Most people with a website and most SEO’s spend so much time worrying about positions too many other things often get overlooked. In particular bounce rate is often seen as a problem for the Conversion Department but there’s no point bending over backwards getting all that traffic to your site if they bounce off after only view one or two pages. So how do you go about getting visitors to stay and not just leave your site as soon as they arrive? Read on for 4 simple tips which I feel are important in reducing bounce rate.
1. Make it relevant:
If you were shopping for a new pair of shoes and saw a nice looking shop which was called ‘Shoe Zone’, you would be pretty confident you were going to find shoes inside. So what happens when you go through the door and they are selling mobile phones? Chances are you would turn around and walk straight back out (and most probably never return).
The same is true with your website. Some developers are so keen on getting visitors to their site, they use a page title which may be appealing and may get them ranked highly in the SERPS but which in reality is only loosely related to the content on the site. The advice is simple. Keep the titles relevant. Don’t just keyword stuff titles and descriptions and hope that you will trick people into your site. If a site is relevant and well designed, the visitors will stay and most probably return.
2. Improve the load times:
There is too much competition out there. A visitor doesn’t or shouldn’t have to wait for a slow loading page. Studies have found that 33% of broadband users are unwilling to wait more than four seconds for a web page to load without feedback. This time was pushed up once a loading graphic was added but was still less than 10 seconds before the visitor got frustrated.
3. Keep it simple:
With the emergence of HTML 5 and the every growing popularity of jQuery, it is easy for a developer to try to make “The Ultimate User Interface”. Just like most good things, you should enjoy them in moderation. The everyday internet user will have a specific mental model and expectations of a website. For example they expect to see either a top or a left side navigation. The logo will be in the header on the left hand side and they will expect the content in a specific area. Once this expectation is not met, the user is left confused.
There are standard layouts for a reason, they have been tried and tested and have stood the test of time. It is not broke so there is no need to fix it. The same goes for your content.
4. Think as a visitor:
It is easy to keep your developers hat on and lose sense of the user’s mental model. Ask a friend or a family member to look over the site and point out anything they think is off putting. A fresh pair of eyes is always a great way to get feedback. The psychology of a visitor should never be under-estimated. There are subtle ways to ensure that the user is led to the content and encouraged to stay on page.
Did you know for example that if you use an image of a person looking towards the content, the visitor is more likely to look at it too? The theory is that you are more likely to look at something if someone else is looking at it. There are two main things people expect from a web page; the purpose of the site and some form of navigation.
It is pretty simple to define the purpose of the web page. If your site is about saving the environment, you would expect a clean layout, most probably using different shades of green and there would be relevant images supporting the purpose.
The above are just simple tips which may have been overlooked and if implemented, they could help reduce your bounce rate and make for a better visitor experience. You will able to see details of your bounce rate in your Dental Design monthly newsletter and view the trend over a 3 month period.