How Long Have You Got? The Science of Website Visitor Attention


Attracting visitors to your website can become a complex science, since bounce rates show that users frequently leave a web page after around 15 seconds. It’s no surprise, then, that researchers have concluded that sites which offer value-based pages have a better chance of capturing a viewer’s attention.

SEO, Content and Web Design: The Primary Components Used for Enhancing a Site’s Appeal

For anyone serious about running an online business or attracting customers, SEO, content development and web design all contribute to a platform’s value proposition and appeal. You simply won’t attract customers unless you focus on developing a website that uses these tried and tested elements.

Make Your Site THE Place to Land

Making sure that the site is streamlined and friendly will cause your audience to stop and take a look around. When you add valuable content into that mix, you’re on your way to developing a successful site. After all, if people bounce from site to site in general, then you can make yours stand out by taking the time to create a platform that is both navigable and highly valuable. Separate yourself from the crowd by way of quality.

A Virtual Home Sweet Home

You want to make sure your site represents a virtual home for your visitors. That means cleaning house, so to speak, and adding components that will make a site seem friendly and easy to use. Try to interact with your viewers and make them feel welcome when they visit your business’ virtual residence.

Submit Your Site to Major Search Engines

You can also improve traffic flow by adding your site to major search engines. However, make sure you read the terms of the provider, thoroughly, before submitting your site.

For example, some search engines will remove you from their rankings if you submit your URL one too many times.

A Case-in-Point

For instance, suppose that your site features contemporary furniture. What value is traffic from car, music or video game websites to you? It’s much better to perform your own keyword searches and add relevant phrases or words to your site’s content in a natural sounding manner. This way you’re more likely to attract the right demographic by default.

How to Attract the Right Type of Audience

Practising search engine optimisation and making good use of keywords may be a slower process but it is a proven method. SEO and the proper use of keywords must be employed to ensure that the traffic you receive is looking for your particular product or service.

Redirecting the Traffic Flow: What You Should Know Don’t Get into the Habit of Redirecting Links

Some website owners believe redirecting web traffic to their site will lower the bounce rate. However, the activity will not target your audience, only organic linking can have that type of effect. When links are redirected, they are often connected to sites that are incompatible in terms of demographics, tone and theme.

A Mundane and Boring Platform

A boring site will also cause viewers to run away and look for another, more captivating one. Create a website that features eye-catching headlines and articles that invite participation and interaction from visitors. Viewers also like images and infographics, to break up walls of text, so try to incorporate these elements where possible.

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes (Watch Your Language!)

You won’t go far if the words are spelt incorrectly – even if the content, itself, is valuable. Make sure your grammar is perfect and that you are practising consistency when it comes to language usage. For example, British English and American English are incredibly similar but different enough to cause concern: you need to make the distinction between the two, depending on your audience.

Useless Content

If you’ve padded your site with filler and fluff just to make it look readable, you’re doing yourself a disservice (not to mention wasting your own time and energy). So, make sure your site features the kinds of articles that prompt reader interaction. Additionally, articles should be ‘evergreen’ and the content should be kept as up to date as possible, year round.

A Large Number of Pop-Ups

If your site is populated by pop-ups, then kiss your visitors goodbye.

A Slow Loading Site

A slow-loading website will encourage people to exit – rectify this issue as soon as possible. No one has the time or inclination to stay on a site that cannot keep pace with a high-speed connection.

Audio and Video Distractions

Distracting video ups or unsolicited music can cause bounce rates to increase, too. Nobody wants to have to immediately mute their speakers just to get through your content.

A Poorly Designed Site

Bad navigation, as already mentioned, will cause people to want to “abandon ship,” so to speak. A poorly designed site is the root cause of poor navigation!

Reasons Why Sites Drive Away Sales

If you are driving away viewers, you are also driving away sales. Below are brief explanations as to why this frequently happens:

Utility and Usability

Utility and usability are synonymous with the value of a web page’s design. To improve utility, you need to define the features of the site and their usability: a website’s usability is the key that unlocks an audience’s interest.

People naturally leave sites that are difficult to understand or navigate, or if the content is boring.

Key Questions to Ask

To define usability you need to ask yourself some salient questions. For instance:

  • What is your site’s design? 
  •  Is it easy to navigate? 
  •  Is the interface user-friendly? 
  •  What are some of the components? 
  •  Are the tasks featured on the site’s platform user-friendly? 
  •  Can the material be easily absorbed?  
  •  How about the site’s aesthetics? Are the colours positive or soothing? 
  •  What are some of the site’s attributes?

What is Your Value Proposition? If You Don’t Know, then Neither Will Your Viewers

The key to overcoming viewer apathy is to communicate the value proposition of your site within 30 seconds. In order to make strides in this respect, you have to define usability…

Make it a Goal to Keep People on Your Site for At Least 30 Seconds

If a viewer finds that the content on your site holds some merit, they will stay about 20 seconds longer than if the site held no appeal at all. Readers will also begin to leave at a substantially slower rate if they connect with a site for at least 30 seconds.

So, if you are able to lure viewers onto your site for at least a half minute, they’ll typically remain for two minutes or more!

Negative Ageing

According to researchers, the tendency to bounce off a page is due to negative ageing. In the area of HCI, or human-computer interaction, this finding is significant. Therefore, the first ten seconds a viewer visits a page is crucial for the website owner. Because bounce rates can be high, those quick exit rates confirm that web viewers tend to lose interest pretty fast.

“What You Need to Know”

You can also start a headline with “What You Need to Know”.

Examples:

What You Need to Know about Signing Up for an IRA

What You Need to Know about Applying for a Payday Loan

What You Need to Know about Term Life Insurance

“Here’s a Quick Way To”

Another beginning to a headline that causes people to take notice are the words, “Here’s a Quick Way To . . . .”

Examples:

Here’s a Quick Way to Get Rid of Frizzy Hair

Here’s a Quick Way to Increase Your Vocabulary

Here’s a Quick Way to Earn Money

“The Secret”

Use the words “the secret” to begin a headline and people will naturally want to find out more. For example:

The Secret to Drawing Visitors to Your Site

The Secret behind Cooking Award-winning Barbecue Ribs

Using Headline Copy that Will Attract a Reader’s Interest: Some Suggestions

So, what kind of headline copy captures a viewer’s attention? The following phrases will provide you with some insight.

It’s Not What You Say – It’s How You Phrase It

Web scientists have discovered that a page visit typically lasts just under 60 seconds. So, even if you capture a viewer’s interest for that length of time, you need to add a snippet or image that will stay in his or her mind. Dry , or “blah”, headlines, lacklustre content and outdated news will keep visitors from frequenting your site.

Some people bounce away from a page as if they touched a hot coal, while other users may linger for a “whopping” two minutes or more. Time, obviously, is of the essence when you are creating copy. Even a precursory glance of a good headline will stop a visitor from closing the page early.



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