The main goal of your business website should be to educate people and to provide maximum exposure for what you have to offer as a company, increasing your conversion rate in the process. For the purpose, the modern enterprises use a robust open-source CMS such as WordPress.
And WordPress websites get traffic, a lot of traffic! According to the official WordPress Stats page, over 490 million people worldwide view more than 21.2 billion pages each month. The reasons for using WordPress are more than obvious: highly-scalable, SEO-friendly, flexible, easy to administer and one of the best platforms to kick-start your marketing campaign on.
So, you’ve carefully created your marketing campaign, put a serious effort into your ad, users click on it, and all of the sudden, they run away from your website like it’s the devil, himself. Did you want this to happen with your WordPress website?
Of course not! Besides your marketing campaign, you’ve invested a lot of time, money and effort into the development of your website, so having users that bounce from your pages is not something that you’ve probably imagined when the design and content development took place.
If that’s the case with your WordPress website, sit back, relax and learn how to keep people on your WordPress site.
Why Do You Need to Keep Users on Your Website?
The time that people spend on the website is more than just a metric. It’s a sign that indicates how valuable your content is, and the quality of your design. A well-designed WordPress site should not have a high bounce rate. An increased bounce rate means a decreased conversion rate. So if users leave quickly, something must be wrong and must be addressed ASAP!
Benefits of Increasing Average Time Spent on Your WordPress Website?
As a business, you must have goals. Whatever those goals are, your WordPress website should help you achieve them. The more you keep users engaged, the bigger the chances are to convert them into clients.
The time that people spend on your website is one of the key factors that influence the way Google ranks your content as a search engine. When Google detects that users return to the search results page seconds after they’ve clicked on your page, the algorithm will understand it as an indicator that your visitors didn’t get what they were hoping for when they saw you in the search results.
The way users behave on your website tells you where their attention span is longer and where they bounce off.
Examine Your Design
Without measuring the design quality, you can’t know where the design and UX flaws are. Ask yourself the following:
- Is what my business does apparent?
- What are my business goals, and does this design helped me to achieve them?
- Is the design relevant to my target audience?
- How do users feel when they open my website?
- Is my website appropriately structured for usability and SEO?
- Is the website navigation clear?
- Does the design encourage visitors to perform a specific action and make a conversion?
- Does the design of my content motivate users to spend more time on my website?
Reviewing your website design will give you a good overview of how you present your business to your website visitors.
Conduct Usability Tests
If people can’t find what they’re looking for because your navigation is not on point, they’ll close your site immediately and might never come back. That is why you must optimize your WordPress website for better usability. Your navigation must be clear, the CTAs must be clickable and obvious, and what you’re offering must be visible from the start.
There are many reasons why you need to perform usability testing for your WordPress site regularly. But, the main one is to increase user retention, so they don’t have to go elsewhere to find the information or the product that they need. Besides keeping your website visitors engaged, other vital aspects should be addressed through usability testing:
- How much time does it take for the users to complete a specific task?
- How pleased are the users with your site?
- Is the navigation straightforward?
- Is something wrong in terms of web functionality?
- How does the website perform?
- Is the website relevant to your business objectives?
There are several usability testing methods that you can use to approach the user-friendliness of your site:
- A/B Testing
- Participatory Design
- Eye Tracking
Inspecting the usability of your site doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are a few tips to help you achieve better usability testing workflow:
- Have a Plan: A testing plan can help you define the tasks, metrics, and usability goals.
- Involve the Team: Having the key members of your team monitoring how the testing process and how test groups navigate on your site can help them understand what the users face and need on your website.
Analyze The Results: When all the tests are done, you need to start assessing the situation. Uncover what works and what doesn’t on your site, and put your findings into the practice of improving your WordPress website.
Test Content Readability
Your content’s readability is the ease in which the users can comprehend your copy. It depends on the copy size, its complexity, line length, line height, as well as formatting and whitespace.
When analyzing the readability of your content, ask yourself:
- Is the copy easy to read?
- Is the contrast between the typography and the background sufficient enough?
- Is the text size readable?
- Does the content fit perfectly in the overall design of a given page?
The more readable the content, the more people will stay on your website. In the technology age, having an unreadable blog post is inexcusable. For that reason, testing content readability matters more than ever, and the following tools will help you check and improve the readability score of your text:
Readable : This tool provides you with text analytics and stats. It displays sentence, word, and syllable grades, and you can also examine the sentiment of your content.
Hemingway Editor: It is a visual content editor that underlines the sentences of your content that you can divide or trim down. It also offers you alternatives for long and complex words, as well as finding passive voice and superfluous adverbs.
An aesthetically polished website will keep the users longer on your site and will help you deliver the messages that you’re trying to convey better. When evaluating the aesthetics of your WordPress site, for a maximum impact, focus on the following:
- Color: It is one of the key factors that affect the entire user experience of your website. Carefully consider the colors of your background, navigation, headers, and links. Test various colors to gauge the best palette that can help you deliver your message.
- Images: Having the wrong picture in the wrong place is a wasted opportunity. Whether it is a photo, graphic, or illustration, make sure that it’s the right one that your audience will like, and that would fit in perfectly in your website’s design.
- Text Content: Your website needs relevant content. For greater readability and aesthetics, use headings and subheadings to arrange your text for better scanning. If the copy is about a complex topic, provide the readers with a glossary of key terms, for them not to wonder about every concept on your page.
- Navigation: Make sure that the search function, navigation, links, buttons, and tabs are visible and usable.
- Alignment: Every element of your website must be easily discoverable and balanced with the rest of your site. Too many elements and everything will become chaotic, resulting in a higher bounce rate. Have an uncluttered page, with perfectly arranged elements and a clear CTA, for a higher retention and conversion rate.
- Consistency: Be consistent across your website so that users that browse from page to page will always know where they are. When someone clicks on one of your pages, you must meet his/her expectations through a consistent message and page layout.
- White Space: It’s the respiratory system of your site. Whitespace enables website visitors to focus on the core message.
Fix the Clutter
One of the best ways to increase the average time spent on your WordPress site is to declutter everything that suffocates your design. If you feel that some elements are excessive, maybe it’s time for some cleaning and TLC:
- Check Your Links: A link can mean two things – either the users will open a resource from another site, or they’ll open an internal link that will make they stay on your site. This is why your linking strategy must always bring you positive “link juice” and bring you closer to your goals.
- Pay Attention to Ads: Google attentively scans the ads on your site. Too many ads don’t mean only a messy design, but they can also distract the users from your content, and the next thing you know, they’ll close the tab and open another website.
Optimize Your Images
Images are and will remain one of the most engaging types of content. When the image quality is bad, the entire website looks bad, including the content. Your images need to be relevant and perfect. If the image is smaller than required, it will look blurry and stretched. If it’s larger than required, it will take more time for the page to load. Images are effective as content because:
People Love Images
A website without images is dull, and in most cases, people prefer to look at images that complement the content. Instead of reading long paragraphs, we’d rather look at a graph or an image.
Images Evoke Emotions
The power of images to activate emotions is a fact. It is what makes them so engaging. Besides that, for most people, it is much easier to memorize an image than written text, not to mention that an image is a universal language that is understood by everyone.
WordPress sites that scale and retain high traffic use wide and gorgeous imagery.
To use high-quality and relevant imagery throughout your WordPress site, consider the following tips:
Include Stock Images If You Must
Not everyone has the budget for unique graphics or for a professional photo shoot. If that’s the case with your business, you can still use stock images that will work well with your content. There are websites that offer an excellent choice of stock imagery, such as Pexels or Unsplash.
When you choose a stock image, run it through TinyEye to check who else uses the photo. Additionally, make the images unique by using Photoshop or even free tools such as Canva where you can also add elements and letters to the image.
People Are Drawn to People
People respond better to images with people. We are hardwired to respond to faces. It’s in the DNA. This is the reason why you should use human faces and expressions for your landing page imagery. The more similar the face to your target customer, the better.
Your readers need to relate to the person in the photo. The connection between the headline and the image with people must be perfect. This helps you, not only to increase the time that they spend on your WordPress website but also, to help them associate you with your brand.
When you use images on your website, don’t forget to optimize them for speed. Compress images first using tools like ImageResize or TinyPNG and upload them again on your page. These tools can compress the image file size up to 80% without sacrificing too much the quality and details of the images.
Use the image resolution that you need. For example, if you only need a thumbnail of the image that is 300 x 300px, why would you want to insert a 1200x1200px for it only to appear smaller on the page?
You need to have smaller images where you want smaller images and larger ones where you need them if you want your page to render fast.
Have Content That’s on Point
If you can’t develop content that your target users yearn for, you can’t expect them to stay on your website. It’s all about how your content makes users feel when they land on your page. People need to find that the content on your pages is both appealing and really easy to read.
There are many tactics for finding good keywords for your business. Some good suggestions are:
- Product/Service Focused: You must keep the consumer’s attention on what your offer and its benefits. Use keywords with commercial intent that are used by prospects that are ready to take advantage of your services.
- Have a target: Finding the right target market will help you figure out your target audience’s needs and determine the type of information needed to convince them to buy from your business.
- Long-tail keywords: Phrases instead of single words are the typical search query of consumers. This is why long-tail keywords are more effective than shorter, general keywords.
Another thing that you need to inspect and improve on is content that sounds too salesy. Your content needs to be easy to digest, appealing, and at the same time, content that strengthens your key points in an understandable way for the audience:
- Make your sentences shorter
- Use shorter paragraphs.
- Use bulletin lists.
- Have larger fonts and header tags.
- Avoid industry jargon.
On your blog, check if your headlines match what you have to offer in your articles. If people click on your article expecting some sort of value and you’re not providing it from the start, they won’t stay and read the rest.
One solution to this problem is to actually write the content before you formulate your headline. With that, you can easily gauge if your content is valuable enough or you need to work more to deliver what you promise in the headline.
Be careful with your introductions too. Even if your overall article is valuable, if your intro is not on point, you’ll turn people off. If the entire piece is not presented properly, people will drift away from your website.
Provide Content Upgrades
Everyone wants a bonus value. In exchange for giving them the extra content and sticking around, you can ask people’s email address, register for a free account, or participate in a survey. The following is a list of content upgrades ideas that you can use to effectively increase user engagement and get more leads in the process:
- PDF Blog Posts Roundup: A content upgrade that is easy to create and offer. If you have a valuable series of articles, compile them into an ebook and offer it to users that want to browse your content on their Kindle device or maybe even print it and read it later.
- Checklist: Sometimes people don’t have the time to read 5000+ words articles. This is why you can offer a checklist that is consistent with the most important takeaways from your article.
- Report: If you’ve conducted extra research on your topic, why not offer the report along with the case study to further educate readers. Not only that you will keep them on your site, but additionally convince them to work with you.
- Case Study: The success story of someone similar is always an excellent convincing point. With a case study, you can tell people how you started working with a client and how with your help, now their business is a success.
- Free Course: Don’t be afraid to give your knowledge away, this is what sets you as an industry expert and a thought leader. And besides that, you’ll host the course on your website, and that’s the point where you hold on to prospects enough to convince them to work with you and visit your WordPress site on daily basis.
- Email Series: If you publish quality articles on your blog, you can grow and activate your email list by offering a weekly email series to subscribers filled with excellent content. With this, they’ll return on your website every week, and with a daily series, even more frequently.
Rethink Your Typography
Communication means text. Text means typography. The entire look and feel of your website can depend on the fonts that you choose. It keeps the reader’s attention to your content. With the right font choice, readers will be able to focus on your core message that you want to deliver, instead of wasting their efforts on the reading mechanics.
We’re talking about something more than just choosing a font. It’s how humans read, and as the content hierarchy is essential to guide the users on your website, so does typography. Readers love to connect the dots and organize the elements they read, and this is why having the right typography is crucial. The following are general guidelines that you can stick to if you want to improve your fonts and the readability of your content:
- Don’t Use Too Many Fonts: If you use more than 2-3 fonts the whole page will look unorganized. Instead, pick a font family that is made up of two complementary fonts.
- Tried and True: There are lots of creative and free fonts that you can choose from. But, unless your entire rebranding process or product goes towards the unconventional, you should stick to what is already familiar on the web. Your safest bets are fonts such as Arial and Open Sans.
- Must Work on Mobile: You know that users will access your website on their smartphones right? This is why it’s important to have a typeface that looks good on different-sized screens.
- In Contrast with the Background: Your fonts and the background should not be similar, or worse, the same color. W3C recommends the following contrast: Small text should have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 against its background. Large text (at 14 pt bold/18 pt regular and up) should have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against its background.
Bottom line, the typography that you choose can make your website feel concise, invigorating, and polished at the same time. Make the wrong choice, and users will feel distracted, which only add to your bounce rate.
Improve Your CTA
There’s an old saying:
“He who not ask, shall not get.”
The content on your WordPress site should prompt users to take the action. This is why your CTAs must be nothing less than exceptional.
The main goal of your call-to-action should be to bring leads to your business. Without having a CTA, even if your content is brilliant, again, people will bounce off your site. The most vital aspects of your website CTAs are:
If you want people to stick around and respond to your CTA, it must be visible. For example, if you decide to insert a CTA somewhere on your page, it needs to be in the right proportion with all the other elements so that users can see it.
If you want to test your CTA visibility, you can always use the good old “squinting” test. Just stand back a few feet from your laptop screen and squint with your eyes until every element on your page is blurred shape. If your call-to-action is still recognizable, then you’re all set.
When people read your content or look at your page, they tend to scan it, according to the “F” and “Z” pattern.
The “F” scanning pattern is most common for users that scan through blogs and news site content. The visitor first scans the screen in a horizontal line and then moves down the page to scan another horizontal line. At the end of the scanning process, the user does a straight line downwards by scanning paragraphs and opening sentences/keywords.
The “Z” scanning pattern occurs when users land on pages that are not that filled with content, such as landing pages. Again, the user first scans the top of the page horizontally starting from the left corner, then goes to the right corner diagonally finishing on the bottom left corner and at the bottom right corner in the end.
These patterns allow you to place the CTA in places that get the most attention from your target users.
Another useful tactic is positioning the call-to-action “Above the fold” or at the center of your web layout if the area is not too packed with other elements.
Highlighting the Benefits
If you want to attract leads through your blog post with a valuable incentive, don’t be shy. Let the readers know what they’re getting out of your offer. However, make sure that the CTA is relevant to the content piece and doesn’t stray away from the topic. Offer something that complements the content.
Don’t go overboard with your CTAs. You won’t go anywhere with a big paragraph that practically begs people to step into your funnel. Don’t be greedy and lose the user’s attention in the process. Get your CTA across in a short and swift way.
Improve the Navigation
If users find your WordPress site hard to navigate, they’ll get confused and consequently, go back to their search query to find a page that has a better-looking menu. Websites with good navigation make people stick around longer, read content, browse the services/products, and ultimately, convert to customers.
It’s all about providing a better experience and bringing readers closer to the pages that they need to visit. When it comes to improving your website navigation, consider the following tips:
By using breadcrumb navigation, you can display a hierarchical links menu at the top of the page that users are on so they can “track the breadcrumbs” back to where they came from.
Minimize the Main Menu
If you’re not Amazon, you don’t need a plethora of menus and submenus. Having too many choices is what makes people overwhelmed to the point where they’re simply not able to find what they’re looking for easily. Keep the main menu to 5 choices or less.
Display Related Posts
So the reader finishes with one of your articles, now what? This is where displaying related or the latest posts come in handy. Most of the plugins allow you to provide a link in the form of a thumbnail, so the related post looks more clickable and incentify people to stay and explore more of your articles.
Check Mobile Navigation
A big number of users will open your website on their smartphones. So, if your mobile version fails to deliver the right navigation, you’ll lose visitors faster than you won them.
The “hamburger menu” became the industry standard and something that you should consider implementing to make users know where they can navigate further on their mobile device.
Use Videos for Better Interaction
People watch almost 5 billion of videos on YouTube every day. So if you haven’t used videos on your WordPress site before to increase user interaction, think again.
Videos, along with images are the number one type of content today, and definitely something that you should consider using to keep the users’ attention on your site.
Showcase Real Expertise
When you provide written content such as this article, not everyone knows who wrote it. But, when you reinforce your content with a video of yourself explaining the topic, you reaffirm your expertise in front of the readers.
A customer testimonial is one of the best ways to make people stick around and convince them to buy your product or consider your services. And there’s no better testimonial than the video testimonial. One of the brands that nailed this is CodeAcademy, through their testimonials section called “CodeAcademy Stories.” There’s the video, the Q&A, and the entire case study. What more do you need to keep users all the way to the purchase button?
Retarget the Ones That Walk Away
Abandoning your website doesn’t have to be the end of the customer journey. You can still bring them back through smart retargeting. According to AdEspresso, you need to use the following Facebook Ad retargeting strategies to bring back people to your site and reignite the relationship:
Slow and Steady
Basically, it’s like dating. You don’t want to rush things and turn off the person at the start. Don’t make this mistake, especially not when bringing people to your website and your sales funnel. Ease the relationship through the following steps:
- Brand Awareness: Introduce yourself and your content first. Then, you can run an ad to people that clicked on your content and focus on qualifying them as leads.
- Use Video for the Ad: This is an excellent way to grasp their attention in the Facebook feed and tell your brand story in the process.
- Create a Custom Audience: Develop custom audience for people that watched at least half of your video, which means that they’ve already developed strong interest.
Dangle the Apple
Everyone can be tempted. You just need to learn what’s that “something” for your target customers. When the customers browse your pages, they already show a strong interest. In this case, you can use dynamic ads and custom audiences to advertise what people looked at the most on your website on their Facebook feed.
Don’t Let Them Forget
Some people may think of your website all the time, but at some point, they need a reminder that you’re still waiting for them to stop by and see what’s new. This is what the concept of retargeting is, to re-engage with users that haven’t been to your website for a while.
To do so, you can create a custom audience of users that haven’t visited or opened your email in a while. And don’t be subtle, remind them that you’re still there for them.
The following video from WPBeginner shows you the steps how to install the Facebook Remarketing/Retargeting pixel on your WordPress site.
Provide Value in Pop-ups
Users can ignore a pop-up, but few people can resist a tempting offer where all he/she has to do is leave an email and get it. Here’s how you can take pop-ups to your advantage and increase the time people spend on your WordPress site in the process:
Show Them at the Right Time
Nobody wants to see a pop-up as soon as he/she opens a page. People need to look around and feel your content. Time your pop-up for specific intervals in which you feel that the user has consumed enough of the content. An exit-intent pop-up is always at the right time.
Match the Design with Your Brand
If the pop-up is out of order, it will only push away users faster. Better put more effort into adjusting the pop-up to your web design and brand feel. Switch up the colors a bit, but don’t leave out your brand’s color palette.
Have a Clear CTA
This is a vital part to nail if you want to have a successful pop-up. Entice readers to want more by suggesting it. Tell them what you offer for the email tradeoff, and make sure that you disclaim that you’ll give away their info on third parties.
People are not fools and they won’t give you more than an email address and a name. So, don’t be greedy. Make your request to the point. Your goal is to make them stick around, and after you have achieved that, you can segment them further and ask them more through email.
Bottom line, a pop-up will be effective as long as you use it properly. It can instantly make users convert into leads and leads into customers. The following are some of the best plugins that you can use to create pop-ups on your WordPress site:
As you can see, there are multiple ways to increase the time that visitors spend on your WordPress site. Every visitor counts, and you need to learn how to segment the ones that visit the site on a regular basis.
Bottom line, if you want to decrease your website bounce rate, you need to constantly measure and work on your site design, and get users to spend more time on viewing your content, visit page after page, and consequently, take action towards your defined goals before they leave the site.
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