You may think that your website is nothing more than pictures and info about your products or company, but from the moment your visitor shows up, your website is using multiple factors to communicate one of two powerful messages: buy or don’t buy. Your website is designed to do something specific. It is made to get your visitors to embrace a certain message or to take a certain action. That’s why your website needs to look good at first glance because it says a lot about who you are and what your brand is about. As they say, “first impressions last.” People see your website as their gauge on how good a job you can do and what quality of product you offer. If it’s fully functional, interesting and informative, and represents your brand well, it will woo your clients to become loyal returning customers.
Jerry Bader, a well-known internet marketer who’s really famous for getting websites functional said: “It’s not about how many hits you get on your website. It’s about how long people stay.” If visitors remain on your site long enough to get your marketing message, then you must have said something worth listening to; and if visitors get the message, your site has done its job. Every study done on the effectiveness of websites eventually comes down to the same conclusion: the longer a visitor stays on your site, the more likely they are to become a customer. Here’s what you might not know about your website – how long visitors are staying.
So ask yourself, does my site have the look, feel and features that would cause visitors to stay longer? In this fast paced, hyper distracted culture, the job of keeping visitors on your site is getting harder and harder.
One of the first things that must be done is to install advanced tracking software so we can see and monitor the visitor behavior. Our favorite tool is Google Analytics. Not only is it by far the most robust solution, but it’s free! With analytics we see how many people are visiting and leaving the site but we can also see how long they’re staying. If visitors stay onsite an average of 20, 30 or 40 seconds are they really getting your message? But if they stay an average of 2 minutes or longer, chances are you have taken the time to build a fantastic and functional website. Length of stay helps indicate the quality of the site. If you are trying to convince someone online then the company needs to invest in a new website, then get some solid data on time on site. Many clients have told me that they don’t need a website re-design because “it looks fine.” If I know the numbers then it can be hard to argue with the fact that visitors only stay for 15 seconds!
This might be hard to swallow but it’s true: You loving your site don’t really help your bottom line. You need your visitors to love the site.
We want to make sure that first time visitors become your loyal customers through combing back again and again to the site. We need to provide interactive, interesting and engaging content so that your visitors will want to stay, interact, participate and return.
What makes a website work? Stay tuned!