The owner of any WordPress site wants users to remain on the pages of his internet project as long as possible. This desire can be justified by various reasons — from the wish to share interesting information to the desire of selling goods or services through a web site. However, not all WordPress site owners know how they can affect the amount of time visitors spend on their site.
Today we will talk about the goals of increasing the duration of the users session on your site and how to achieve this result. We will look at the simplest but most effective methods that will not require a WordPress administrator to have special knowledge or skills. In addition, you will learn how to quickly evaluate the results of work to increase the duration of the users presence on the site.
Reasons to Increase Visitors Presence on Your Site
There are two determining reasons for thinking about increasing the amount of time spent by your visitors on the site: improving SEO indicators and implementing the immediate tasks of the site itself. Immediate tasks can be understood as the sale of goods or services, advertising of a company or a person, the creation of a community of interests or any other main goals that you set for your internet project. Achieving these goals is directly related to the improvement of site`s SEO indicators.
The average duration of a user’s session on your site is one of the most important factors of ranking in the search results. It is quite logical that search engines will prioritize those sites that most users like more. And how to find out about the opinion of the majority of users? By analyzing the length of their stay on the site. Time is the most precious resource. If visitors spend a lot of time on your site, then the search engine makes a logical conclusion about its usefulness.
Naturally, achieving the goals of your site becomes impossible if it is poorly ranked by the search engines. Thus, the duration of your visitors’ sessions, SEO indicators and the main tasks of your project become inextricably linked.
Checking Visitors Time Sessions on Your Site
Any serious and important work should begin with an analysis of the available data. Optimizing the site to increase the time users stay on your project is no exception. There is no need to invent new analysis techniques, when everything is already done and submitted in a convenient form by the Google Analytics tool. If you are not yet familiar with this tool or do not know how to use it for your site, we strongly recommend that you read our instructions for Google Analytics for beginners.
On the main page of Google Analytics, you will be able to view the general data about the audience of your site by various parameters. One such parameter is the Average Session Duration:
If you want to get more detailed information, we recommend that you visit the Behavior section and its Engagement category. Here you can see how many site visitors spend less than 10 seconds on the site and how many of them are staying for a longer period of time. The data on the depth of site views are also available here (it means the number of pages visited by one user per session):
Are you satisfied with the result of checking on your site? Even if most of your visitors spend a long time on the site, there is always something to work on to improve the performance of your project. We will talk about this in more detail.
Engaging Visitors to Stay Longer
Now let us move on to the 4 most important aspects that affect the length of time visitors stay on your site. Proper influence on these aspects will provide you with a significant increase in the behavioral indicators of your site users.
Check the Technical Issues
Technical issues seem obvious. However, the presence of problems is a factor that users will not be able to overcome even if they want to get acquainted with the content of your site. If a site is often unavailable due to a poor hosting provider or it has other technical errors, then users simply will not be able to visit it. Eliminating any technical errors should be the highest priority. That is why we write about this aspect in the first place.
Another important point is the speed of the site load. You easily beat the desire of visitors to stay on your site for a long time if they need to wait too long for the download of its pages. There are many ways to optimize the site — from choosing a quality hosting to using CDN technologies. For more information, see our special article on how to speed up the WordPress site.
Pay Attention to the Content
The content will always be the part of the site that your visitors come for. Information and entertainment projects need to submit information the easiest and most pleasant way, and online stores and services should pay great attention to visualize their suggestions for their better perception by users. First of all, you need to make sure that the content of your project corresponds to its theme. Do not go aside and do not try to cover all possible topics with one project. Purposefulness and thematicity are valued by users much more than the desire to please everyone.
Do not forget that the content should be diverse in order to increase the interest of users. Even if you have a personal blog, you can diversify it with images, videos, podcasts and other brilliant techniques. You can experiment with the content delivery methods, but do not forget to monitor the Google Analytics metrics. Different behavioral indicators will help to determine the user’s reaction to one or another form of content submission. More interesting information you can pick up from our thematic articles about basic tips for creating a perfect text and gaining interest in your audience with visual content.
Build Up a Good Navigation
Simple and clear navigation is the key to the heart of any user. Some owners of WordPress sites unconsciously overload their project with a lot of elements, among which it is difficult to navigate for the new site visitor. Always know the extent of using widgets and menus on the WordPress site. Each of these elements individually is a convenient tool, but all together they can create an impassable thicket in which it is difficult to navigate. Involve your friends or technical experts in testing new elements. Also, it is not unreasonable to monitor the change in the data in Google Analytics when entering updates on the site.
The task of building convenient navigation can be too difficult for novice WordPress administrators. In this case, we recommend contacting usability specialists to set up your site. If you are not ready to invest in specialists’ salaries, you can replace these expenses with your own time, which will be spent on a thorough study of usability issues. If you want to understand everything by yourself, we advise you to visit one or more online courses for beginners WordPress administrators.
Guide Your Users by Smart Linking
Users can not stay on one page of your site long, even if its content is very interesting. You have to offer a number of interesting pages, so that the user moves as long as possible between them, without losing interest, but only multiplying it. To achieve this, smart linking is used. Smart linking differs from the usual linking with its temptation for the user. Each link that goes to another page of the site should offer more than the user has already received on the current page. An ideal example is Wikipedia, where viewing one article inevitably leads to endless transitions for related pages.
In addition to links within the text, you can use automated tools for related content linking. Various WordPress plugins offer their services for automatic block placement with links to related content in a user-friendly place on the site — at the end of the article or in the sidebar. Examples of such plugins are: YARPP, Jetpack Related Posts Module, Contextual Related Posts, WordPress Related Posts and many others.
We have shared with you the basic techniques of increasing the length of time users stay on the WordPress site. There are more interesting, but more complex methods. For example, you can use Quiz Plugins to create exciting quests for your users. However, none of the complex steps will not help if you are not convinced of the simplest and most important ones that we mentioned in this article.
Study your potential audience and discover new ways of involving it in the life of your internet project!