As a website designer, you may not come in contact with the audience, and the two of you might not get a chance to interact. However, you can always make your design do the talking. For instance, through your design, you can tell the audience if something’s clickable. All you need to do is to make the links and buttons stand out by marking them with a distinctive colour. This way you can point them in the right direction. Talking of directions, your design layout has to be consistent. If it’s not, it may make the audience feel lost, virtually forcing them to leave early.
Consistency is also important because website design has its own limitations. Like, you can’t change the layout too often, as in you can, but should not. The point is that it’s better to maintain consistency and use common patterns throughout the design. Moving on, there’s another way to ensure that the design goes well with the audience. What you can do is to make the text more readable. If the text is too small or the colour you use for it isn’t much different than the one used for the background, you may have a hard time making the audience stay.
That being said, if you really want the audience to spend some more time then be a storyteller. That is what all good website designers do. Start with a catchy headline. Once you have the audience’s attention, you can take them through the rest of the site. And just like a good storyteller would, break whatever you have to say or show into parts. Make sure though that these are all well-connected and more importantly, interesting. While you are at it, you may want to use tabs and sliders to keep the audience engaged.