Understanding your bounce rate is critical to the overall success of your website. Basically, your bounce rate is the number of visits to your website home page without proceeding any deeper into your site. In these times when online attention spans are fleeting at best, lowering your bounce rate truly is the most important factor that directly affects your conversion rate.
The reason your traffic is making a mad dash for somewhere else after hitting your landing pages is because what you have there simply has no value or relevance to them. If your bounce rates are exceeding 35%, you had best be worried and prepared to do something about it. If your bounce rate rises above 50%, your situation has become dire as in your business may be on its way out.
- First off, you need to take a long and hard look at your keywords and the marketing channels you are using, especially the social media platforms. There are sites that are barely sending any traffic your way and they are leaving as soon as they get there. This should be a hint that what you are selling has no relevance to those marketing channels. You may be trying to cast too wide a net. Revisit your keywords and your marketing channels and refine both your message and your outlets.
- One of the landing page mistakes that too many businesses are making is that there are no clear calls to action anywhere to be found. They must be there, they must be prominent and they must be relevant to your traffic. It is all about trusting your brand for the visitor. You promised them something and so they clicked over to your home page or product landing page. If you don’t satisfy them, if you don’t keep your word, they are gone in the blink of an eye.
- Simplify your landing pages. Give them the information quickly and without any proverbial bells and whistles. Give them the meat of your offer, have your calls to action and then lead them by the hand all the way to the conversion. Cover everything you can in a crisp and to the point digest form. Again, remember the tiny attention spans these days.
- The landing page, too, must be optimized for speed and functionality. If it is taking more than three seconds to load, they are gone. If the design has their eyes moving everywhere on the page unable to focus, they are gone. If it is too busy with ads and text, they are gone. If navigation is a nightmare, they are gone. You must keep it simple and informative or they are, alas, gone.
- As your traffic moves through your landing page, also offer them opportunities to explore the rest of your site. There may be things of interest and relevance to them there. Taking an adapted page from the casino business model; the longer they stay, the more likely they will by. Finally, your analytics and your data is the very lifeblood of your online business. It is how you determine what is working and what is not. It is how you build your future. As Sherlock Holmes once remarked: “Data, data, data. I can’t make bricks without clay.”
-Written by Kevin Sawyer