Pull Up A Chair: How To Get Author Website Visitors To Stay Awhile | Web Design Relief

by | Author Website Design, Design Tips & Tricks | 1 comment

Since your author website functions as the hub of your marketing activity, it’s important to focus on branding, design, SEO, and content to improve the website’s visibility and discoverability. Yet, Web Design Relief knows the average bounce rate for an author website is about 56%. That means more than half the visitors who check out your landing page are likely to leave quickly, never getting deep enough into the website to see all you have to offer. So what can you do to get more visitors to stay longer?

How To Ensure Visitors Spend More Time On Your Author Website

Remove Barriers To Frustration

The world is fast-paced and full of distractions, so the smallest irritations can cause a potential visitor to leave. The first step to improving bounce rate is to remove the following common impediments in website design:

  • Auto-activated videos, music, and especially ads
  • Cluttered, chaotic design or excessively minimalist design that causes confusion in navigation
  • Non-mobile responsiveness. Mobile web browsing became more common than desktop browsing in 2016
  • Hard-to-read fonts or text colors that don’t pop against the background
  • A lack of bold headers that clearly identify the author website
  • Big blocks of indigestible text, or multiple blocks of text—the landing page shouldn’t be an info dump!
  • A lack of an enticing call-to-action

Offer Gifts

You may have several goals for your website: build a mailing list, increase the audience for your blog, grow your social media following, and sell your next book. But presenting visitors with a hard sell right on the landing page is a sure way to increase bounce rates.

Draw visitors deeper into your website by offering them, in a clear call to action, something they might want, such as:

  • An exclusive cover reveal for your next book
  • An exclusive first chapter of an upcoming book
  • Gossipy news about a future project
  • An invitation to a contest offering free backlist books or other reader-related gifts
  • A free book for anyone who joins your newsletter or blog subscription list
  • An invitation to peek “behind the scenes” by directing visitors to your blog, bio, or a specific book page

Make An Emotional Connection

Now that you’ve shown generosity to your guests, your job as a writer is to tell them a story that makes an emotional connection. There are many ways you can craft the visuals and text on your website so that potential fans feel like they’re really getting to know you:

  • Add casual, slice-of-life photos to your “About The Author” page to give potential fans a glimpse into what you love and what is important to you
  • Make eye contact: Make sure your author photo looks straight out at the reader
  • Craft your bio like a personal essay, using storytelling techniques to draw the reader into your world
  • Speak to the reader directly with a “Dear Reader” letter on the landing page, news & events page, and/or the contact page
  • Use your blog to open up honestly to your blog subscribers, offering them a glimpse of the person behind the books (without “TMI”!)

Encouraging visitors to navigate through the pages of your website is a great way to turn guests into fans. To lure them back, make sure to follow up with those who sign up for your newsletter with a drip email campaign, and send notices out to those who subscribe to your blog whenever you have a new posting.


Question: What is the primary reason you go to an author website? Read the latest blog article? Get a list of books? See what’s new? Learn more about the author?

1 Comment

  1. Alifah

    I would add, “keep your words, or summary of words short.” I love reading, but I don’t like reading a lot of print on a computer or phone screen.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.




If you need help nailing your brand, you’ve come to the right place. The designers know what questions to ask, what imagery translates best to the screen, and how to make your original idea come to life on your webpage. Conventional or quirky, your idea is in good hands with the Web Design Relief team.

—Darlene Eliot, Writer
Read more reviews!

Working with the Web Design Relief team was a total pleasure. They made the process easy, in-depth, professional, and lyrical. I wanted a site that leaned toward the bohemian and yet held an edge of minimalist sophistication. I couldn’t be happier with my very inviting and creative site! We should win awards with this one!

—King Grossman, Writer
Read more reviews!

I cannot possibly detail how professional and helpful Web Design Relief has been in helping me launch my collection of short stories—there are just too many things they have done! They’ve been there for me all along the way, guiding me in developing my book and into the 21st century of web design and social media platforms. It could have been a bewildering journey; Instead it was one that was organized and so pleasant. Truly, Web Design Relief has blown me away by what they have created. The first time I watched my book trailer (who knew there were book trailers?), I cried. That team perfectly imaged what my book is about. I want to thank the whole team for their skill and creativity. I appreciate it so much.

—Cyndy Muscatel, Writer
Read more reviews!

I’m pleased with the look of my website. The team at Web Design Relief listened to my suggestions and added a few of their own to make my website look exactly how I envisioned it. I would definitely recommend using Web Design Relief if you are looking to create a website.

—Marion Hill, Writer
Read more reviews!

Sign up to receive our FREE four-part series, The Writer’s Essential Guide To Reputation-Building In A Digital World—the ultimate resource for building your online author platform.
YES! Send Me My FREE Guide!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This