The Sticky Page
The longer visitors stay on your web page, the more interested they are in what you have to offer. The sticky page is just that, one that gets readers to stay glued.
The key to making a sticky page is to build a high-quality page. One that is very unique, useful, informative and good looking. No wonder why Google or search engines, for that matter, are using the time-spent indicator to measure how long people stay on web sites.
The bottom line is the more time visitors spend on your site, the more likely it’s going to have more traffic, more comments, more ratings, more recommendations, more backlinks and of course, more purchases! I’ll show you how to make a sticky page!
Understanding How Visitors Read Online
This is essential in writing and designing a web page
Visitors don’t read, they scan! Yes, users tend to scan more than engaging in serious reading. Recent studies have shown how users read online. Using eye tracking studies, researchers have found people tend to scan pages in an F-shaped pattern. The heat map shows red colored markings which are the areas visitors look at the most frequently.
Common Sense SEO
Attract Relevant Visitors
In the past, people have had the need to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their websites, since search engines had different and complicated algorithms.
However, things have changed, search engines have matured and they have gone back to plain old common sense. Basically, search engines, like Google, are starting to appreciate the same things that real people are looking for in a website:
- well-written useful and unique content
- well-thought-out intuitive navigation
- titles that help identify relevant keyword phrases
It’s really just common sense. Web sites which aim to have visitors to spend quality time on them, do not need to crack algorithms. These sites have the potential to achieve high rankings for many keyword phrases in all major search engines for many years, regardless of ever-changing algorithms.
Make Them Stay Longer & Return Frequently
Web Design Tips
“The idea is to create a web page that encourages visitors to spend as much time as possible on it”
Provide direct, concise, clear and very useful content. The type of information that cannot be found elsewhere.
- Write an engaging introduction.
- Use a direct language that is easy to read.
- Use meaningful titles and subtitles. They should be brief and convey a summary of the section.
- Keep paragraphs short, use simple sentence structure. Breaking a long paragraph into several smaller sections invites the viewer in to read.
- Make your page more scan-friendly. Large blocks of dense text intimidate the visitor.
- Make your content into a story format.
- Check for grammar. Misspellings and poorly constructed sentences communicate the wrong information.
Make your content visually pleasing. Aesthetics and style are so important in engaging the reader into understanding the subject of your web page.
- Pick a relevant and enticing introduction picture.
- Lay out information to help web users.
- Use consistent formatting. Choose a pattern of spacing, an order of information presentation or a format of highlighting and be consistent throughout.
- Use contrasting colors. Text is easier to read when font and background color are in high contrast. Low contrast irritates the reader and causes eye fatigue.
- Use bullets and numbered lists. They help get the readers attention.
- Use HTML/CSS code if necessary.
- Highlight, underline or bold important keywords or phrases.
- Add plenty of quality pictures and graphics.
- Add engaging videos.
Involve the reader. Add call-for-action modules such as a poll, quiz and guest book.
Use plenty of white space. Thoughtful use of empty space helps the visitor’s eyes to focus on the important information.
Easy navigation. A simple navigation structure can convince people to stay longer on your site.
How Is Time Spent Measured?
It’s been rumored that the time spent metric is one of the most important indicators used by Google’s algorithm in determining the rank of your site.
It’s supposed to be a complex calculation in which many parameters, weights and indices are taken into consideration. However, we don’t know the exact math for this indicator, in fact, the formula will never be revealed because search engines don’t want people to manipulate the system and cheat.
So we’re going to attempt to simplify the explanation for this indicator as follows:
- The calculation is made over the lifetime of the visitor session to the web page.
- The visitor interactions are tracked by specific engaged events.
- Those events could be: clicking a link, clicking on a picture, voting in a poll, downloading a file, watching a YouTube video, commenting in a guest book, emailing content to a friend, printing a page or exiting the site.
- The timestamp for the last interaction determines the time the user spent on your page. The picture below shows the time spent was 38 seconds.
What Makes Visitors Leave Your Site?
Don’t let them get away!
- Unattractive look
- Irrelevant content, bad spelling and poor grammar
- Information is too hard to find
- Long chunks of text without text formatting
- Cluttered text and graphics
- Too much advertising
- Long lists of endless products
- Distracting colors that make the text hard to read or focus on
Google Traffic vs. Time Spent
=> Direct Relationship
This picture illustrates the distribution of clicks on a search engine results page (SERP). You can immediately notice the direct relationship between the percentage of clicks, according to the site’s rank, and the time spent of that site.
In other words, the higher you rank in Google’s SERPs, the more clicks your site is going to get.
Is there a better reason to extend the time visitors stay on your webpage?