You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your website, got it exactly how you want it aesthetically and functionally, and you can’t wait for people to start using it. When you review the data however, it looks as though once people find you, they aren’t hanging around for very long. It’s very worrying, why aren’t people staying for longer? Don’t people like what they see? Here are some steps you can take to make sure people are settling into your website for the long-haul. 

1.Focus on the Customer Experience

Firstly, and most importantly, check and re-check that user journey, from beginning to end. Whether it’s a shop, a blog, or a forum – it’s doesn’t matter what it is, if people struggle to use it – they won’t use it. They will hop off as quickly as they hopped on and probably won’t come back. So what makes a website easy to use? We know that statistically after 2017 we tipped over that half and half-scale with over 58% of all websites now being viewed on a mobile device. So make sure your website looks good, works well, and is easy to navigate on a phone, and on the go. This includes things like call to action links where customers can call phone numbers with one click, jump between pages easily, and make payments quickly and securely. 

2. Rapid Loading Speeds

Keeping the customer experience in mind, it is essential to note how quickly your website is loading, and, if it transpires it’s loading speed is something like watching paint dry, you could have found the answer as to why your customers aren’t hanging around – they don’t have time. In this fast-paced world, people are doing their shopping on the tube, booking appointments on their dinner break, and almost always multitasking. Improved technology means we all have much higher expectations than we once did from our ceaselessly working devices. We are busier and more impatient, and if somebody wants what you’ve got – you’d better be ready to deliver in a load time of fewer than 2 seconds. If your website speed is slow the first thing you need to check out is where your website is hosted, contact your host if necessary and make you’re on the most suitable server with minimal downtime, interruptions and load. Can the content on your website be compressed without compromising the quality? Do your images need to be that big? If you have a website developer it can be very valuable to have these discussions. 

3. Encourage Engagement 

If you want people to stick around, give them more than one reason to stay. People might come on to view a product and not find what they’re looking for, or just to check it out. Why not leave ample opportunity for people to stay and have their say? Using things like comment sections, review sections, live chat and forums open a great space for interaction and conversation. If people feel that they are able to give feedback or communicate freely, they are far more likely to return, and if customers can open a live chat and ask questions about a product, delivery, aftercare etc, they are far more likely to make a purchase. Not only is this excellent customer service, but it also gives you as a provider unrivalled valuable customer feedback and data which can be used to improve, adapt and grow with your customer base. 

4. Consistency is Key

Whether you are a personal blogger or commercial cooperation, if people come to your website with expectations and you meet those expectations on some pages, but not others – you have not met their expectations. It might sound unfair, if you worked hard to deliver incredible content on key pages, it shouldn’t matter about the others, should it? Well yes, unfortunately, if that’s you -it matters. It matters because whether you are just blogging from the heart, or selling a huge supply to commercial companies, the more consistent your branding is, the more your website is, the more trustworthy you are. Over 45% of websites are opened through a search engine, rather than the specific URL, and because of this, you don’t know what people are searching for and cannot always control which page your customer is going to land on. If the pages are all the same – it won’t matter, the customer will recognise the familiar brands, fonts, colours and style and happily navigate around. If they find broken links, unfinished pages, and unfamiliar external gateways the customer will feel insecure and will be unlikely to stick around. 

5. Quality Control 

Your customers want quality. Quality products, quality user-experience, quality customer service. So whatever you are doing and whatever purpose your website serves, you need to find out what is it that your customer wants, and then deliver that, to the best quality it can be delivered. Why does this affect how long people stay on my website? Well, let’s start there – with the website. If the website doesn’t appear to be built to a good standard, is it likely that you have quality controlled other things in your business? Your product, your staff, after-care services, online-content? Secondary to your customer coming to, and returning to your website for a good product, is the Google-factor. That is, any of the big search engines. These search engine giants reward good quality, with high rankings. A high ranking means a high position in the search engine, making you top of the pile and easy to find – leading to more traffic, and more customers! 

6. Know your Audience

The key to capitalising on any kind of engagement is an understanding of who you are engaging with. Who is buying your product? Who is reading your blog? Who are your target clients? The better you know your audience, the better you can relate to them, deliver for them, and engage further with them. Look at all the statistics and demographic data you can get your hands on. Find out what people are clicking on. What pages are they heading for? This is a really great time to introduce more engagement-encouragement tools mentioned in point 3, comment sections, live chats, forums. Allow your users to give you direct feedback wherever possible, and allow what you know to cultivate a space perfect for your audience. 

Websites that are user-friendly, and providing quality content for its users will be ranked well in search engines. Perhaps more importantly though, it is the clear link between user engagement and repeats successful sales that are most valuable. Value your users and what they have to feedback, and use it to craft and mould your website and business to an organism that grows with your ever-growing customer base. If you want to improve your website user-experience and functionality do not hesitate to contact www.365hosts.com for further steps you can take to tailor your website to your audience and keep your audience on your website.