Welcome back for our 26th podcast! This is the final podcast in our ‘cool stats for cool people’ series where we have been looking at all the stats and numbers you need to keep a handle on to improve the success of your website. Today we are looking at how to decrease bounce rate on your website.
First up though, what have Andrew and Heather learnt this week? Heather learnt through producing webinars during the week. She realized the lesson that probably whatever it is you are teaching others you are neglecting for yourself. Often we are so busy looking after our clients that our own things get put aside; remember to look in your own backyard and check that you are up to date!
Andrew learnt that there’s a third thing in life (apart from death and taxes) that is inevitable; that is social media platforms will be changing every week! For example, while on a radio show doing a soft launch for a LinkedIn product (LinkedIn Masterplan), he checked his LinkedIn account and found they had made changes again!
What do we mean by bounce rate? It is the percentage of visitors that hit a page and don’t visit any other pages on that site. Bounce rate is low if they stay on your page, but high if they click away quickly. If you have a bounce rate between 50% and 80% that’s very normal, below 50% is excellent but above 80%-85% is high and you need to be looking at what you can do to change this.
So why might you have a high bounce rate? The first reason is that perhaps you are attracting the wrong visitors to your site. This means that for whatever reason they found your site but the information there didn’t speak to them.
Secondly, you might be attracting exactly the right people to your site but they are finding what they want very quickly. An example would be someone who is Googling for a restaurant phone number and finds it right away on your page when they land on it.
So how can you decrease bounce rate? Here are some steps;
- You must have easy to read content! That means not squashing content together, using multiple confusing fonts or fonts that are too small. Remember to cater for mobile traffic too!
- You need clean navigation! This means having buttons and menu items that are very clear and precise. People should understand exactly what it is they are clicking on. Remember to do this for your footer menu as well. Make sure that people understand what your site is about when they land on it, for example ‘news on …’ or ‘giveaways for…’.
- Make it obvious right away what it is you do and what you can offer. If people don’t understand this quickly they will click away. Remember ‘what’s in it for me?’
- Keep distractions to a minimum. That means not overdoing animations or brightly coloured graphics. Everything on your site should be leading people toward what they should do next. Think about this with regard to autoplay videos too. If people are browsing in a place where they don’t want loud noises suddenly coming from their computer, they will click on that ‘x’ button fast! At the same time, use pop-ups sparingly and utilize the tools available which allow you to control when they come up. Always think about whether the tool you are using is helping people get through your site or distracting them.
- Use responsive design. What do we mean? This means that your website displays a different design based on the device a person is using to browse. For example, a mobile version of your site will have bigger buttons to navigate. To achieve this you can use various responsive themes if you are a WordPress user, or if not, you can find a good coder and ask them to help you out.
- Have a well-designed website. A few years ago ‘ugly’ sites could still work but today people are expecting more streamlined sites with good-looking design. Remember that ideally you want a strategist or marketer working with a designer for your site to ensure that it is optimized.
- Speed! Remember that the more add-ons you have on your site, the slower it may load for people. Now that we are used to faster internet, people may leave if your site doesn’t load fast enough! There are tools you can use to test the speed of your site – if you check on Google or YouTube there are a number of resources there.
- Make sure you have the external links in your site open in new windows! You want your site to stay open rather than people clicking away to a different site when they click on your link.
- Split up long content into chunks. People are often put off by huge pages of written content, you can manage this by breaking up your content with headlines, bullet points and graphics throughout. There’s a tool you can use called ‘Heatmap’ which you can use as a free trial to see where people are clicking on your site. It’s an overlay that will show you the ‘heat’ or most popular areas of your site. You can find this at http://crazyegg.com.
If you want to re-look at this series from the start, go back to our podcast #19 and go from there.
We’ll be back with further podcasts! Stay tuned to this site, itunes, Podomatic or Soundcloud for more!
Got questions or comments? We’d love to hear from you! Please comment below…
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