How (And Why) to Improve Your Average Time on Page

You researched, collaborated on, and spent sleepless nights crafting content for your prospects and customers. And, your company increased your budget. So, what good does that investment in time and money do if people don’t devour every bit of it?

Learn how to improve your visitors’ average time on page, and you’ll get more value out of your investment in content marketing.

Capture Your Audience’s Attention in Seconds

As Optinmonster’s Noumaan Yaqoob points out, the average web visitor spends only a few seconds on your page deciding whether to stay or leave. So, you need to grab their attention at the outset.

Simply paying attention to three elements on every page of content you create can help make the most of those fleeting seconds.

  • Create a killer headline: It’s not enough that your headline contains your focus keyword. It needs to be compelling enough to enhance your audience’s curiosity.
  • Use a thought-provoking image: Since 65% of the general population prefers to receive information through visual content, having an attractive image that draws your audience in will encourage them to explore your content.
  • Get their attention in the first sentence: Whether your content is a podcast, a video, or a blog post, your opening needs to make your audience hungry for more. Hook them in, and you’ll be more likely to keep them reading, watching, or listening to the end.

Kondo Your Page Design

On-page clutter – such as excessive links to other content, a noisy chat box that pops up just when the visitor is getting into your intro, or a jumbled mess of text fonts – can distract your reader. Engaging in content collaboration with your design team can help you figure out where your design might be bleeding out visitor interest.

Keep Your Audience Glued to Your Content with a Hero’s Journey

Whether you’re a Star Wars geek, a Hallmark romantic, or an action movie fan, your favorite movies usually follow a tried-and-true formula: the hero’s journey. That kind of storyline can also work magic on content for even the most so-called “boring industries.”

I mean, think about it. You might think that law, insurance, or manufacturing would be a challenge to fit into a hero’s journey format, but you’d be wrong.

For example, think about a person accused of a crime they didn’t commit. Showcasing the lawyer that helped them plead their case successfully in court is a story that will retain your prospects’ attention all the way through your content.

Your prospects might only need to fight a traffic ticket, but to them, the opportunity to have a lawyer like yours on their side will sway them in your direction. All because you told your client’s story.

Find a way to showcase how your products, services, or advice can solve your prospects’ top challenges, and your content will be well on its way toward winning their business.

Make It Easy to Skim

Some readers prefer to skim your content. Include critical information in headings, subheadings, and bullet points to help them get the main points you want to make, even if they’re “skimmers.”

And, if your content is valuable, they’ll likely return later for a more thorough read. Additionally, they might even click on a related article for more information, increasing the time they spend on your company website.

Intersperse Imagery and Videos with Your Text

Including related videos and other images throughout your content gives your readers a visual break. Doing this is especially important in longer blog posts, ebooks, and white papers.

Infographics that illustrate statistics and other evidence in a visual can help your readers digest complex information in a well-organized and easy-to-understand format.

Make Links Open in a New Tab

Although this tip – from DataBox’s Kiera Abbamonte – doesn’t involve the content itself, it does help to keep your blog readers on page. It also reduces frustration by giving your readers a way to easily navigate between the original page and their newly opened content.

Instead of closing the original window and opening another – and risking losing your readers – make references open in new tabs. That strategy allows the reader to return to the original content easily while keeping the reference available for further study later.

Make Your Content More Understandable

Sometimes content teams become so familiar with their industry’s inside jargon that they use it in their prospect-facing content. Instead, explain technical or industry-specific terms in plain language so that your audience won’t have to navigate away from your page to a dictionary.

Secondly, consider running your texts and scripts through a readability calculator before publishing or broadcasting them. Aim for a score that puts most of your content within an eighth-grade reading level.

Of course, if you need to use highly technical language, your overall readability score might go higher than the ideal. Conversely, if your audience likely has a reading comprehension level lower than the eighth grade, you might want to simplify it so that your audience can understand it easily.

Additionally, be generous with your use of white space – space between blocks of text and other content. It allows your audience to have a visual break between paragraphs, allowing them to better digest your content’s meaning.

Encourage Audience Interaction

There’s a reason why news broadcasters and politicians always include their website or email address at their sign-off. They thrive on at least appearing to be accessible to their audience.

While asking questions to encourage comments is the most obvious way to motivate your audience to interact, there are other ways to engage them.

  • Include links to your content in social media interactions: While social media conversations are usually short, you can provide interested followers with more in-depth content that explains your answer in more detail.
  • Make use of chat in live videos: People love to put their two cents in, so give them that chance when you broadcast live. Usually, they interact with other people watching your content, keeping them on the page for a longer time.

Make Dwell Time One of Your Key Metrics

Instead of concentrating on your standard bounce rate on Google Analytics, measure dwell time instead. Dwell time, also called “organic bounce rate,” measures the time between when they click on a search result and when they return to the search results.

And, it’s one of the factors that Google uses to rank your website. Not only does it encourage you to create more effective content, but it also perks up your SEO. It’s a win-win for your content strategy.

Correlate Time on Page to Conversions and Sales

Since your ultimate content marketing goal is to increase sales, keep an eye on how closely your time on page correlates with various conversion points along the customer journey, especially sales.

With a robust content analytics solution, you can identify which content best drives conversions at each step. Promote those pieces on social media and in email newsletters.

Conversely, the same technology can identify content that isn’t driving conversions. Compare that content with your best performers, looking at SEO factors, organization, page design, and quality, and then revise them accordingly.

A content marketing platform where you can analyze, collaborate on, and revise your content to perform better all in one place makes improving your content metrics easier. DivvyHQ does all that and more.

Get the “easy button” for your content marketing teams. Start your free 14-day DivvyHQ trial today!