Income School Blog

The Quick Change that Got a 20% Longer Visit Duration

The average visit duration is how long the average visitor to your website or blog spends on the site before leaving.  Most internet marketers carefully watch total pageviews, but far too many miss this incredibly important metric.

Visit duration is a big deal because it shows how well your site does at getting casual perusers to take a second look, which is the first step toward getting a new follower or fan.

I made one really small change to my WordPress theme that made a massive difference with this metric.  This change can both be implemented incredibly quickly on your site, too!

Related Posts with a Nice Big Photo

This is an example of what the plugin looks like installed.
This is an example of what the plugin looks like installed.

About six months ago, we all started noticing a trend on larger sites (especially news sites) to having 5 thumbnails at the end of a post with 5 really catchy headlines.  These are usually external ads made to look like other articles on the site.  I’m sure you’ve noticed them.

These ads are popping up all over the web because they are working and they are incredibly eye-catching.

I have been looking for a good plugin that does this for articles on my own site since I’m not interested in losing the traffic by sending people to an ad in that spot.  I found one!  It isn’t perfect, but it did make a big difference.

The plugin is called nRelate Related Content, and it’s free!  You can use the plugin to serve ads, but I just have it set to use my own posts.

nRelate isn’t perfect.  Frankly, I’d like to find one with a bit more control over which of my posts are showed.  Sometimes I’m a control freak and would like to be able to select exactly which posts show below the content to make sure they are related and catchy.  Also, I’d like the plugin to show stats on which photos users clicked, how many clicks, etc.

As soon as I installed the plugin, I immediately saw a difference in the average visit duration, going from an average of 1:30 to 1:55.  Interestingly, the biggest gains I saw were among mobile users.  Before implementing this plugin, my mobile users spent an average of 15 seconds less time on the site than desktop users.  After implementing the plugin, my mobile users now spend an average of 1.5 seconds less time on the site.

Orange shows mobile user visit duration, and blue shows average visit duration.  This data comes from over 1.8 million visits, so you'll see it is pretty consistent week-to-week.
Orange shows mobile user visit duration, and blue shows average visit duration. This data comes from over 1.8 million visits, so you’ll see it is pretty consistent week-to-week.

That not only helps my SEO for mobile users, but it keeps my mobile users happy!

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