4 Easy Ways to Increase Time on Site and Keep Your Visitors Around

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One of the most worrying facts for website owners is that most people leave a new website in under a minute. Those visitors will see very little of your content, so they aren’t likely to remember you a day or a week later. This means you need to do everything you can to increase time on site.

Fortunately, it isn’t hard to encourage people to stick around. Using a few simple techniques, you can greatly improve the chance that new visitors will spend plenty of time reading your content, exploring your products, and so on. Even better, these methods can be used on just about any type of site.

In this guide, we’ll introduce four smart ways for you to increase time on site. By the time we’re done, you’ll know how to hook your site’s visitors and keep them coming back. Let’s jump right in!

1. Optimize your website’s performance

A speed test result on Pingdom.

Using a site like Pingdom, you can find out how quickly your website loads.

It’s simple to build a WordPress website that looks amazing and contains plenty of high-quality content. However, all that effort will be for naught if your site doesn’t also perform well. Keeping people on your site for as long as possible is important for improving conversions and other key metrics, and it’s no secret that slow pages drive visitors away (especially for eCommerce sites).

The first thing you’ll want to do is check your site’s loading time. This can be done using a tool such as Pingdom. Just enter your site’s URL, and you’ll get a snapshot of how well it’s performing. If the results aren’t promising – especially if the load time is more than two seconds – you may want to make some changes.

There are a lot of ways to improve your site’s performance, but here are a few key techniques:

We’ve written extensively about how to speed up your WordPress site in the past, so we’d suggest checking out those articles as well. After all, there’s no such thing as a site that performs too well.

2. Provide content suggestions to keep people reading

A related posts section on Themeisle.

Presenting your visitors with related content prompts them to stay longer.

If your site contains a lot of content – for example, if it’s a blog or a news site – you want to encourage people to read as much as possible. However, holding visitors’ attention isn’t easy. If you’d like them to spend more time browsing, you’ll often need to give them a little push.

Suggesting related content for visitors to read is a smart way to increase time on site. By this, we mean including a short section on each post or article showcasing other relevant pieces. That way, people won’t have to go searching for something else to read on another site.

There are two main methods for including content suggestions on your site:

  • Display popular posts. Sometimes it pays to show off your best and most popular content since that’s what’s most likely to attract attention. You can do this with many plugins, including Jetpack.
  • Show related posts. If your site contains content on many different topics, you may want to show visitors pieces that are directly relevant to what they’re currently reading. Jetpack can do this too, or you can get a dedicated solution like Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP).

Using either of these strategies is a great way to keep people hooked on your site and expose them to as much of your content as you can.

3. Use exit intent pop-ups to dissuade visitors from leaving

An exit intent pop-up can help you increase time on site

Exit intent pop-ups can encourage people to stick around by presenting special offers.

If you really want to increase time on site, it’s important to give visitors a reason to stay. ‘Exit intent’ pop-ups can be an effective way to do that. This kind of pop-up appears when a user tries to leave your site (usually when they move their cursor to the very top of the screen), and attempts to convince them not to go.

Exit intent pop-ups work best when you use them to offer something specific to the visitor. You can provide a special coupon or discount, promote an intriguing piece of content, or encourage them to sign up for a free newsletter. Of course, it’s also important not to annoy people, so you’ll want to avoid making these pop-ups too intrusive or hard to close.

There are plenty of solutions you can use to create exit intent pop-ups. The Sumo List Builder, for example, enables you to set exactly when your pop-ups appear and customize what they contain. For more help implementing this technique, check out our guide on adding exit intent pop-ups to your WordPress site.

4. Make smart use of internal links

Internal links in a blog post.

Linking to other pages and posts on your site helps to increase time on site.

Finally, it’s crucial to include plenty of internal links on your website. By ‘internal’, we simply mean links to other content or pages within your site. This is an important consideration for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and a smart way to increase time on site.

In a nutshell, this works the same way providing content suggestions does. By offering lots of internal links, you direct people to other parts of your site and encourage them to explore everything you have to offer. If you send them away to another site, by contrast, they may never come back.

Actually adding internal links to your content is simple, but you’ll want to pay attention to how they’re incorporated. For best results, try following key best practices, such as optimizing the anchor text and only linking to relevant content. The premium version of Yoast SEO can help a lot with this strategy by automatically suggesting related posts that are a good target for internal links.

Use these four methods to increase time on site

We’re willing to bet that you spent a lot of time building and perfecting your site. What’s more, it probably takes just as much effort to maintain it. For all that work to pay off, you need to keep visitors around as long as possible. That way, you have the best chance to make a strong impression.

Fortunately, as a WordPress user, there are a few easy ways to increase time on site. You can:

  1. Optimize your website’s performance to improve load times.
  2. Provide content suggestions to keep people reading.
  3. Use exit intent popups to dissuade visitors from leaving.
  4. Make smart use of internal links.

Do you have any questions about the techniques we’ve introduced in this post? Ask away in the comments section below!

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