It’s difficult to know how long your customers should be spending on your website. With so many different guidelines out there it can feel impossible to get it right for your own website.
As a business owner, you probably aren’t a web or marketing whizz – you want to focus on providing excellent service, and your website is just an extension of that. But creating a site that gives your customers the time to convert is crucial.
You could spend months looking at average times spent on webpages and studying the precise number of seconds a customer needs to look at your site before purchasing, but the exact time isn’t significant.
What matters is giving your customers every opportunity to learn and engage.
First Things First
Ever clicked on a confusing and vague webpage and immediately given up? Don’t be that business owner with a messy website that does more harm than good. Before you even start thinking about how long your customers are staying, get clear on the purpose of your website.
What does your site do?
Is it simply a portfolio of work? Is it an eCommerce store? A formality just so your name is out there on the web? These websites will have very different structures and pages that require varying degrees of time spent on them.
Whatever your site’s purpose, make sure it’s clear throughout your pages what you’re providing, why it’s valuable and how customers can purchase from you or work with you. Start there, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success, making your customers want to stay on your site longer to learn more.
How Long Do People Stay?
You don’t need to worry about the average time it takes for customers to convert from web pages. You just need to know how long it takes for your specific audience to interact with your call to action (like a newsletter sign-up or contact button).
It’s helpful to have an idea of your ideal customer journey on your website, from where they land to which pages they view next. Imagine someone lands on your homepage. Then what?
You might like them to check out your blog or visit a specific sales page for your product or service. You need to make sure this direction is clear quickly, so your viewers don’t get lost or lose interest.
For example, you might notice that your site visitors aren’t staying around long enough to even reach your call to action. Some websites put a link at the bottom of the home page that directs to a sales page, meaning visitors must keep scrolling to get to the most critical point.
If that sounds like your page, it’s a good indicator that your page needs to lead to your call to action sooner rather than later.
A customer journey goes beyond just your website, but it certainly plays a big role.
As part of your overall marketing, you should have a clearly outlined journey that all potential buyers will take. In super simple terms, it might look like this:
- Search engine search for your product/service
- Visit homepage
- Direct to sales page
- Sign up to free lead magnet
Decide each touchpoint your customer will have as they journey through your website. Perhaps they will land on your home page, read your about page, check out your latest blog post and then click a link to enquire with you.
It’s important to map out this journey because you want to be sure you’re giving them time to read all about you and build trust. You can’t rush in asking for a conversion, as in most cases, your potential buyers haven’t decided yet.
Do you provide opportunities on your site for visitors to learn more about you and your business first?
Or is there a popup straightaway demanding that they buy from you?
You can probably guess which of those scenarios will be the most successful!
What To Prioritise
Time spent on your website is meaningless without context. The average time taken on a website varies hugely from industry to industry, so arbitrary stats mean very little.
Depending on the purpose of your website, you’ll need to prioritise different aspects, encouraging visitors to spend more time on particular pages.
So, for example, if you’re an eCommerce site, you’ll likely have a simple ‘about’ section and possibly some information pages with most of the focus on your store. This is where you want to prioritise accessibility and security.
Make your customers feel secure sharing their payment details and ensure your site is easy to use, so they can find exactly what they’re looking for and browse unhindered.
If you designed your website to nurture potential leads, focus on the customer journey and the pain points.
Map out the steps you want your customers to take through your site and make sure your visitors feel like you understand their problem.
If your website is a portfolio of work for others to browse, then you should put presentation and interface first. Ensure your website is easy to use and beautifully designed to match your brand, emphasising the work you’re displaying.
Maintaining Your Website…
Getting caught up in the little details while creating your website can be easy. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’re getting the same average times as competitors, as long as it’s working for you and achieving the ultimate purpose of your website.
Having a successful website doesn’t stop at the design stage, though. It can take valuable time away from you to constantly manage and monitor your website. Talk to us here about our one-hour-a-month web maintenance package, and set yourself up for uninterrupted success.