Even though search marketing is for ever changing, there’s always one thing that has – and will – stay the same. Bounce rates.
Bounce rates can be one of the most frustrating parts of SEO and one of the things that a number of businesses desperately try and lower when online marketing.
The bounce rate for your site is a fantastic piece of data. If somebody visits one page on your site then leaves, that counts as a bounce.
They didn’t stay and look around your site, which also means they probably didn’t make a purchase.
They didn’t like what they saw.
The higher a bounce rate, the more it shows that your visitors are finding you and leaving you. A lower bounce rate indicates that people are engaging with your site and are enjoying what you offer.
The downsides of traffic
Think of a bad bounce rate as walking into a shop and walking straight out again seconds later.
But the problem of lowering bounce rates can be an incredibly tricky one to solve. I’ve talked to companies and bloggers that have very high bounce rates, but also have some incredible quality on their sites.
One blog owner I was talking to, for instance, was creating fantastic stories which saw a large boost in traffic.
The problem for him, though, was that all of the traffic was going to his individual blog posts when posted socially. Lots of people were visiting his posts and leaving the site with an incredibly high bounce rate.
The content strategy was top-notch, but wasn’t being complemented by other areas of the site.
Did you have high bounce rates and concocted a strategy to lower them? What measures di you implement? Let me know in the comments section below.
What’s the solution?
In this particular example the content was very well written and thought-provoking, with a solid audience slowly being built up over time.
The blog was on the website of a small online retailer. Conversions were low, bounce rates were high, and traffic wasn’t coming in.
Something didn’t add up.
Further inspection showed that the site was using content marketing as one of its only marketing strategies and hadn’t built the site with success in mind.
There were no calls to action leading to other areas of the site. There was little information on the actual stories themselves relating to what the site was and did… The strategy focused on the story itself and nothing more.
The danger of a single strategy
In actuality there were two problems. First was that the site had no clear incentives for visitors to visit other pages. The second was that the site owners were relying too much on a single strategy, and had veered from their original plan because they were seeing a rise in traffic.
I’ve said it before and I’m compelled to keep hammering the point home: view your online marketing strategy as a whole, and as part of your wider business strategy.
Don’t do things for the sake of it. Plan your website and how it fits into your business strategy from the very start to get the best results and to make it profitable.
Is there any point of having a website if it isn’t working for you and generating leads and revenue? Concentrating on one single strategy and hoping for the best isn’t the best way to make your brand work for you online.
What incentives do you use on your site to encourage people to stick with you and use your services? Let me know below!
Reducing your bounce rate
The best way to reduce bounce rates is to give people a good incentive to click through to other areas of your site. The best way to do that is with good web design, to help improve the flow of your website.
Discounts and offers
Bed specialist Dreams had a sale on last weekend and wanted to direct as many visitors as possible to the offers they had selected.
They did this with prominent calls to action throughout the site because Dreams understand that everybody loves a bargain. Having such visible CTAs will ensure lots of click-throughs and a lower bounce rate.
Vouchers and coupons
In a similar vein well-designed calls to action and prominent links leading visitors to vouchers and coupons can help snare traffic to become long-term shoppers, whilst again reducing bounce rates.
Giving people the incentive to save money on purchases can encourage them to click through to not only the areas of the site with the vouchers on them, but product pages where the coupons are valid, to help them create a wishlist.
This is something John Lewis do quite well. Having a quick browse of their site, you’ll see small calls to action showing the benefits of using their site instead of other brands.
‘Free returns’ is a great incentive and encourages people to click before making a purchase, to see what rights John Lewis offer before making a commitment.
Links to other content
If you’re writing about something on your site that you’ve glossed over before then link to those other relevant pieces to hammer your point home.
If you have other blogs with images in them then create calls to action that underline the visual aspects of these blogs to encourage people to click through and explore the rest of your content.
Use analytics wisely
Google Analytics gives you a great overview of visitors’ journeys on your website and the flow of traffic. Pay close attention to it – are people leaving your website more on certain pages?
Analyse these journeys carefully and use the data available to you to improve your website for the better and direct those people to other areas of your site that they may find useful. And don’t forget to incentivise your calls to action to encourage them to explore further.
If you’d like to learn more about how good web design can improve conversions on your site and increase revenue contact the Webpresence team today!