OK, I've put my navigation on the left near the top of the page. It includes not only the home page but links to several related pages (different for each subsection). I've added a search with the navigation on each page.
I've redone my articles so that the first paragraph will draw the reader in. I've shortened my paragraphs and put subheadings in logical places throughout the articles. I've switched to a more readable font and the font is a good size for reading.
I've reduced the width of the text so that the lines aren't too wide on large screens.
But I'm seeing no difference in length of time people stay on my site. What am I missing?
Strangely I am getting more visitors than ever. I wonder if there is a relationship between doing well in the search engines and getting more 'nibblers' who just pop in take a quick look then go back to the search page and move on.
I've read just recently that Google are indexing according to website structure, as far as how a site is structured for usability and accessibility. You will find your getting more visits but it's up to your users to decide what they want and don't want. The good thing is the more people that see your site the more the word will start to spread about it. Another good way of getting people's attention is give something for free, whether that be information or a gift, whatever, it will peak their interest. The word FREE is a powerful motivator.
Annej, have your usability changes also increased your SE rankings? Perhaps you are now being highly ranked for some terms you had never been ranked for before (and have no interest in being ranked for)... could be that new demographics are getting to your site for the wrong reasons, which would explain both the increase in traffic and the short sticky time.
No significant difference. Ithink there are just too many other factors. I'm adding content all along. Then there are more people on the web all the time searching for things.
I guess I'll just have to be satisfied that I've made the site more usable for my visitors.
One thing that has been very interesting is to see what people search for through my site search. I am using that to help me decide what sorts of articles to write in the future. That is a new tool I didn't have before I added a site search to increase usability.