What do you know about your bounce rate? Are you aware of what people do when they visit your site?
In Google Analytics, your bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits to your site. So, this is where someone lands on a specific page, then leaves your site without browsing further.
One thing to note: it is not about how much time people spend on your site.
In fact, a bounce rate need not be something negative. In some situations, where you have a specific single landing page, the bounce rate for this single page can prove to be a valuable measurement.
However, as a general benchmark, a high bounce rate shows that your site entrance pages are not enticing visitors to explore any further.
What should you be doing about this?
Is Your Website Turning Visitors Off?
Most of us have had experiences where we’ve visited somewhere, a restaurant or bar say, and immediately sensed that it wasn’t for us. At which point we’ve turned around and walked back out again.
This might be in spite of the external signs all indicating that it would be somewhere we’d like to visit.
The same can be true of your website. Visitors are landing on it and then leaving.
This means that those different pages you’ve got on your website, all the things you’ve put on them, are a wasted effort. No one’s even getting to the stage where they’re looking at them.
What is going wrong here?
First, is there a technical reason for your bounce rate? If your website is slow to load, then this is will cause people to give up and go elsewhere.
There are surveys of web users that show nearly half of them expect sites to load within two seconds or less. Any more time than this, and they will abandon the site and move on elsewhere.
Next, what about your website’s structure?
Does it flow naturally, so that if someone visits one page, they naturally lead onto another. Are the pages where people should expect to find them, clearly titled and labelled?
Many sites, over time, get added to. But if you’re not careful, this can make your site seem cluttered, and your message muddled.
Structuring Your Site with Content
Your site should have a purpose. It’s not simply a place to dump all the information about your business you can think of.
What do you want your visitors to do? Are you selling products online? Do you want them to contact you to find out more about your services?
Your website needs an objective to be effective, and your content should work to put this across.
Where do visitors go first? For many websites, the homepage is a visitor’s first encounter. This means the content must be spot-on. It must be clear what you’re about but, more importantly, how you can help them.
However, you may also be using a landing page to drive visitors your way with a specific, strategic aim in mind.
In either case, your content is crucial.
It must work to attract your target audience. It must be easy to read, with short sentences and plenty of headings.
For other site pages, such as your services, you must make sure the content is appropriate. If people are clicking on a services page, that must be what they see there.
Spelling and Grammar
Do not be seduced by the idea that modern, digital communication means that spelling and grammar no longer matter.
Poor quality content will turn visitors off in an instant. It makes any business look less than professional. Typos and other errors give an impression of carelessness.
Fair enough, not everyone is good with spelling and grammar. It this is the case with you then don’t attempt to wing it – get someone in who can help shape and check your content thoroughly.
Call to Action and Your Bounce Rate
Your visitors must be able to understand clearly what you’re telling them, but also what you want them to do next.
Without a call to action, you risk losing your website visitors.
All the elements of your site should be working together to maximise your chances of winning business.
This includes loading speed, site navigation, keyword optimisation, clarity and call to action.
Most of all: ensure you’ve got the content right. This is what will bind your site together, and can help reduce your bounce rate.
What are Words Worth to You?
Website content is not always easy to get right, but if you do get it right, it can make a massive difference to your online success.