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Five easy ways to decrease your site’s bounce rate

You have a website – and the statistics look good.

At first glance.

As you delve into the pile of numbers that are part and parcel of any website’s statistics, you may find that although people are coming to your site, they are not staying very long – at all.

If this is the case, your site has a bounce rate problem.

For the novice, the bounce rate is the number (usually a percentage) of your site visitors that leave your site immediately after arriving. Now, there could be any number of reasons for this however none of them are good for your business. The aim of any good website is to retain visitors and make them into loyal customers – they should want to stay on your site but when they do leave, you know that they will come back.

Below are five (fairly) quick fixes to help you get that bounce rate down.

Fix #1 – Reduce the amount of time it takes to load your site

If your site is heavily loaded with content, it can take some time to load on a visitor’s computer/mobile. Add to that all the bangs and whistles that make a site look “pretty” and you risk losing them before they even see the content! A general rule of thumb is that the majority of information on your webpage should be loaded within five seconds (this used to be ten in the “old” days”).

Fix #2 – Make your Navigation Menu user friendly

Websites with only a few pages have this one already sorted – their menus are generally uncluttered and users can find what they want fairly easily. But what if your site has dozens of pages to sift through? Website visitors can easily be put off by a menu system that has too many options.

The solution is quite simple – group your pages into common categories and create a base menu using these. Then, with the help of a pop-out menu, you can then add all the other pages underneath.

If your site does have a lot of pages, be sure to include a site map in your footer because some visitors may head  straight for this.

Fix #3 – Ensure that your Call to Action is highly visible

Your Call to Action (CTA) is all important to your website. If the site doesn’t have a clear CTA, why is it online in the first place? Your visitors need to be able to find this with no trouble at all – if anything, it should be one of the most predominant items on any page – as easy to find as your logo!

If a site visitor can’t find a way to interact with or purchase from you, they’ll go somewhere else and up goes your Bounce Rate!

Fix #4 – Check that your site is mobile responsive

If your site is over five years old, chances are that it may not be mobile responsive. This means that your website appears exactly the same on a mobile or tablet as it does on a full sized computer. In turn, this makes your content too hard to see without zooming in – something that mobile users hate to do when browsing the web.

Never fear, this doesn’t always mean that a whole site rebuild is required. There a number of options available in most cases – just contact your website developer for more information (or get in touch with us).

Fix #5 – Tidy up that old, messy website

Whenever I start a new design for a client, I always take the time and cruise the internet looking at other websites in the same industry – just to see what is out there. Sometimes, I am astounded by the poor quality presented as professional websites. Some sites look like they have been there since the 90’s!

If your website does not convey your business brand as professional and “can do”, then it is unlikely to grab any potential customers, just on its appearance. Upgrade your site design and watch for the difference in response. If you look like you know what you doing, you are halfway to getting that client on-board.

 Finally, according to statistics, you only have 50 milliseconds (that’s five hundredths of a second) to make a good impression with your website.  And as everyone knows, a good first impression can last a lifetime.

Take look at your site with fresh eyes (better yet – get someone else with fresh eyes) and have a look at the repairs suggested here.

Does your bounce rate need a bit of a fixer-upper?

Is your small business website becoming a DINOSAUR?

The internet is getting older (29 years old now!) and accordingly, some of the sites online are starting to show their age.

As I have blogged in previous posts, the look of your site (and how it works) can often determine whether a site visitor converts into a customer. It’s time to take a good hard at your site and determine whether it needs a makeover!

Can you maintain your own site?

Fresh content on your site is still the king when it comes to engaging your customers if not attracting the attention of Google (not quite as important as it used to be). To allow easy updating and contributions to your site, do you have a CMS (content management system) installed? Joomla and WordPress are two of the most popular options at the moment allowing site managers to add information and expand their sites without involving a web designer/programmer. If you can’t do this to your own site, maybe it is time for an upgrade.

Does Your Site Still Work?

Some site owners may not even know the answer to this question because their websites have been neglected for so long. Jump online, load up your site on your favourite browser and pretend to be a customer for a while. Do all the navigation links still function? Is the site content relevant to today’s target market? Can you purchase items successfully via your online store? Haven’t been getting much business via your site? This might be the reason!

Do You Have a Frankensite?

If a site has been online for several years and you (and your employees) have continued to add content/imagery/pages to it, the site may have become what is known a Frankensite. A Frankensite is a website that has lost its direction and now looks like a freakshow of links, scattered text, and irrelevant images. The pages have plenty of information to sift through but no real goal or call to action. Site visitors may even get a little lost in there. It’s time to sort out the garbage with an online purge or maybe a full re-design.

Got a Flash website?

Are parts of your old site utilising Flash? You have probably already noticed this but chances are your site is no longer visible on many people’s smart phones. Apple and Android do not natively support Flash (Apple never did) and, as a result, if your site is written is coded in Flash, visitors won’t see a thing. If only small components of the site are, those won’t appear either. With the advent of CSS3, PHP and HTML3, Flash is a dinosaur that is fast becoming extinct.

Is Your Site Social?

No need to explain the benefits of Social Media here but if your site does not incorporate feeds from your Social Media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc), then you are not utilising your site to its maximum benefit. With modern day CMS’, you can quite easily add the platforms into your website and drag customers through that online door. In addition to attracting potential customers, every time you update your Social Media with a post or tweet, your site will automatically display that as fresh content.

If you own or manage a site, take the time to divert from your day-to-day business and log onto your website. Considering the points above, check what you have online and see if work needs to be done to enable your website to become the effective marketing tool it should be.

Five Key Components for an Effective Online Marketing Plan.

For any small business to be successful in our modern online-orientated world, it is vitally important to have a strong presence on the internet and an effective online marketing plan is the key component to developing and nurturing this presence.

Without an online strategy in place, any attempts to capture an online audience for your business could be “hit and miss” – potentially making your business invisible to the target audience you are trying to attract.

Here’s five key components that need to be part of your online marketing plan:

Email Strategy

Create a strategy to send out regular emails to your customers and other followers, informing them of your products and services. A small newsletter an easy approach and with a time management, shouldn’t take a long time to produce.

Setting up an email capture on your website to “harvest” email addresses is amazingly easy to do and, with Mailchimp integration, it’s a great way to build your subscription list with little effort. You can offer something in return (i.e. PDF of tips, discount coupon) or the simple offer of your monthly newsletter might be enticing enough.

Social Media

Choose the social media platforms that your target audience is likely to be using and try to post to each platform at least once every two days. Use a variety of posts to peak people’s interest – images, quotes, stories, discount offers, etc. Try to shake things up occasionally, so that your content doesn’t appear static with the same type of posts and your audience doesn’t get bored.

Blog Posts

A Blog, like this one, is a great way to provide your followers with helpful information while demonstrating your experience in your industry.

Try to stay below 600 words in your posts and keep it relevant – think about the items that your audience would like to read and what they need to know about you and your products/services. With every post, let them know how you can help them.

Promote each blog post on your social media.

Online Advertising

If your marketing budget allows, sign up for a Google AdWords account to promote your business in both Google search listings and various advertisements that display around the internet and social media.

Advertising on Social Media, especially Facebook and Instagram, is also a powerful marketing tool and can be set up in minutes using the Facebook Ad Manager. The process uses a simple wizard to determine what you want to advertise, how you want to do it and what target audience you are aiming at (and where they are located).

Content Calendar

To ensure that you are consistent with marketing to all the items above, create a one-page content calendar. For you, this might be weekly or monthly but whatever you choose, make sure that you do something towards one of the above every-single-day.

Using a content calendar is all about planning your time effectively so it shouldn’t be an onerous task and take you away for very long from your everyday business.

If you use a weekly plan (like I do), you can use your weekend to lay out all the components for the week. That way, you can schedule your marketing items to deploy automatically throughout the week – leaving you free to concentrate on the multitude of tasks that small business owners must do every day.

The essential elements of a mobile friendly website.

There are literally dozens of reasons why businesses must have mobile-friendly websites. 

Mobile internet usage has skyrocketed over the past four years – 53% of all internet usage is through mobile devices. Consumers are using phones and tablets more than ever to review businesses, research facts, book accommodation and, most importantly, purchase goods and services.

And the only direction for this trend up.

What this means for the average small business owner is that if your website is not built with mobile usage from the ground up, you will be losing out on a large proportion of your potential customer base.

Here’s five essential elements that all websites should have to be effectively “mobile friendly”:

Responsive Website Design.

A mobile responsive website changes automatically when it is viewed on various screen sizes like phones, tablets, and desktop computers. Images reduce or enlarge to suit their best viewing size; menus change so they can be clicked either with a mouse or finger and the site’s text adapts to a suitable screen readability.

There’s no need any more to create two different versions of the same site – a good developer will able to code and create your site so that it performs all the above actions quickly and efficiently without slowing down performance or loading times.

Simple, Easy to Read content (quickly)

Even though mobile usage of the internet has overtaken desktop usage, it is important to realise that mobile users are less likely to spend time on your website. Mobile consumers want to access information quickly and purchase your products/services without any delays in the process.

Whoever your site is targeting, make sure that content is tight and to the point, without “fluff” information. Users should be able to scan a page quickly for the information they want and purchase from an online store with a minimum of clicks/taps.

An accessible Call to Action (CTA)

As with any site, an effective mobile-friendly website must have a clear “Call to Action” (CTA) on each page where the site visitor is invited to interact with the business. A CTA can take many forms – it could be an enquiry form, a booking button, or a chat box – whatever you need to engage with potential customers.

Importantly, the CTA must be accessible on all devices whether it is tapped with a finger or clicked with a mouse. If it is too small (or too large), it becomes harder for the site visitor to access and they may give up or ignore it – losing you their business in the process.

Click to Call Functionality.

The primary device used to access mobile internet is a smartphone so ensure that every phone number listed on your website has click to call functionality. This means that the phone number is tappable and, with the tap of a finger, automatically “dials” that number.

This is quite simple to implement. Just like adding a link to a piece of text or a phone, select a phone number in your content, select the LINK button and add the phone number with the prefix tel:

For example, as a link, our phone number would be tel:0488406050

Google Maps

If you want your customers to find your physical place of business, be sure to embed a Google Map on your mobile friendly website for directions.

Using the code supplied by Google, your embedded map is automatically tappable with zoom functions and include the option for directions to your place of business.

If your site lacks the features to make it truly mobile friendly, please get in touch with Tropical Coast Web Design for a no-obligation chat and a free quote. We’ll take a look at your current website and let you know exactly how we can help you to ensure that mobile visitors find your site and use it effectively. We are also specialists at building custom designed mobile friendly sites from the ground up with a mobile-first approach to development.

Tropical Coast Web Design