How to Keep Visitors On Your Website Longer

Since we’re a channel marketing firm, we visit a lot of channel partner websites and often discover very simple things you can do to keep visitors on your site longer.  Here are two of them:

1. Launch a Separate Window for External Links

Ok, this one is really simple and probably obvious.  Even still, there are plenty of websites that make this mistake which is this:

Linking to an external website and launching that website OVER your current browser window.

For instance, plenty of Sage partners link to the Sage website for more product info.  But too often that link launches in the same window essentially redirecting me from the Partner website to Sage.  If I don’t find what I’m looking for there, I’ll probably close the window.  To get back to YOUR site, I would have to launch the browser again and retype your URL.  Something many prospects won’t take time to do.  They just move on.

So always always always make sure any external links launch a separate window/tab (like this).  If the prospect closes that window, they’re still on your website and can continue browsing.

2. Put Social Media in Its Place

This is a trend I’m seeing far more often these days and it relates to #1 above which is this … I arrive at a channel partner website and the first thing I see, front and center, are a bunch of very prominent links to Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.  I’ve just arrived and you’re already redirecting me away from your domain?  Big mistake.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do a pretty good job of attracting traffic…they don’t need your help too.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t make it clear that you have a social presence AND make it easy for prospects to engage and follow you on social media.  But I AM saying 2 things:

Ideally, the traffic is going the OTHER way … FROM Twitter and LinkedIn TO your website/domain.

Include social media links on your website where they make the most sense…certainly on your blog (if you have one) and probably in the header, footer, or margin of other pages.  But don’t drive traffic away from your site with a giant “Like Us on Facebook” graphic or Twitter logo smack dab in the middle of your home page.

Let’s hear your feedback.  Agree or disagree?

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