The Secrets to Keeping Visitors On Your Site and How to Make Them Keep Coming Back For More

How do you keep visitors on your site longer once they’ve clicked through from a search result? Here’s the lowdown that will help boost your online profits:

We all want to get our site to the top of Google but that is only half of the story. For example, what happens when people click through to your site? Do they hang around and check out what you have to offer or do they quickly move on to the next result?

Obviously you want the former to happen, so how can you make sure that it does?

When visitors find nothing of interest on your site at first glance and leave immediately, this is known as a bounce. A site with a high bounce rate from good quality traffic is an indicator that the website isn’t performing and meeting visitors expectations.

Sources of Traffic

Reducing your website’s bounce rate is a great first step in improving its overall performance and conversion rate.

First you need to analyse the bounce rates of the different traffic sources. Focus your efforts on improving the bonce rates of the highest converting traffic sources such as:

  • Search engine traffic.
  • Email marketing campaigns.
  • Affiliate campaigns.

Ignore the bounce rate from unqualified sources, such as:

  • Unknown referrer sites.
  • Social networking sites.
  • Random directory sites.

Landing Page Design

How you design your landing pages can make a difference to your bounce rate. Here are some helpful tips to designing a landing page with a low bounce rate:

  • Make sure your headline refers directly to the place where your visitor came from or the ad copy that drove the link.
  • It is vital to provide a clear call to action. Tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do. Example: “Click here to see our exclusive new range”, “For updates and exclusive offers subscribe to our newsletter today”.
  • You need to write clear, precise and targeted content that’s geared specifically towards your visitors. Don’t write content that is vague or too general. Your visitors are here to read about a specific subject, so they won’t thank you for wasting their time.
  • Prioritise. Place the most important information at the beginning of paragraphs and bullet lists.
  • Keep it simple. Remove all extraneous matter from your landing page. Ask for only enough information to complete the desired action.

Testing

How do you know what’s working and what isn’t in terms of keeping visitors on your site? Answer, you don’t. The secret is to assume nothing and test everything.

Thanks to Google’s Content Experiments (in Analytics), we can create, test and monitor the performance of landing pages. The purposed of testing your landing pages is to reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.

Setting up an A/B split test on Google Content Experiments is very easy and free. Here is a basic overview of the steps involved:

  • Create a campaign to test landing pages against each other.
  • Upload the URL of the original page you are testing.
  • Upload the URL’s of the other landing pages you want to test against the original.
  • Copy the JavaScript codes provided by Google and paste them in the relevant pages you’re trying to test (This requires access to the HTML code of the pages)
  • Send at least 500 visitors to the primary URL and Google will separate those visitors randomly for you to test the performance of the pages in a non-biased way. You can do this by using Adwords, email campaigns or even affiliates to send traffic from specific keywords through the funnel.

Golden Rules

Finally, here are some golden rules to remember when you’re designing and testing landing pages:

  • No idea is a bad idea until you’ve seen it in action. If you get an idea for a landing page, try it. Try them all. (You can ask us to show you our favourite landing pages too).
  • Make a different landing page for every keyword that gets at least 500 visitors per month. This ensures your highest converting keywords get all of the attention that they deserve.
  • Send at least 500 visitors from the same traffic source/keyword to each landing page to accurately gauge its performance.
  • Once you’ve tested several landing pages, try improving them by testing different versions of the best performing pages.
  • The best landing pages can then be tested to varying degrees using multivariate testing. This is where you test specific elements if the page rather than entirely new pages.

Creating landing pages that encourage visitors to stay longer can sometimes be time-consuming and expensive, but its absolutely essential for high converting, high performing websites.