I’ve noticed some common trends with ‘pro bloggers’ when it comes to their web presence online. Gone is the clutter, the countless banner ads, the unnecessary elements that visitors end up clicking away to. Learn what the pros do to keep visitors from clicking away from their own sites. From common design elements, sidebar widgets, and more inside. You can learn from them on how to keep visitors on your website.
How to Keep Visitors From Clicking Away?
They focus on trying to keep people on their website for as long as possible. There are very few ‘click away’ options to take a visitor away from their website. Everything on their site is laser focused to keep people on their website. But how do they go about doing this?
What These Websites Do Have in Common?
Below are the following commonalities I see among the websites I visit on a regular basis. These are people who brand themselves as their business and they are pretty popular for what they do on the web today. I consider them top influencers with what they are doing.
- Quality hosting
- Quality Web Design
- Uncluttered Sidebars
- Easy to Navigate
- Email Signup Forms
- Social Share Buttons
- No Ad Banners
- Multiple types of Content
They All Spent Money on their Hosting
Load time is important. There have been countless studies around the internet stating that you have about 2 seconds for your page to load if you want people to stick around and read your content. That budget shared hosting plan your on? That just isn’t going to cut it if you want visitors to stick around.
Although I still use their shared host plan? I like to think of BigScoots as a “Premium” shared hosting.
Takeaway: You have to invest in where your webpage is going to be hosted at. If it doesn’t load quick? You already lost your visitors.
They all Have a Quality Website Design
If you look at the examples provided below they are all very clean and look nothing like the cookie cutter sites you typically see on the web today. It means at least collaborating with a designer if you aren’t able to do all the work yourself.
They all have a very simple and clean layout. From navigation, to how text is laid out, to their sidebars. Although they might have a ton of content – it doesn’t feel like its all jammed together. Nor do they have any super snazzy web 3.0 <insert current trend here> type crap.
The websites are all very focused on who they are, what they want to convey to you, what they do, and what they can offer you.
Takeaway: Have a lightweight quality design that is mobile friendly.
Easy to Navigate
Another thing I noticed with the site examples provided. They are all very easy to navigate and find the content you want to read. You don’t feel ‘lost’ as you can on a lot of websites when you visit them. The KISS principal is definitely the way to go here. Keep it direct. Keep it simple.
Takeaway: Make sure visitors can easily navigate your website. If they have to jump through hoops to find it? They won’t. And that’s a lose lose situation for both of you.
Keep Your Sidebars Clean
Their sidebars aren’t cluttered with 9 million widgets. On average? I see 4-5 tops. And not one of the sites has a Facebook like box, or G+ Profile embedded anywhere on there. Again they are focused with trying to convert visitors into readers who will stick around.
The common sidebar elements I see on these sites:
- About Me – a short summary which links to their page.
- Related/Trending/Recent Posts type widgets.
- Products and/or Services
- Email Signup Forms
Takeaway: Don’t clutter your sidebars. Focus on keeping visitors on your website instead of taking them out of it.
An Email Signup Form is a MUST
There is ALWAYS an email signup form available to the visitor. On the sidebar, down on the bottom of the post, or rarely even a popup. They want you to sign up for their newsletter. And it makes perfect sense to do this.
Takeaway: If you want dedicated traffic that is interested in what you have to say? You have to build your email list.
Social Share Buttons
All of them have some way for you to easily share their content on social networks. Some have custom coding while others use a plugin. The point is they want you to be able to easily share their content without having to hunt around for it. One thing I do suggest as well here. Keep your share buttons down to the social networks you are active with.
And there are a ton of options out there for social buttons. I am currently using Ultimate Social Deux and so far its been great!
Takeaway: Make sure you have social share options for visitors to easily share your content.
No Banner Ads – ANYWHERE
Another common trend that I have noticed across the board? No Adsense or ad banners anywhere on their websites. And it makes sense in today’s web.
Unless you have a metric crap ton of traffic? Ad Banners just don’t offer you any type of real income. There is a caveat of course. I do see the rare ad spot for sale or sponsor/affiliate ad. Otherwise people have grown blind to them, and they just don’t convert like they used to.
To make it worse. Visitors might take it as a big red flag if you do have too many ads on your website. They will think your just chasing after their dollar instead of trying to help them.
Takeaway: Focus on what converts and stop chasing after pennies. Don’t worry about banner ads.
They Offer Multiple Types of Content
More and more I am seeing the trend of leaders venturing out into different mediums rather than just text. Now they offer Google Hangouts, Podcasts, YouTube or Vimeo videos, Slideshare, and more.
Make sure to take a moment and read their content (or at least skim through it) It is all highly related to their area of expertise. You won’t see them drifting off into underwater basket weaving. They all tend to stay on target with supporting topics related to their niche.
It goes without saying. None of their content sucks.
Take away: It is becoming vital that you offer more than one way to present your work to help gain footing in your niche. Make sure to keep it related to your area of expertise.
What Else to Take Away from All This?
These were just my observations while going through my own blog list. If you are a blogger and are trying to make a name for yourself?
- Do away with the frills and keep it down to the nitty gritty.
- Cut away ruthlessly on your website elements that potentially take away from the message of what you are trying to say or do.
- If you offer services or products? Show them prominently so people can see them easily.
- Lure visitors in with different types of content, then get them to stay with a simple site layout and offer less choices instead of more.
This was just the 50,000 ft. level of looking at things on your website. What you still need to focus on is your content and the message you are putting out. As well as you need to do a lot of testing to see if what you have is converting visitors into subscribers and ultimately buyers. That is a story for another day though.
The Example Sites
Below are just a few examples of what I’m talking about. Visit them and take the time to focus on how they have their websites laid out. See what they are doing to make sure visitors stay on their website instead of clicking away. Then make sure to follow them for the great insights they provide in their areas of expertise!
- Jay Baer – Convince and Convert
- Patt Flynn – Smart Passive Income
- Neil Patel – Quicksprout
- Danny Brown – dannybrown.me
- Wade Harman – wadeharman.com
- Ryan Hanley – ryanhanley.com
- Chris Lema – chrislema.com
- Derek Halpern – Social Triggers
- Ana Hoffman – Traffic Generation Cafe
What other trends do you see out there?