After spending hours on writing new content, service copy, or making website changes, seeing that the average user is only spending an average of one minute on your website can be discouraging. After all, the average session duration does directly reflect how engaged the user is. To help increase the time users spend on essential pages including your service pages and contact page, there are several steps you can take to not only increase the time spent on your website, but also improve the content and user experience.
The first question you should always ask when figuring out how to increase the time spent on your website should be whether or not your website is readable. Although a minute detail in the grand scheme of things, the fonts you use on your website carry a great deal of weight and can totally change the look and feel of your website. The downside to having a “fancy” font is that they become distracting to the user and they’re not sure where to focus, which means they’re not going to spend time reading the copy on your website and will leave quickly.
Design Tips for Readable Copy:
- Opt for sans-serif fonts, they are typically easier to read on all screen sizes versus other options
- Keep the minimum font size at 16 px (appears as 12-point text)
- Keep line height between 130-160%
- Have white space to balance out content
- Strategically use header tags
Craft Short Paragraphs
The average user tends to skim through content and stop to read what is of value to them. Because of this, it’s crucial to be using header tags strategically as well as crafting short paragraphs.
- Use bullet points and subheadings to structure the content on your site
- Eliminate weak transitional words
- When you write longer copy, don’t forget to re-iterate the key points from the main paragraph
Update Your Website
Your website is a users’ first impression when learning about your business. The goal is to entice to engage with your website (scroll through, click, etc.) but if you have a messy navigation, cluttered header, or even have too much going on below the fold, the user will be hesitant to engage with the rest of your website.
Improve Your Mobile Website
Is your website mobile friendly? What do the numbers to your website look like? Whether the number of users to your website via a mobile device are low or high, having a fast-to-load mobile site that is easy to navigate is extremely important for keeping users on your site longer.
Take Advantage of Internal Linking
Internal linking is your biggest opportunity for increasing the average session duration. Think of the last time you were on a website and clicked a link, and 2 hours later you’ve read through several more pages and know everything there is to replace the filters in your central air conditioning system. The goal with internal linking is to keep users on your website for as long as possible, and hopefully, they’ll fall down the rabbit hole and learn all of the ins and outs of your business.
Reduce the Number of Pop-ups
Pop-ups are a great way to introduce your users to a sale, new products, or even an exclusive email newsletter. The downside to them is that they can be extremely obtrusive when the user is trying to navigate your website. If you have a special or something else you want to promote for a duration of time, consider working it into your website design in the sidebar, in a piece of content, or an image that is stationary on one area of your site. If you want to continue to utilize your pop-up, its ok! Simply have it only pop-up on the homepage after X amount of seconds and make sure the user can easily close out of it.
Increase Site Speed
A slow website isn’t any fun for all parties involved. The website owners will be annoyed and the users of the site will be frustrated when they’re trying to get information. There are various ways to improve site speed, including resizing the images on your website, utilize Google Tag Manager for extra code, and upgrading your hosting plan.