And worse: it will penalize SEO.
So, with Orson.io who collaborated on this article, we tried a package of tips and methods. We’ve compared them all to make a list of the ones that work best with users.
It’s a gift: the best tips to improve the experience of your users and extend their visit to your site. This is a major topic for your digital strategy!
If you follow all these tips, you will have the solution to all these problems:
- how to keep users on my site?
- how to increase the number of pages viewed per visit?
- how to increase the time spent on the site?
- how to reduce the bounce rate?
- how to increase the conversion rate on my site?
In short, that’s good 🙂
Here is the program :
- visual advice
- usability tips
- writing tips
- how to measure progress
1A good quality of visuals
A good visual experience requires good quality images, photos, videos and other visuals.
An interface presenting images, videos or bad quality logos, will make people flee. And that even if the graphic choices are interesting and well thought out.
Not to mention that good visual quality is a guarantee of relevance and seriousness for users. At Orson, we noticed that this is especially true for portfoliocreation .
In fact, visuals are not just images: the video has “exploded” on the Internet. YouTube is the second search engine after Google. And it’s not for nothing …
Internet users appreciate video explanations. So illustrate your words with this format, or decline your content into videos. This will improve the UX and increase the time spent by your visitors on your site. Because when a visitor views a video on your site, it counts as time spent on your site, even though the video actually comes from YouTube.
About videos, I offer 2 bonuses: how to reference your videos in YouTube and the book to develop your YouTube audience .
2 An airy and uncluttered interface
If you have beautiful, good quality pictures, that does not mean you have to abuse it. Stay reasonable , try not to oppress your visitors with visual overload!
This also applies to advertising: if you put too much, the user experience drops (visual discomfort, slowdown, nervousness related to intrusive commercial character, etc.).
In the genre to avoid absolutely:
- no music that fires itself (or video with sound)
- no sliders or carousels that follow each other automatically
- no Flash or pop-up
- no content that requires the installation of a special plugin
We notice that the aerated designs work better and better: we space, we purify, to offer our users a visual comfort and therefore a better experience, avoiding them a visual clutter.
Look at the design of Apple’s homepage:
Know that the design of a site creates its atmosphere. However, on the Internet, after a busy day, visitors do not want to feel oppressed by too much visual information …
In addition to images or videos, insert your text with other special elements that make reading easy and eye-catching. For example :
- a quote (the famous blockquote tag )
- a box that summarizes another content and links it
- an incentive to share a sentence on social networks (I use Social Warfare Pro for this, it’s very effective with Twitter)
- a banner that reinforces the structure of long articles
Attention with the text, it is necessary to respect the rules described in the following point.
3 A suitable typography
The choice of typography is also very important, it influences the visual coherence of a site. According to Wikipedia :
Typography is the art and the way of designing and using characters: choice of font, choice of font and layout, regardless of publication technique (printing, screen display, etc.)
Opt for a simpletypography , without too many fantasies. It is better to promote the readability of a font to its originality and design.
For example script fonts, although very beautiful because of their personal touch, disadvantage reading. It is best to use them for very short and expressive texts.
So, except if your goal is not to be read, opt for classic typography ( examples at Google), they will simplify the use of your site.
Last point: do not multiply fonts, limit yourself to 2 maximum.
4 A simple structure
Let’s start with the base of your site: its structure.
A site with a complex structure can never be easy to use. Your tree should be designed so that a user can easily find it. Create a menu, resulting categories, and subcategories after each category.
In addition, it is also useful for SEO . Just like a user, Google searches your site faster and better understands its tree. And if you intelligently link your pages together (concept of thematic silos), your SEO will be better.
Practical advice: Make sure your strategic pages are accessible in a few clicks (there is a strong relationship between depth and SEO efficiency ).
We just saw the structure of the site, let’s move to the structure of a text.
Your articles must follow a plan . On the web using a structure with different levels of H1 titles, H2, H3, etc .
So why not do an automatic summary ? A user will be able to go to a part of the text (an H2, an H3 …), by clicking directly on the name of the part displayed in the summary.
Nothing better to make his life easier!
For long editorial content, the presence of an automatic summary is all the more advisable. For a user in a hurry, wanting to go directly to the conclusion, to be able to jump 5 parts of the text by clicking on the conclusion, is an advantage and a saving of time.
Speaking of time saving … The sequel is capital!
6 A site with (very) fast loading
Have you noticed how impatient we are all about our screens? Nothing is more irritating than a slow website and a page that does not load.
So check the loading speed of your site.
According to a 2016 Google study (not available now):
On mobile, beyond 3 seconds of waiting, half of the users leave your site!CLICK TO TWEETTo reduce this loading speed:
- Optimize the weight of your images . To do this, import only images in PNG, GIF or JPEG formats and compress them with a suitable tool. On WebRankInfo I use ImageRecycle (aff. Link, presented here ); I opted for a setting that does not reduce the quality of the images.
- You must use a caching system (server side)
- Make sure you have a good web host.
To find out what is slowing down your pages, try several different tools:
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights : free, in English, page by page
- Always in English: Pingdom or GTMetrix to analyze the loading time of the pages
- In French, I recommend Dareboost (aff. Link, free or paid, page monitoring, analysis of several pages)
Be mobile friendly and test the AMPformat .
Being Mobile Friendly means adapting and optimizing the use of your site on Mobile. Needless to say, with the rise in the mobile Internet usage rate, being mobile friendly is very important. That’s why moving to AMP is a path to study.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. This format is used to speed up the loading of pages on a mobile site. According to Google ( source ):
On average, a result in AMP format is loaded in less than one second only, with 10 times less data to download.CLICK TO TWEETKnow that again, the UX as for the speed of your site will impact your SEO. A bad user experience, will lead to a quick start and increase your bounce rate. But a high bounce rate is not a good sign in terms of SEO. Google will consider that your content is irrelevant because users close your pages faster than they did, without consulting anything.
7 Suitable for all media
Besides being mobile friendly is also to make its design responsive. That is, have a design that fits perfectly to all types of media and especially mobile support.
You can imagine that not all designs automatically adapt to screens that have 80% less space .
A user who arrives on a web page that does not adapt to his screen, closes immediately.
Google has also made the decision to consider the content of a site in its mobile version as a priority over its desktop version.
So, test the display of your site on tablet and mobile as soon as possible.
8 Add links to other pages of the site
Make a link only if it brings something to the user. Naturally, this link must point to a page of the same theme, for example to deepen the subject. Basically, follow the logic of thematic silos (or semantic cocoons).
The anchor text ( anchor text , that is to say the text that is clickable) must seem really natural to the reader. He must understand in advance what he will find if he clicks.
Regularly check 100% of links (internal and external) to avoid broken links . Try for free up to 10,000 pages of your site with my RM Tech tool (it will take the paid version to get the detail).
As that will happen to you one day, anticipate by creating a beautiful custom 404 page .
Overall it is not a problem to make links to other sites, but avoid doing so at the beginning of the article …
Some links are more important than others, as you will discover in the following tip.
9 Des Call To Action (CTA)
CTAs (call-to-action) are buttons that call the visitor to “act”, essential tool of digital marketing.
For example if you want to encourage him to buy a product, you will place a “Buy” button, which will lead directly to a purchase confirmation page, basket or other.
The more clicks, the more you can increase the conversion rate and therefore your turnover!
To use the example of the product you want to sell, depending on the configuration of the page, the “buy” button will be just below or right. Why ? For the reader’s eye will go from top to bottom or from left to right. He sees the product and only buy it afterwards. It is therefore natural to organize the page this way. Otherwise he will see the buy button, without making the obvious link with the product, then will see the product but will not retrace his steps to buy it.
Note: as you will understand, if in your case the text is written from right to left, everything is reversed!
Opt for contrasting colors , to bring out the action proposed.
Clearly state the benefit to the user , use positive terms on the link or button.
Warning: since CTAs are used to highlight important elements, do not put too much. This would make them lose their effectiveness.
10 Interaction to reassure visitors
Interaction is a great way to put the user in trust and to persuade him at the same time of the interest he will find in staying on your site.
I will give you 2 tips at this level.
The first is to highlight the space “comments” of each page.
In addition to allowing him to leave an opinion, the user can also read the opinions of others and therefore judge the relevance of your content. If feedback is positive overall and / or if you notice that you are taking the time to respond constructively , it will be more likely to remember a good experience of your site.
The icing on the cake: if the comments left are interesting and constructive, it will spend time to take knowledge. It will stay longer on your site.
The second trick is sharing on social networks .
In this same dynamic of reassuring the visitor, you can use buttons or counters of sharing to social networks.
Sometimes, we find them under the title or the introduction of the content, with a counter next to each of them: it is a good way to prove the relevance of a content.
Of course, this trick only works when the content in question has a considerable number of shares.
Note: placing the buttons at the beginning of an article does not exclude the need to find them further down. Placing them at the top only serves to reassure the user so that it stays on your page, placing them at the bottom serves to push them to share the content! And having a large number of shares is a goal not to lose sight of.
11 Treat the introduction
From the beginning of the page, the reader must understand what he will find and especially be reassured that he is in the right place. This is especially true on a (long) article.
The main content must be clearly displayed from the beginning, above the fold .
There are several methods, for my part I like that of Brian Dean :APP ( Agree ,Promise ,Preview ). Basically, here’s the recipe for starting your articles:
- start by exposing something that your listeners will agree with. For example, a problem they are certainly facing
- Then make a promise: you will help them solve this problem. Obviously, you will have to do it 😉
- finally, give an overview of this solution (which the reader will find throughout the article)
Here’s what it gives:
12 Make you want to read more
Your style must be dynamic: do not hesitate to ask questions, to ask the opinion of the reader (and even to offer to help him).
But the most important is to heal the style by adding phrases that make you want to read more . Of course, I will detail how to do it 😉
Brian Dean recommends using the Bucket Brigades . These are words or phrases added to specific places of the content (pile where the reader may drop the reading) that give an irresistible desire to read more.
OK but what words concretely?
Here are the ones he prefers:
- Here is what I propose:
- Now :
- In the end, what is essential?
- You might ask yourself:
- It’s crazy :
- It’s better / It’s worse:
- But there is a catch:
- Do you want to know the best?
Another indispensable element is to arouse emotion.
In French, read for example the advice of André Dubois :
Describe what your reader feels, and he will want to know more. Connect emotionally. EMPATHY.
He also advises to announce the continuation, so that the reader wants to know more.
Always in the same perspective, use powerful words , to adapt according to your context.
I also found Christopher Piton on LinkedIn who talks about “words of influence” and encourages him to “shake his audience”. It’s the same idea!
Before learning how to avoid disappointing the reader, share the trick on Twitter:
To keep users on your site and read your articles, add phrases that make you want to read more, like here:CLICK TO TWEET
13 Avoid disappointments
First, a golden rule is not to make a false promise . The worst being an ultra catchy title, reinforced by the snippet posted in the SERP , leading to an article that does not match the promise.
The surfer quickly realizes it and begins to hate your site. He leaves quickly and goes back in the results of Google ( SERP Bounce Back ). This is the worst signal to send to Google!
Another point: check if your page is not positioned on irrelevant keywords. For that, look in Google Search console the list of your keywords which generate traffic . You can segment by page, as I explain in this video:
What is a good bounce rate?
There is no universal value, especially since it depends a lot on the type of site. Moreover, it is ridiculous to calculate it globally, it is smarter to measure it per page or for a set of pages of the same type.
- For an ecommerce site, an acceptable rebound rate is between 30% and 50% (studies sometimes indicate between 40% and 60%).
- For a blog or an editorial site, the bounce rate can be very high (70%) without it being necessarily alarming.
How to do the measurements?
In your audience measurement tool (for example Google Analytics), follow these indicators (KPI):
- number of pages viewed per session (= visit)
- bounce rate per page
- time spent on the site
Do better by adding a precise follow-up of all the actions proposed to the user, for example the filling of a form or the click on an outgoing link (see the doc here ). This is called tracking, it is essential regardless of your site (e-commerce, blog, editorial content, classifieds).
Record an event for each action and track the number of events per day or week. If needed, check out Google Analytics Help .
If these are strategic events for your site, associate goals with them (see the doc here ).
If you have trouble with Analytics, ask your question in the forum .
In addition to web analytics data, you can also track:
- sharing your articles
- the number of comments
- backlinks (look in Search Console or use an advanced tracking tool )
What other things do you watch? Say it in the comments …