Are there still companies or businesses that don’t have a website? Is there any organization (business or nonprofit) that carries out its activity solely offline? The answer is easy to guess: a website is a vital component for every social activity, be it economic or otherwise. That’s why SEO optimization became a very interesting topic in all countries, with more and more experts and companies providing this type of service.
If you heard about this phenomenon or you even work in SEO optimization, you know how important user experience on your website is for Google. This experience is “weighed” with the help of different factors, but probably the most important of them is the time spent by users on your website, also known as the average session duration.
To improve your site’s rankings on Google’s SERP (search engine results pages), you will have to improve your users’ experience on your website. To do that, you will have to increase the average session duration. Further, we will give you some recommendations to help you keep users longer on your website.
The stages of capturing the interest
Before trying to increase the time users spend on your website, you will have to make sure they don’t leave the site immediately after entering it. This action is called a “bounce”, and a high bounce rate indicates to Google that your website doesn’t have the right content for the performed search. Therefore, SEO optimization experts will always start by analyzing the whole website and come up with a strategy that strongly links the information on every page with users’ searches. The more relevant a page is, the lower the bounce rate. Therefore, here are a few steps you could take to decrease the bounce rate:
- Secure your website. You know that little green lock your browser displays before the website address? If it’s missing, it’s replaced by the “Not Secure” mention. If users want to buy a product or a service from your website and notice that it doesn’t offer any safety certificate, they will probably leave. Furthermore, Google won’t include your website among the top results, if it isn’t secured. SEO optimization agencies know this, therefore one of the first recommendations they make, after the audit, is to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Improve the loading time. If your website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, you’ve already lost more than half of your potential visitors. That’s why you should try to reduce the loading time as much as possible. Although this isn’t a key factor in SEO optimization, improving the loading time will be recommended by online marketing specialists. Numerous free tools can help you with this matter. For example, in Page Speed Insights you can check your website’s loading speed both on desktop and mobile, but you will also receive suggestions regarding the changes you can make for your website to load faster.
- Make sure the interface is friendly. If users enter the site and all they can see is a block of text (even if it’s impeccably built from an SEO optimization expert’s point of view), their normal reaction will be to leave the website. We recommend that the menu is visible, organized, and the page information is varied (not only text and images), “spacious”, clearly structured, and aesthetically pleasing.
After you’ve managed to decrease the bounce rate, it’s time to focus on increasing the average session duration. For this, you have to captivate and hold your visitors’ attention for as long as possible. Here’s what you could try:
- Insert images to break the blocks of text. If you have to describe the products or services you offer, make sure the presentation is visually attractive, interesting, and easy to follow through. Try to insert a few images within the text. Furthermore, formatting is very important, which is why you have to make sure you insert clear subtitles, bullets, or numbered lists that guide the users towards the conclusion. At the same time, if the page has too many pictures, it won’t arouse users’ interest, which is why you should add a small description under every picture.
- Create links with other pages of the website. One of the on-page actions all SEO optimization experts recommend is creating internal links. You can use call to action expressions like:
- “read more about this topic here
- “photo gallery with…”
- “articles/products from the same category”
These will send users to other pages from the website and convince them to spend more time in this interaction.
- Add videos. If it’s possible, add one or more relevant videos for the activity or product you present on that specific page of your website. An interesting video, no longer than 30 to 60 seconds, can work wonders with the average session duration. You can include presentation clips, “know-how” videos, or even the TV commercial of that product.