A successful website: 8 ways to get visitors to stick around
By Andrea Fischetti

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When people land on your website, how much are they really engaging with your content? If you use Google Analytics, you should be able to make informed decisions about your website: knowing how much time people spend there, what pages they stay on or leave from and whether they return.

INDUSTRY PULSE

How often do you update your organization's website?
  • 1. Daily
  • 2. Weekly
  • 3. Monthly
  • 4. Rarely

Getting people to your site is a project in itself, but getting them to stay there and engage once they arrive is the hardest part. Below are eight sure ways to get them to stick around:

1. Teach your visitors something new every time they come back: If you visited a site today and then again in a month only to see there had been no changes or updates, there's a good chance you wouldn't think anything is happening within the business. A blog would serve as a great solution here. Hence the next suggestion:

2. Add a blog: Give your visitors something valuable. A blog helps to increase the authenticity and show the personality behind your brand. You can think of it as an extension of your website's "About Us" page. Visitors are able to get a better understanding of your company, its employees, your values, and what you really take pride in, such as sharing and building a product that benefits your customers.

3. Keep the website navigation clean and simple: Once they have landed on your page, visitors should immediately understand what your website does, what value it will bring to them and what they should do next. Headline copy should be short and clear. Page copy should explain what you do in the simplest of terms. It is extremely important to have one main call-to-action on each page of the site — this could be a sign-up, a download, a free-trial, a video or any other type of action you want your visitors to perform while visiting.

4. Provide pictures and video: Visuals are a great way to demonstrate and communicate how your product/service works. People don't always prefer reading through text, but they are open to watching and listening to a short explainer video about a product or service. These videos will also help increase the amount of time your visitor spends on site versus an otherwise quick glance through page copy.

5. Update your content: You often hear content is king. Updating your content and keeping your site relevant could be as simple as adding an "Updates" or "News" scroll with new product/service announcements, events you've attended, internal promotions, new contracts or recent partnerships. This will help change up your website so visitors aren't seeing the same site over and over.

6. List the benefits of your products and services: This page should clearly highlight your various products and services, giving your readers the information they need to research and understand what your business has to offer. There should be specific points describing how your product/service can fulfill a need or solve a problem that your visitor has. Be clear as to how you differentiate from your competitors. What can they expect to get from you that they wouldn't anywhere else?

7. Case studies/testimonials: Case studies are a wonderful way to highlight your company's success. These can help add a concrete and personal touch to your product and services. In each of your case studies, be sure to mention the customer's challenge, how your service helped them overcome that challenge and the outcome or result(s) they've had since using your service.

8. Test, test, test: Tweaking your website into its most successful version is going to be a night-and-day difference when it comes to your return on investment. Sites that can keep their visitors occupied with easy-to-find information are going to be the real stand-outs here. For example, if you have a newsletter sign-up form, it's extremely important to test out different forms. Which styles get the most conversions? Are you asking for too much information from your guests? Is what you have to offer intriguing enough to get them to sign up? Does the signup button perform better when it's green or yellow? Believe it or not these small details can make or break your click through rates. Never stop testing.

Andrea Fischetti is the managing director of Chicago Pet Video.