Google search console is a powerful tool for site owners looking to improve their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With google search console you will be able to find out what keywords are used to reach your site, review the performance of pages on your site, and much more for SEO. Once you know which keywords are working for you, then it is time to start optimizing them!
In this article, we’ll share 21 ways that can help increase user retention on your website. You may not be aware but there are many things that users do when visiting websites that will either make them stay or leave quickly. By implementing these tips into our design process we can create an environment where users want to come back again and again. Let’s get started!
1) Always offer a clear indication of what’s next –
When users visit a page, they should be able to clearly understand where they are going and what the next page will contain. If you have included a menu or navigation on your site, make sure that it is not hidden away but visible full-screen at all times. If it is an information site then we always want the users to be able to jump between different sections very quickly and easily.
2) Avoid making people wait for things to load –
When website visitors arrive on a page they should not have to wait 5 seconds, let alone 10 seconds or more for anything to load on your site. This includes images, forms, and other features that are crucial to the usability of your site.
3) Always limit the amount of steps required –
Whenever you’re designing a form or any type of page with input options (e.g. submit button), make sure that users can complete it within 3-4 steps maximum. Every additional step makes it more difficult for users to complete the task.
4) Don’t make people scroll a mile –
By implementing this tip we can ensure that users won’t need to use the horizontal scroll bar to read through content on our website. For websites with lots of text, I recommend setting a maximum paragraph width of 75 characters and adjusting the font size and line height so that there is a maximum of 2 characters per line. At this point we want users to see the text without having to scroll horizontally on your website.
5) Don’t ignore mobile –
Your site must be compatible with all devices, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobiles. Users will come to your site from many different places and it is important that these users are not left behind. Make sure you test the usability of your site on all devices by using tools such as Google mobile-friendly test or Browserstack.
6) Don’t depend on text where images will do –
Using text for icons, buttons or any type of visual content is a bad idea. The reason behind this is that text does not scale with the size of the screen (e.g. mobile phones) whereas images will remain as sharp as they are now regardless of the device being used to view them on your website.
7) Ensuring that all links are accessible –
In order to avoid providing a bad experience for users, always make sure that all the website links are accessible. That means ensuring that all anchors and links have descriptive text so people know where they will go if they click them.
8) Use color to highlight important actions –
If you haven’t already, check out this article on how we can manipulate user behavior using color. In short, facial perception is heavily influenced by color and this can be used when designing a website to provide clear instructions on what actions you expect users to take.
9) Make all buttons easy to find –
In order for users to navigate around your site, we should ensure that all the important buttons are visible at all times. If any button is hidden away (e.g. behind a menu) then users will have to click away from the site in order to find it and this can provide a bad experience for them.
10) Don’t just follow trends –
When designing your website, don’t just follow trends – it might look good initially but try not to follow a trend for the sake of it. Instead, create something that works and provides an overall positive user experience.
11) Separate navigation from search –
Your website must be accessible on all devices, including mobile phones. If you have included both a menu and search then your users will need to click between two different locations in order to move around the content on your website. This is not ideal because users must keep clicking between their search and menu to move from one section of your site to another. To fix this issue, we can set the menu above the search bar so that it does not interfere with the responsive design of our site on mobile phones.
12) Get rid of unnecessary distractions –
Before publishing any content on your website, you need to ensure that users can easily find the information that they are looking for. To do this we should remove any unnecessary distractions that could be placed on our site in order to lower user engagement. If you have a blog then ensure all posts are focused around one topic and comment threads are disabled so that users can easily find what they are looking for.
13) Cut the clutter –
Check out this article on how we can use whitespace and clean layouts to mimic product packaging in our website designs. In short, we want users to focus on only one thing at a time, and using whitespace allows us to minimize distractions that might confuse the user and result in them leaving our site prematurely.
14) Don’t clutter your website with unnecessary content –
Try to avoid providing too many different types of navigation on your site e .g. breadcrumb, sidebar, back button, etc., because it can confuse users as to where they are on your website at any given time. If you have too many different options for users to click on, then they are likely to get lost in your website and not return.
15) No mandatory forms –
If you want users to sign up or subscribe for some information then ensure that this is optional.
16) Show users where they can find help on your site –
If you have added any forms or contact pages to your website then ensure that you add a link to this on the top of each page. This will provide a good experience for your users because it provides them with contact information should they need help and also shows that you are more than willing to assist.
17) Answer the phone –
If someone wants to get in touch with you, then ensure they can – even if this involves picking up the phone and answering questions. If you are a local business then you should also have a contact number that people can call to get in touch with your company. In terms of social media, don’t ignore messages on Facebook or Twitter – try to respond to as many messages as possible and make sure that this is clear so users know what they can expect from you.
18) Offer something to watch –
People like free stuff and if you have created any videos relevant to your website, then don’t hesitate in making this available on your site. If possible, try embedding these into the post itself so that they appear directly on the page. This will provide a good experience for users and help them easily find what they are looking for.
19) Provide useful links –
A lot of websites nowadays provide a social media feed or some type of link that leads to other interesting content. If you have any external blogs or websites that you feel your users might enjoy then try linking to them on your website. This will keep your users engaged and help them explore your website further.
20) Make your site easy to use –
Users are increasingly more impatient when it comes to the information that they are searching for and you need to cater for this. This can be done by making sure your site loads fast on any type of internet connection, so use a content delivery network, etc., if necessary. It is also important to ensure that you keep your website simple so that it remains easy to use and user-friendly.
21) Keep things consistent –
If users like a certain aspect of your site or brand, then try to replicate this experience across other sections on your site. By doing this we can make sure they continue having a good experience with our product and hopefully start to form a relationship with our brand.
21 ways to increase user retention on your website
Many websites are not designed to be user-friendly. With the world becoming impatient, users want quick access to information and when they don’t find it quickly enough, they leave a site for good.
Those that increase their chances of keeping visitors on your website by employing some simple tactics like cutting clutter or being responsive may just have an edge over those who simply ignore these important aspects of design and development. If you’re looking for help increasing user retention on your own website then get in touch with our team today!
Our experts will walk through how we can improve the visitor experience so more people stick around and engage with your content after browsing your page.