Buckle up for podcast #24! This is the next in our ‘Cool Stats for Cool People’ series and we are looking at how you can increase website traffic by increasing the average time that people spend on your website …
First up though, what have Andrew and Heather learned this week? Heather has spent a lot of time in client meetings this week and what was really brought home to her was how it’s always a good idea to action things on the fly. If you don’t you might never get it done! So when you’re running a meeting, make sure that the aim is to create something so you have a productive outcome!
Andrew realised how small this world really is and how easy it is to connect with people of influence in your industry as there are now so many avenues to meet the right people. He was looking for someone to contribute a Facebook article for Online Footprint Magazine and decided to check Amazon for the number one seller in that area. After finding him on Facebook, Andrew sent him a message and was on a phone call with him within an hour and a half! Now a magazine article is on its way! The world is so open right now in terms of communication, use it while you can!
So onto increasing average time spent on your website; why is this important? Firstly, you want people to be looking at your site as a place of interest, somewhere they are excited to go for relevant content and see you as an authority in your area. Secondly, Google uses time spent on site as part of their algorithm to determine whether your site is good enough to rank higher up the search rankings.
You might think 2-3 minutes average time sounds small, but that is actually a very good result! To give you an idea, Facebook is number one with an average time spent of 6 hours and 45 minutes per month. Numbers two and three are tied; Tumblr and Pinterest with 1.5 hours per month on average per person. At number four is Twitter with 21 minutes per month average, number five is LinkedIn on 17 minutes and number six is Google+ on 3 minutes per month! So as you can see, if you average time is 2-3 minutes you are doing well!
Before you do anything, we recommend you check your Google Analytics for what the current average time spent on your site is. That way, if you are implementing any of these techniques you will be able to measure their impact.
So how can you improve your website to increase average time on site? One of the first ways is to use video; you could create this on your YouTube channel then embed into your site. According to recent YouTube analytics, 3 minutes is the point where people start dropping off your video so 3 minutes or a bit less is ideal. Less is more! Get all your juicy points in during the first couple of minutes.
Secondly, photo galleries are a great way to keep people on your site for longer. There are several plugins available that will help you create galleries and pull photos from, for example your Instagram account.
Next up, there are a couple of techniques you can use for increasing interest in your blog posts. One way is to write a series of blogs, for example as tutorials for a subject. People often prefer this information in bite-sized chunks anyway and will search around for the next in the series. There is also a great plugin called Yarp that will pull through other related or suggested reading from your content and list them at the bottom of your blog post.
The side-bar on your website can also be used to increase average time spent on site. This is done by effectively taking visitors on a journey of your site. For example, you can have ‘most popular posts’ listed, videos, testimonials and highlights of your best content or pages your think are the most important. You can also use tactics such as ‘My number one tip for…’ to get people interested.
Be aware that many marketers are now of the opinion that links to social networks in your sidebar may be detracting from time spent on your site as people click away to another site once they click on them. We will keep you posted as we are testing this!.
Here are a few other suggestions we cover in this podcast;
- Embedding audio such as podcasts
- Polls and quizzes (for a great example see (pay yourself first challenge). Use sites such as http://polldaddy.com or http://surveymonkey.com to help you create them.
So, to start out with, pick one of these suggestions to test and see if it makes a difference on your site. Our number one suggestion would be to try video. You don’t even have to use your own video; a relevant video chosen from YouTube is also a great idea. We hope you get some great ideas on how to increase website traffic.
Stay tuned for our next podcast where we talk about improving shopping cart abandonment rates!
Let us know what you think? Have you tested out any of these methods for increasing average time on site? Comment below!