You click on a link, land on a website, and leave it again within 5 seconds. We've all done it, and most of us do it pretty regularly. To the tune of several times a day. What keeps a visitor on the page? How can you retain the readers, visitors, or clients that you work so hard to attract?
Having a great website is often key. There are plenty of free or cheap options which can help you create a fantastic-looking website. For example, www.websitebuilder.com is just one of dozens of competing companies. But the proliferation of resources which help relatively uninformed users create good-looking websites means that users have become more cautious and judgemental of the websites they visit. Often times, a visitor will bounce if they perceive that the website they're on is not authoritative or reputable.
In an age where almost any website can at least look good, visitors are becoming concerned with authenticity and credibility. Some marketing studies have indicated that some specific website elements can build credibility for users, and increase re-visits, conversions, and visitor retention. And believe it or not, the most common ways to visibly build credibility or create trust with visitors are more simple than you think.
Clear Contact Information
According to a 2015 report on the subject, approximately 51% of business websites don't have a clear contact information page which included address, email, and business phone number. And having all three is incredibly powerful for an online business. Many respondents indicated that feeling like the website was a real business with a real location, where it was possible to speak with real people, made them substantially more likely to do business.
Having that information not just available, but easily accessible, can help give your website some bonus points. Many designers recommend keeping this information on the footer of each page, as well as on the dedicated contact page.
Content to Match Your Business's Niche
Many startup owners and entrepreneurs unfortunately feel that more is better where blogs are concerned. Or that multiple posts to business social media pages a day without any substantive content is the best way to get visitors. Unfortunately, according to the same survey cited above, these items are ranked lowest in terms of content assets which create credibility, and content which veers off-topic can send visitors negative signals.
Steer away from sensationalist blog posts and dull, run-of-the-mill posts. Keep on-topic by writing articles which establish your business credibility, and build value by following a few blogging rules. These include things like research articles, case studies, or customer feedback analyses. They say content is king, but if your blog roll or articles jump from topic to topic and don't promote the business, visitors will feel like they're dealing with an amateur.
Clever In-Content Calls to Action
How often does your website ask users to take an action per-page? On any page with 500 words of content, you should include at least 3 calls to action, asking visitors to do things like click, call, buy, or subscribe. It's important to remember that if you never ask, visitors will be less likely to take the very actions you're promoting.
The 3 Second Intro
Your business website probably has an ‘about' or ‘company' page. But in this age of short attention spans, you don't have enough time to guarantee that they click on it to read about you. The optimum metric is that, on any landing page, visitors should be able to tell who you are, know what you do, and have something interesting to do. And they should find all of these things within 3 seconds.
Know Your Website
You likely won't meet or see your visitors. And even with analytics plugged in, it can be difficult to learn what website elements work… and which ones don't. So with that in mind, make it your job to know your own website. Visit it frequently. Interact with it as if you were a visitor. This can help you learn and anticipate possible changes which might make the website easier to use and more visitor-friendly.