Decreasing Bounce Rate – Tips for Writing Effective Web Headlines

Decreasing Bounce Rate – Tips for Writing Effective Web Headlines
12 May 2011 | | Internet, Search Engine Optimisation

What does Bounce rate mean? A websites bounce rate is the percentage of people or visitors that leave your website or landing page after only looking at the first page that is displayed, i.e. there is no further interaction from the user. A high bounce rate indicates that the page that they have landed on is not relevant or undesirable for the visitor. The more precise and compelling your landing page, the more users will wish to stay on you site and convert.

The following article highlights a range of methods that anyone can use to decrease a website bounce rate.

You’ve refined your keywords, optimised your bids and written AdWords text ads that pull in tons of targeted clicks, but after looking at your Google Analytics reports, you realise that your landing page has a bounce rate of 91%.

Which means that 91% of the users coming to your site are quickly glancing around and leaving, deciding immediately that this site is not for them. One of the easiest, low-tech ways to make users stick around and look at your products or services is to catch their attention with an engaging headline. Recent research suggests that users decide to stay or leave your site in 8 seconds or less – in that short amount of time, headlines are the one piece of copy that users will actually read.

Here are five tips for writing headlines that will attract the user’s attention.

Include your paid keyword in the headline.

Position it as close to the beginning of the headline as you can. When users land on your site after clicking on a text ad or organic listing, they’re a bit nervous.

They have a good idea of what they’re looking for and hope that your site will deliver it, but they’re a bit sceptical. And they have good reason to be; there are a lot of junky sites out there that don’t deliver.

Putting the keyword in the headline provides split-second assurance to visitors that they are in the right place. It will make them relax a bit and be more receptive to your message.

Don’t sound like an ad.

Most of us are presented with thousands of advertising messages per day. Our brains have developed sophisticated filters to keep most of those messages out.

Sometimes, the best way to get past that filter is to not sound like an ad. Instead of sounding like an overbearing salesperson, try to sound like a friend delivering valuable information.

For example, instead of:

Fabulous Skin Cream that Makes a Difference!

Try

5 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles in 30 Days.

Highlight benefits rather than features.

Instead of rattling off the cold facts about your product or service, think about the problem that your product or service will solve for your user.

Instead of

E-mail with up to 2GB of Storage

Try

Never Throw Another E-mail Away

Make headlines look easy to read.

When our eyes are moving fast, looking for something particular, we tend to ignore copy that looks like it will take too much effort to read.

So, make your headline as simple and direct as possible. Try using shorter words.

For example, instead of

Deploy Robust Data Recovery Solutions and Enhance Network Availability

Try

5 Things You Need to Protect Your Data

Don’t forget subheads.

Subheads are another easy way to quickly offer more information about your product. Similar to headlines, they’re usually a piece of text that users will be likely to scan.

Let’s say that you’re an e-tailer and that your landing page is a specific product page, with the product name serving as the page’s headline. A subhead that offers visitors a quick preview of product benefits saves them the trouble of digging benefits out of user reviews and product descriptions that are often visually buried on the page.

Instead of

Computer Satchel

Try

Computer Satchel
Patented protection system cushions your laptop with shock-absorbing, air-filled pouches.

One more thing.

Try using Google Website Optimiser to test different versions of your headlines. Website Optimiser automates the testing process and shows you which landing pages, headlines and layout combinations result in the most conversions.

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