How to Improve Time on Site

Last week, we wrote about the 5 most important Google Analytics metrics. The post got a lot of great feedback from readers, so we decided to take it one step further and explain some of these metrics more deeply.

Time on site is a metric that very few site owners I come across follow all that closely. Most are interested in more visitors and higher conversion rates. And while those are both important, time on site can really be the one thing that tells you how valuable your content is to your visitors.

Sites like Facebook would be nowhere without time on site, because their business models rely on your spending more time on their site and seeing more ads.

But how can you improve time on site for your website? Here are three quick suggestions:

  1. Give them more content. People are more likely to interact with your site longer if you give them more to do there. And I don’t mean just putting more words for them to read. Give them free tips, articles, and information that they would find helpful. A very basic website with a few simple pages can be great and getting people what they want, but it won’t keep them around very long. If you want people to stay longer, give them more to do.
     
  2. Give them richer content. People aren’t online just to read text. They watch videos, look at photos, talk to each other, and play games. The more content you have the better. But even better than more is different. Offer a variety of ways for people to interact with your site and you’ll get them to stay longer.
     
  3. Make it easy for them to explore. Sometimes a low time on site metric just means that your visitors are confused. They land on your website and don’t know what to do next. By making it easy for people to jump around from page to page or search for what they’re interested in, you make it more likely they will stay on your site instead of getting lost and ultimately leaving.