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Five Home Page “Tricks” to lower your Bounce Rate.

Information Overload = High Bounce Rate = Poor Website Performance

Five "Tricks" to lower your Bounce Rate.In numerous blogs, books and forums, small business owners are told from the very beginnings of their online forays that content marketing is a must for a successful website. Any solid marketing advice will say “You must create FAQs, blog posts, videos, podcasts, Facebook feeds, how-to sheets, free e-books, Tweets and Pins for your site to REALLY connect with your target audience.” This is good advice, after all, Google loves fresh content and so do those visitors who return to your site.

But there is inherent danger with all this information – having been told to create it, some website owners get carried away. And, unfortunately, your website visitors may not appreciate this content as much as you do – especially if it is displayed to them all at once.

By this I mean, displaying it all on the very first page of a website – also known as the landing page.

If you overwhelm your visitors as soon as they arrive on your site, you may find that this overload of information result in a “Bounce Rate”*. 

The key to solving this problem is to remember this simple point at all times: your site visitors have arrived at your site seeking only one of two things, information and engagement. Think back to any site that you have ever visited – you have sought out those sites out to either find out more about the business and their services/products or, engage them in further conversation (which can take many forms) to potentially make a purchase.

So how do we avoid information overload on key pages of your website?

Try to keep information in line with the five basics of a good home page:

1. A catching headline that includes your keywords.

If you are a plumber in Innisfail, use a title liked “Professional Plumbing Services – Innisfail.” Keep Google happy by staying under its preferred title length which is 70 characters.

2. A solid sub headline paragraph (or two) that briefly describes who you are and what you do.

Visitors love a story so you could also talk about what you can do for them but don’t get use jargon, remember to apply the K.I.S.S.* principle here.

3. Display your immediate contact information in the top right hand corner of the page.

If you want people to ring you, show the phone number in a large font. If you prefer emails, show the email address. Remember to keep it all mobile friendly by ensuring that both of these can be clicked/tapped.

4. Make your Call to Action very clear.

In most cases, this is what you prospective customers will be looking for so make it STAND OUT! Don’t make customers search for your latest deals or booking forms, make them so obvious that a blind person could find them.

5. Everyone loves a good slideshow (that’s why every site these days has one).

But don’t just use it to display pretty pictures – make it part of your marketing plan. Make it part of your HOOK* to immediately engage your visitors.

Get those things right on the front page and everything else is superfluous – put the extra information on other pages. Use your navigation effectively and your visitors can find it if they want to dig further.

With the advent of Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, there is the ability to create a multitude of cascading pages for your website so there is no excuse for not using this to your advantage.

Keep the front page of your small business site clean and simple using the five items above and monitor your Google Analytics. Done effectively, you will watch that bounce rate drop away as your prospective customers come and, most importantly, stay.

* the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

* K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid

* a hook, which is a short phrase or jingle designed to entice a customer to purchase a product or sign up for a service.

Five Key Signs that your Website might just need a Redesign.

This year, the humble website as we know it turns 27 years old.

Since scientist Tim Burners-Leigh created the first ever webpage in 1990 (that’s it on the right), billions of pages have been added to the World Wide Web that we now call the Internet. Dominated by hobbyists at first, small businesses were slow to catch on to the benefits of the online world however it is now seen as an absolute necessity.

Incredibly, some of those original pages still exist but it is no longer acceptable to set up a website and then forget about it. Your internet-savvy customers demand more. If your website is more than three years old, it is definitely time to take a good look at it, compare it against your competitors and determine whether it is working for or against your business. If your site is not performing, here’s some key pointers that indicate that your site might just need a redesign.

1. It looks like it belongs in the 90’s

In the early 90’s, internet speeds were very slow and websites combatted this by keeping imagery to a minimum and displaying loads of text. There wasn’t much to look at but consumers had no choice (and at this early stage of the internet, they didn’t know any better).
Fast forward to 2017 and your site visitors expect so much more – they want eye-catching designs, easy to use functionality and, most of all, access to YOU as a business – all at the touch of their fingers. If your website doesn’t satisfy these basic requirements from your online customers – you might just need a redesign.

2. You can’t update it yourself

For this point, if you don’t already know, you may need to get in touch with the original developer of your site and see what Content Management System they have used to build your site upon. If they respond that it doesn’t have one and it’s not possible to update information yourself – you might just need a redesign.

3. Load Time is really ssssllllloooowwww

Head on over to GT Metrix and type your website address into the box provided. This handy online tool will not only give you a speed rating but will also give you a list of all the items that are slowing your site down. And with PageSpeed being an integral part of the Google ranking system, you really need a site that is getting an “A” grade in relation to speed.

If your site speed is “flunking” Google AND the patience of your potential customers – you might just need a redesign.

4. Your Bounce Rate is too high

Every website owner or manager needs to be constantly monitoring their site’s data and analytics. Either through Google Analytics or AwStats on the server, be sure to regularly check the statistic known as “bounce rate”. This statistic shows how fast customers arrive and leave your site, leaving details of how long they stayed and what they looked at.

Ideally, you want to see that site visitors have stayed long enough to find what they were looking for. If the Bounce Rate is too high (meaning they left fairly quickly), your call to action may not be strong enough to make them want to stay. If customers are staying less than 10 seconds on any particular page, you might just need a redesign.

5. It’s not making any difference to your “bottom line”.

At the end of the day, the whole purpose of your website is to provide a boost to the financial bottom line of your business. It may achieve this via online sales, reliable after-sales support or simply the establishment of your business as an expert in its field. Regardless of how it is working, your business should be benefitting from your website and you should be able to measure this in either profit or customer numbers.

If your site is simply trudging along and not really providing any tangible benefits to your small business, you might just need a redesign.

If your website fails to satisfy any of the key points above and you really want to turn that around, get in touch with Rusty Mango Design. We’ll create a brand-new site that is attractive, responsive to all screens and useful to your customers – a website that will be a proud part of your business.

Google Analytics – Bounce back from a high bounce rate!

Bounce back from a high bounce rate!Anyone who has explored the Google Analytics data for their own websites (if you haven’t, get in touch today!) will know that a major metric shown is the bounce rate for the website. The term “bounce rate” may not mean very much to most people but it is vitally important to the success or failure of many websites.

The bounce-rate gives a percentage of those people who left a given page (generally the front page) on a website without viewing any other pages – i.e. they didn’t explore any further. It is totally different to another Analytics metric, exit rates, which tells the number of people who left from a particular page.

In most cases (not all), a high bounce-rate means that your site and its content are not doing the job properly. The information and the way it is displayed is not enticing site visitors to stick around and find out more about your business. A high bounce-rate is not good *.

Fortunately, there are a whole range of measures and tactics that the site owner and their website developer can deploy to reduce the bounce-rate and improve the effectiveness of a site.

#1 – Ensure that the first page loads quickly.

To do this, optimise all images on the page, right down to the minimum possible. Your web designer must use clean code and a caching plugin will be beneficial if you are using WordPress. Most importantly of all, be sure that your site is housed on a fast server (ask your business contacts for recommendations here).

#2 – Use a prominent Call To Action (CTA)

Your site visitor needs to find the CTA within a few seconds of arriving at the site. This means, if you are an online store, the SHOP NOW needs to stand out from the remainder of content on the page. If your site makes the visitor search for what to do next, you’ve lost them.

#3 – Get the Hook in

They’ve come to your site for a reason now entice them to stay. Offer value on that very first page and you’ll get the “hook” in. Think about what they want to see?  For ideas on what you could do for your site, check out the front page of BCF’s website – it has Instagram pictures, video clips, bargains in the store among various other items. In my opinion, BCF has a few too many on their front page but a couple on yours would work a treat!

#4 – Avoid Distractions

Link-baiting from other sites (these are commercial ads/articles with catching headlines that lead off-site) and pop-ups are a real turn-off for most site visitors. We’ve seen them all on other sites so why do we want to see more of them when we come to your site? Don’t use content that will distract from the real purpose of visiting your website – making connections and selling products.

#5 – Get an attractive, eye-catching site design from the word GO!

Do this step right from the beginning and you won’t have to redesign later on to fix a dodgy site. Be sure to choose a web designer that has created sites that will appeal to your industry. Ask them if they know about heat maps (these track visitors use of a page) and how to create sites that draw the visitor’s attention to the more desirable parts of the page. A good designer will make everything else so much easier.

By making a visit to the front page of your site worthwhile using the the above tips, you will dramatically improve the number of visitors who stay on-site and explore a bit further. Be sure to track the success of your changes through Google Analytics – you can watch as the bounce-rate begins to fall and your conversion rates begin to rise.

 

* Please note: While vitally important for multi-page sites, the bounce-rate is not an important measure for one-page websites and sites that have all the necessary details for customer conversion on the front page.

Tropical Coast Web Design