Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around Or Bailing Out?

by Sherryl Perry on March 29, 2012

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The average website visitor spends about 3 seconds on a web page before they decide whether or not they’re in the right place. Whether they’ve come to your website from a direct link, a search or maybe a pay-per-click ad (PPC), they’re looking for something. They have a need, whether it be something they want to buy, information or maybe they just need a good laugh but they came to your website to find something. Do you have what they’re looking for? Even if you do, will they stay on your website long enough to find out? Website visitors are a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”.

They’re searching, doing a quick scan and either they think they’re in the right place or as Shania Twain would say… (sing actually)… “I’m outta here!” So, what can you do to make a website visitor stay long enough to recognize that your website (amongst the hundreds of thousands of other websites with similar products or topics) has exactly what they’re looking for?

Well for starters, you’ll probably want a professionally designed website (or at least one that looks professionally designed). But ultimately, it’s the content that’s going to satisfy their needs – keyword rich content. So, for starters, let’s take a quick look at what a website visitor is going to see when they land on a page of your website.

Opportunities for Keyword Rich Content

 

Looking at the screenshot above, (taken of this blog post actually), you’ll notice 5 black arrows pointing to the 5 key areas of your website page: page-title, URL, your logo/business name (to me – this is your brand), post-title and your content area. Each of these areas are an opportunity to incorporate keywords (the search terms that someone would use to find your website). Even a graphic such as the banner that I use with my logo and name is an opportunity to use keywords through the use of alt-tags.

If you look at the URL (the web address at the top of this page), you’ll notice that the title of this article is part of the web address. There should be no doubt where you are. You clicked on an article called “Are Your Website Visitors Sticking Around” and that’s where you are.

Changing your “Permalink Settings” in WordPress

Funny thing is though, if you have an out-of-the-box installation of WordPress, the title of your articles in your address bar won’t include the title of your post. By default, your URL would include something vague like “?p=567“. Most people prefer to show the title of the post to take advantage of keywords. If you want to do this, in your WP Admin panel, go to Settings | Permalinks and select “Post name”.

So, the moral of this story is that keyword-rich content will help:

  1. People find your website using search engines
  2. Your website appear higher on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
  3. Website visitors know that they’re in the “right place

Keyword Optimization and the Latest Google Algorithm Update

You’ve probably heard about the new changes that are coming to Google’s algorithm. The intent is to penalize over optimized websites while at the same time, rewarding quality content. (This topic deserves a post of its own.) So, while we need to optimize our sites, we also need to stay in Google’s good graces. If you’d like to learn more about how the algorithm changes will affect you, check out Catherine Lockey’s recent post: The New Google Smackdown: Bye Bye Over-Optimized Websites.

What do you think? Do you have other tips that you can share with us? Are you worried about how the new algorithm changes might affect you?

Article Originally Published on: July 15, 2010

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Siddharth Sharma
Twitter:
June 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Hey Sherryl,
Great and really helpful post is indeed here. actually I was migrated my blogger blog to Wordpress then now i am using My permlinks of “post-name” by redirecting old old links using 301 redirect.

Here You have written awesome guide to return old visitors and it also helpful to engage with new visitors.

Keyword optimization and many more all points which are here given those all are really awesome.

Thanks Mam 🙂
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Carrie
Twitter:
July 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

This is a great post! I agree that keywords do help websites move up in SERP a lot. Although, what do you mean by “professionally designed websites”? Is there standard for websites that look professional? Obviously there should be a title and home page and several tags for other parts of the website, maybe a picture here or there to attract the attention of web-surfers. But is there anything else? Are there people who design websites for others for a living? If so, do you recommend any of them?

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hi Carrie,
Thanks for letting me know that you liked my post! When I mentioned “professionally designed websites”, I was referring to hiring a professional designer. Be wary of people who pass themselves off as designers and recycle clip art and stock images.

I think it’s completely possible to build your own website using software such as WordPress, especially if you only need a simple site. It comes down to your skill set and how much time you have to spend. Between the learning curve and the actual building process, it may not be the best use of your time. (Even if you do have the skills and time, creative talent is not something that I think can be learned.)

We’ve all seen poorly designed sites that are obviously DIY projects. Often, those scream amateur and I can’t help but wonder how seriously this person is taking their business. One of the biggest offenders to me is when I catch spelling and grammatical errors in the content. As for professional designers, I recommend Dennis Salvatier from http://salvatierstudios.com/. (I also left his name for you in my reply to another comment.)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Is Your Email Address Part of Your Brand?My Profile

Carrie
Twitter:
July 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Sherryl,
Thank you for your reply. I agree that a lot of websites out there do look amateur, some with outrageous FACTUAL mistakes (that’s pretty frustrating). I definitely think that having some professional web desginers will help because with the great amount of time put into designing the web on your own, you are better off spending that time doing something else.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
July 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Carrie, you are so right about being better off spending your time doing something else. If something is outside of our skill set, it makes sense to outsource it if possible. Sometimes people don’t take into account the value of lost opportunity.
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AMS Imaging
Twitter:
May 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Great Post. Having strong keywords in the right places is of upmost importance. Also being consistent in this strategy throughout every page on your website is key. If you just have the homepage optimized, which is good, but then the rest are poorly set up then it will only take you so far, I believe.

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
May 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm

That’s a great point. Every page of our website could potentially be a “landing” page and should be treated as if it is our home page. Every once in a while we should take a look at our Google Analytics to see which page the most people exit our site from. That page could be a good candidate for a makeover.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Rise of the Cyber Cold WarMy Profile

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