Dec 1st, 2009 by Joel McLaughlin
Various traffic sources presume various reasons for why visitors might decide to leave your site. Site owners are often advised to design to keep deep-link followers interested enough through extra page views. A large raise in so-called deep dips was one of the huge discoveries in search engine optimization. This means users are reaching right in the heart of websites instead of getting to them via the homepage.
As far as SEO is concerned, the homepage is still vital, and you should continue to secure homepage usability for two major reasons. For one, the homepage is generally the single most visited page, since the deep entry points are spread out across a wide range of interior pages. Secondly, the homepage is the orienteering point for visitors who get through to the deep links and then choose to browse through the site further. The bounce rate is described as the percentage of visitors who leave at the entry page and right away get out of the site.
Ways to Increase Conversion Rates & Lower Bounce Rates
- Call to Action
- Quality Copy
- Button Look
- Button Text
- Button Location
- Only Relevant & Helpful Links
- Press Quotes
- Flow Through Process
- Keep Your Sales Message Simple
- Adding additional incentives (free shipping, free consultation, free products with purchase, etc)
- And more – Think Creatively
So why is minimizing the bounce rate essential? For one, the visitors will stick around the site for a longer time and secondly, conversion rates in general will be enhanced. What every site owner should be doing is to measure the bounce rate. You can install Google Analytics to manage your bounce rate. If 60 out of 100 visitors leave immediately without looking further in to your website, product or service, then your bounce rate is at 60 percent. A bounce rate below 40 percent is ideal, and can often times always be improved. While 50 to 65 percent is average. Anywhere over that should be immediately dealt with. In addition, what you want to accomplish via your site also indicates what is an ideal bounce rate for you. A high bounce rate is not necessarily a negative thing. For a search engine such as Google, 100 percent bounce rate may be alright.
Not only will high bounce rates possibly affect your rankings in a negative way, but it also means you’re missing out on conversions. After spending a lot of time and money to get a visitor on to your website, you need to make sure you are capitalizing on the interest. Ultimately, if you had a storefront and 6 out of 10 people walked in the door and left immediately, something major is wrong. What you need to do is know just how “bounce-worthy” your site is. You can do this with Google Analytics. When analyzing bounce rate on your site, remember that 50 percent is an average bounce rate so a page with a bounce rate below should be something positive. Their are a large number of websites that maintain bounce rates of 10% or lower as well. Bounce rates are often times brought on for a variety of reasons including low quality visitors (not coming to your website for the right reason), low quality website content or appeal, or else a lack of quality conversion mechanisms (price, presentation, etc). On the other hand, if you notice that your pages have bounce rates more than the 50 percent point, then you may want to do something to motivate users to go beyond the entry page and make more use of the site.
So how do we effectively deal with bounce rates? First, work on your layout and navigation. For instance, does the navigation and page layout match the rest of the site? Links should motivate navigation through the site. Your site should not have annoying distractions and instead have only key information. Website visitors will often times only give your website a split second to determine whether they feel they have come across the right resource. In addition, you should make your copy very simple to read for your users.
Generally, you should make your contact information visible on every page just in case a user has any inquiry involving your products, services or support. Implement information to increase trust such as Better Business Bureau information, testimonials, videos and more. You should also be able to present quality images. Moreover, you should ascertain that your site provides a search capability for larger websites in case the user cannot locate what they are searching for on the landing page.
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