers to stay glued.

The key to making a sticky page is to build a high-quality page. One that is very unique, useful, informative and good looking. No wonder why Google or search engines, for that matter, are using the time-spent indicator to measure how long people stay on web sites.

The bottom line is the more time visitors spend on your site, the more likely it's going to have more traffic, more comments, more ratings, more recommendations, more backlinks and of course, more purchases! I'll show you how to make a sticky page!

“In a few seconds you gain or lose a visitor. When visitors read your web page, they must be able to identify significant factors that convince them to stay”

Understanding How Visitors Read Online

This is essential in writing and designing a web page

Visitors don't read, they scan! Yes, users tend to scan more than engaging in serious reading. Recent studies have shown how users read online. Using eye tracking studies, researchers have found people tend to scan pages in an F-shaped pattern. The heat map shows red colored markings which are the areas visitors look at the most frequently.

“The key to retaining visitors and increasing the time they spend in your webpage is to have relevant and interesting information”

Common Sense SEO

Attract Relevant Visitors

In the past, people have had the need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their websites, since search engines had different and complicated algorithms.

However, things have changed, search engines have matured and they have gone back to plain old common sense. Basically, search engines, like Google, are starting to appreciate the same things that real people are looking for in a website:

It's really just common sense. Web sites which aim to have visitors to spend quality time on them, do not need to crack algorithms. These sites have the potential to achieve high rankings for many keyword phrases in all major search engines for many years, regardless of ever-changing algorithms.

Writing Web Content that Works

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies)
Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies)
If you're a fan of usability, good user-centered design, and easy-to-read helpful books, and you'd like to improve your site's performance with better writing, definitely get this book.

Coming Up Next

some of the most useful techniques on how to entice your visitors and hook them up to your page!

Make Them Stay Longer & Return Frequently

Web Design Tips

"The idea is to create a web page that encourages visitors to spend as much time as possible on it"

  • Provide direct, concise, clear and very useful content. The type of information that cannot be found elsewhere.
    • Write an engaging introduction.
    • Use a direct language that is easy to read.
    • Use meaningful titles and subtitles. They should be brief and convey a summary of the section.
    • Keep paragraphs short, use simple sentence structure. Breaking a long paragraph into several smaller sections invites the viewer in to read.
    • Make your page more scan-friendly. Large blocks of dense text intimidate the visitor.
    • Make your content into a story format.
    • Check for grammar. Misspellings and poorly constructed sentences communicate the wrong information.
  • Make your content visually pleasing. Aesthetics and style are so important in engaging the reader into understanding the subject of your web page.
    • Pick a relevant and enticing introduction picture.
    • Lay out information to help web users.
    • Use consistent formatting. Choose a pattern of spacing, an order of information presentation or a format of highlighting and be consistent throughout.
    • Use contrasting colors. Text is easier to read when font and background color are in high contrast. Low contrast irritates the reader and causes eye fatigue.
    • Use bullets and numbered lists. They help get the readers attention.
    • Use HTML/CSS code if necessary.
    • Highlight, underline or bold important keywords or phrases.
    • Add plenty of quality pictures and graphics.
    • Add engaging videos.
  • Involve the reader. Add call-for-action modules such as a poll, quiz and guest book.
  • Use plenty of white space. Thoughtful use of empty space helps the visitor's eyes to focus on the important information.
  • Easy navigation. A simple navigation structure can convince people to stay longer on your site.

More Suggestions

  • List strong references. Add related links that open in a new window.
  • Camouflage your products with your content. Try to sell them one product at a time, you'll sell more by limiting the choices.
  • Keep your web page fresh. Give a reason to come back.
  • My (not so) secret tips.

Sticky Content

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
The authors examine an especially important challenge to everyone who struggles to formulate and then communicate ideas that "stick": That is, ideas that "are understood and remembered, and have a lasting impact - they change your audience's opinions or behavior. This book is for anyone with good ideas who wants to capture an audience.

“The longer they stay, the longer they play”

How Is Time Spent Measured?

PageRank Metrics

It's been rumored that the time spent metric is one of the most important indicators used by Google's algorithm in determining the rank of your site.

It's supposed to be a complex calculation in which many parameters, weights and indices are taken into consideration. However, we don't know the exact math for this indicator, in fact, the formula will never be revealed because search engines don't want people to manipulate the system and cheat.

So we're going to attempt to simplify the explanation for this indicator as follows:

  • The calculation is made over the lifetime of the visitor session to the web page.
  • The visitor interactions are tracked by specific engaged events.
  • Those events could be: clicking a link, clicking on a picture, voting in a poll, downloading a file, watching a YouTube video, commenting in a guest book, emailing content to a friend, printing a page or exiting the site.
  • The timestamp for the last interaction determines the time the user spent on your page. The picture below shows the time spent was 38 seconds.

But there's always a catch. Most of the time, it's impossible to know the exact time a visitor spent on your site. In other words, one cannot account for how long a visitor stayed reading your page after the last timestamp interaction. However, time spent on your website is considered a key indication of how successful your site is in attracting relevant visitors.

The 10 Second Rule

“If your lens is boring, your visitors will not wait around to look for the information, even if you have what they're looking for”

Building Findable Websites

Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond
Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond
This book is an excellent resource for both new and experienced web designers concerned with increasing SEO and creating a usable site for their end user. Walter manages to cover so much without leaving the reader feeling overwhelmed with information overload. He does this, partly, by writing in a clear, concise and friendly tone. The book is also organized in a logical manner and includes a section on blogging, content and markup strategies.

What Makes Visitors Leave Your Site?

Don't let them get away!

Unattractive look

Irrelevant content, bad spelling and poor grammar

Information is too hard to find

Long chunks of text without text formatting

Cluttered text and graphics

Too much advertising

Long lists of endless products

Distracting colors that make the text hard to read or focus on

“The longer a visitor lingers on your page, the more likely he or she is to purchase a product or at least bookmark it and be back again”

Google Traffic vs. Time Spent

=> Direct Relationship

This picture illustrates the distribution of clicks on a search engine results page (SERP). You can immediately notice the direct relationship between the percentage of clicks, according to the site's rank, and the time spent of that site.

In other words, the higher you rank in Google's SERPs, the more clicks your site is

going to get.

Is there a better reason to extend the time visitors stay on your webpage?

Remind Them to Add to Favorites

A Very Simple Thing

One of the ways to get your visitors to come back again is to get them to add your lens to their favorites or bookmarks.

Whether or not you think the time-spent metric is used by Google or Hub Pages' rank algorithm is not that important.

The bottom line is if you make a very unique, good-looking, informative and useful web site, you're guaranteed to get more traffic and more purchases.


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