Three Tips for How to Keep Readers on Your Site

By: Melanie Burk. Artwork by: Sandy Welch

In today's world, keeping readers on your site is simply a race against the clock. The advent of Instagram, Pinterest, and the veracious amount of information on the internet, our viewers have become accustomed to a "scroll, scroll, scroll" quick glance at your content, and then  with a click they are gone. 

In fact, I have found that for most of my blogger clients, users spend an average of 2 min to 2 1/2 minutes on their site. If you don't believe me–check your analytics! Viewers are spending less and less time on sites, and now the trick is not only getting viewers to your site, but keeping them on your site. 

Here are a few design tricks that can really help your viewers focus on your site and actually read your blog content.

1) Think of it as a billboard

Try to think of your home page as a billboard, or at least the first part of your blog post. You want to make it high impact, and give it a quick capture moment–use a big picture, add some text, and make it compelling–it will be sure to stop viewers in their tracks,  and keep them from just scanning down the page.

2) Remember that viewers skim, they don't read

This has been true for a few years now–there is just something about being online that makes it quite different from a book–viewers scan through the pages of the internet, without actually stopping to read. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to read–keep your paragraphs short and edit twice to make sure you are making your point with as few words as possible. This isn't the place for writing a novel! 

3) Remember that viewers don't read from top to bottom, but all over the page

When you pick up to read a book, your eyes naturally go from top to bottom. This isn't the same for online viewing. People will skip from left to right, in circles, triangles, and hardly ever top to bottom. Keep this in mind as you are putting in your columns–what types of things can you put on your column to keep them interested, but also focus them back to the page? Keep your columns simple, clean, but impactful. 

With these tips in mind- you are well on your way to keeping readers on your site- stay tuned for part two!

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.