You’re attracting visitors to your website… great! Now you just need them to become customers. The longer you keep visitors on your page, the more likely they are to convert. Make sure you keep visitors interested as long as possible.
First, make sure you understand bounce rate. Your website’s bounce rate reflects the percentage of people who show up on a page, then leave without visiting any additional pages.
Your bounce rate is unique to your business, so there’s little use in asking “What’s a good bounce rate?” The real question is, are you getting the conversions you want? If not, look at your bounce rate. Make changes. Then check it again next month. A good bounce rate is one that decreases over time.
Eights Possible Reasons People are Leaving Your Site
1. The design doesn’t point them in the right direction.
The visitor can’t leave the page if it isn’t clear where to go. Are buttons well positioned and easy to read? Does the visitor’s eye naturally move across the content as you intend? A qualified designer who understands user behavior is invaluable in this regard. You will also want to test different designs if you haven’t already. Sometimes you don’t know what works until you try. We’ll talk about A/B testing in a moment…
2. The copy is hard to read.
Is your copy easy to read? This is really two questions. Can visitors physically read it (size, color, font choice)? Remember, odds are high that they’re reading it on a mobile device. See for yourself how your site looks on as many different devices as you can test.
Second, can the reader follow the language and syntax? Again, remember this user may be reading your copy on the go, in a crowded train or during the kids’ soccer game. If you’re presenting simple sales copy about a product, get to the point. Stick with somewhere around a third-grade reading level. You won’t insult your customer’s intelligence. You will make her life easier.
3. Your images are no good.
Images–photos, video, infographics–grab attention. People are increasingly accustomed to absorbing information visually. So make sure your images pull their weight. They should be appropriately sized so that they look attractive on the page and that the user can make out the details. Choose photos that look good. What does that mean? It will vary according to your audience. Whether they’re cute, surprising, breathtaking, or simply beautiful, images should evoke a response. Furthermore, they should support the story you’re telling with your site. A cute kitten won’t help you sell storm doors. (Well, it might, but you can do better.)
4. It’s a one-way conversation.
A website is not a billboard. Providing information is just the first step. Choose from the numerous possibilities that technology currently offers to engage with your visitors. You may simply invite comments on a post. Actually ask visitors for their opinions and give them a reason to comment. Embedding social media feeds on your site is another way to offer interaction.
If you want to go all in, put a game on your site. Make sure it somehow informs or entertains your visitor in a way that helps sell your product. For great examples of simple, informative games, look at some of Google’s Doodles.
5. You don’t actually know what visitors want.
This is where A/B testing comes in. You can test virtually any element of a site: placement of images, colors, fonts, calls to action, page layout, etc. Work with a qualified designer to figure it out. Always test apples to apples. For example, compare the same image but with two different placements on the page. You will have two identical pages (an “A” and a “B”) with just one difference. Track which one performs better. Then, test another element. Over time, you will know your audience better and better.
6. You haven’t convinced them of your expertise.
Don’t just say you’re the best in your business. Show the visitor. Prominently feature awards, endorsements, or certifications. Even if your business is relatively new, you bring expertise that customers rely on. If they don’t think you know what you’re doing, it only takes a click to go elsewhere.
7. What’s in it for them?
Some sites offer bonus content to users who take certain actions. Make sure that what you offer is truly meaningful to the user. Think about their interests and potential questions. These may be only tangentially related to your business. For example, if you sell hiking boots, you might provide a downloadable map of the best hiking trails in the customer’s area.
8. They run out of content.
This ties back to #1 on the list. A user can reach the end of the virtual road and have no place else to go. Make sure you give them plenty of “off ramps” they can follow to get questions answered as they arise. One way to do this is with internal linking. Hyperlink terms that require definitions or names of products. Any topic you introduce, which you expand on elsewhere on your site or blog, warrants a link. Keep these updated as your site grows.
Where Should You Start?
Review this list and ask yourself which two or three items sound like they describe your site. If you already have a good basic design and layout, you can start with small tweaks. If, however, you suspect you need an overhaul, especially if your site is several years old, call in a professional. When you’re able to keep visitors on your site longer, you will see the results in your bottom line.