User Experience / How to keep visitors on your website

How to keep visitors on your website

Andy Thorne
basketball hoop and ball

Bounce rates can be the bane of your existence. After investing considerable sums in a fabulous looking website, it’s frustrating to realise that visitors are clicking away far too quickly, far too often.You have around 15 seconds to grab and hold the attention of website traffic. Most site visitors will stay less than that. Your chances of clocking up a successful transaction grow exponentially the longer visitors linger.

Keep in mind too, that consumer attention spans are declining! Meaning you now need to work even harder to get your website users to stay.

Here are a few tips to building websites that hold attention, as well as insights on updating websites to keep users interested.

Understanding your customer behaviour

Customers Behaviour in graphic form

All your customers are individual, take into consideration their individual needs.

There are some universal steps to successfully keeping users on your website, and bringing them back for repeat visits.

However, the starting point should be drilling down on the behaviours and decision-making processes of your specific target audience. In fact, grouping all consumers together and treating them all the same is possibly what’s creating your high bounce rate!

User Experience (UX) Research should be regular and thorough. This should look at your website’s analytical data as the bare minimum. It should also include focus groups, eye-tracking and other important measurement methods.

That way, you will have a clearer idea of what your customers are looking for when they visit your pages. Find the gains and pains that motivate them, then match those with your website contents. Also, think about what features are currently working best, or not at all?

What’s in it for me?

People talking over a desk

You must succinctly show website visitors that you can fulfil a need or a desire, discussing the needs of a customer will help define this.

There is a basic question that every website needs to answer quickly and clearly; what’s in it for me? You must succinctly show website visitors that you can fulfil a need or a desire.

Too many website designs are complex, clever and visually powerful, but completely lacking in clarity.

Your brand identity – your USPs – need to be slap bang in front of people the second they land on your pages. Not in a cold, factual way either. Your website content needs to provide an immediate connection and relationship with visitors.

This can mean pushing the benefits of your product and services before the nitty-gritty. If you show empathy for your website users, appreciation and even better ‘aspiration’ quickly enough, you can hold their attention more successfully.

Then, navigation aids and other UX values need to guide them smoothly to a response.

Make calls to action ‘zing’ too. If they need to hunt down your contact details or enquiry form, they may well lose interest!

Website designs that work

Website design

Website design also includes making sure the site is fully optimised for mobile.

The way your website design is structured can also play a role in keeping visitors on your web pages.

For example, if you use a website template or stock images you could get an immediate negative reaction. A fresh and purpose-created website layout is always a wise investment. Novelty is a powerful tool in grabbing and holding attention!

Well placed multimedia, infographics, and high-quality photography can be important, as people love visual references and it makes the text more palatable.

Put compelling Content ‘above the fold’ too. That’s the top section of the page that loads quickest and tends to be where visitors look first.

Don’t neglect your footers though – or sidebars, tabs and other spaces that can be used to good effect.

Talking of spaces, some of them should be ‘white’. The best website designs to hold attention use ‘negative’ space to draw attention to brand messages and important images.

Too much clutter and visual confusion can make website users click off instantly, especially if your site is ‘heavy’ and slow to load!

We’ve said it many times – but for websites, less is more!

Play to the way people scan online

All the above website design tips hinge on making it easy for visitors to see what you offer, instantly.

Everyone scans visual material in the blink of an eye, and then our brain processes our reaction in a split second. This is speeding up thanks to our reliance on technology.

We hate to use the word lazy, but it’s sort of unavoidable. It’s why a text message saying “Yes, that’s fine thank you” can now appear as “K”.

Now imagine if your website looks wordy or scans in a clumsy way on a mobile phone screen.

So, another trick to keeping visitors on your website longer is to make sure it works well across all devices and browsers. Responsive website design is vital!

Hello – are you still with us?

If you’re still reading or scanning, then we’ve hopefully demonstrated the value of good quality content that answers a need or desire.

For website designs that grab and hold attention, give us a call. We can also help you to gather valuable UX Research to delve into the minds and hearts of your target audience!

User Experience