How to Keep Traffic on Website
Congratulations! After spending hours upon hours working with SEO, listing your website on the proper directories, and getting plenty of inbound links you finally have some serious traffic to your site. But are they bothering to stick around for very long?
Time-on-site is a great web analytic that lets you know how long your visitors are staying after they arrive. Basically we can call this a ‘coolness meter’ because it shows you how engaging and useful your content it to them. Now that you have plenty of traffic coming to your site the next big challenge is getting them to stay. How are you doing it?
Building a Better Mousetrap
How do you capture your viewers’ attention? You obviously need good content, but what is good will vary depending on your specific demographic. Hopefully if you have mastered the tools needed to direct traffic to your site then you understand the wants and needs of your target audience. The next step is making sure they stick around to read that content and regularly come back for more!
Let’s look at some tried and true methods to keep a reader engaged:
- Headlines Rule – Back in the early days of newspapers it was quickly determined that a great headline sold copy. The same thing happens on the web. With so many articles floating around you need to have an header that is interesting and informative. Using a keyword or trending topic is always a good idea as is asking a question that is provocative to the audience (such as this article’s title).
- Use Lists – Everyone loves a list. Why? Because it catches the eye and allows you to skim and find points that are interesting to you. On the web the attention span is very short. A huge article without any direction points can get boring fast because if a reader can’t find what they want or need then they can be gone in a ‘click’.
- Fonts & Spacing – Much like lists, use bold and italics to make certain key points and keywords stand out as reference points. Also use smaller paragraphs to really nail an idea as quickly as possible.
- Question & Answer – Present a question in the title or first paragraph and then use the article to provide the answer. People use the internet like a giant encyclopedia set so you might as well corner the market on your niche for reference.
What about Images?
Single images, multiple pictures, and slideshows are some of the best methods to add quality content to your site. To start, pictures add to the SEO numbers by popping up multiple times in the image search results. They also can take up a big block of space and quickly engage a viewer faster than text can. Finally they are easy to share which then can get new viewers coming in via social networking. Of course the images need to be interesting, funny, or engaging to actually accomplish this.
Slideshows are a very popular choice because it will keep a viewer on the site longer. However a word of warning goes with this; be careful how you set it up. Some sites use slideshows to maximize ads and they become ‘slideslows’. If each time you click to a new image a new ad pops up over the screen or you have to wait for new ads to load then the viewer can get tired of waiting and click away.
Let’s Make a Video!
Or maybe let’s not. Videos are very much a 50-50 prospect on the web. If you can nail it with a video that is useful, engaging, funny, or in any other way interesting to your viewers then you have truly found the goose with the golden egg. Video reviews, humor videos, and good instructional videos can add a huge amount of traffic to your site as well as massively increase the time-on-site numbers because of the length of the video. Plus as soon as you have one really good video many users will want to see any other videos you have as well.
The Bottom Line
Content needs to grab the viewer and keep them engrossed. That means a combination of all aspects from an interesting headline to easy-to-understand information that they want and need (or think they need). Ideally you want to use a variety of methods to engage the highest number of possible viewers and that means great articles, using slideshows, and even adding videos if appropriate. Effectively utilizing content this way will help keep those viewers longer and coming back more often, hopefully with lots of their friends in tow.