A questions I often get is, why isn’t anyone sticking around to read my website? Or...I’m getting some traffic, but no one seems to be converting.
The industry term for the above question is “high bounce rates” - defined as a large percentage of visitors who don’t engage with more than one page on your site. It's a common problem many small business website have. A number of factors can contribute to the problem, but there are a number of easy solutions as well.
To determine whether your site needs help getting visitors to stick around longer, log in to your Google Analytics dashboard. If you see a bounce rate higher than 50 percent to 60 percent of your visitors, or an average time-on-site that's less than one minute, consider doing one or more of these 5 ways to keep visitors on your website.
Do You Know Your Visitors?
It's important to have an understanding of where most people are entering your website and leaving. As mentioned above, Google Analytics will let you drill down and see this information. Is the home page the biggest issue or are most people finding your website through one of your blog posts and then leaving. You’ll want to identify the pages and blog posts with the highest bounce rates are occurring. While we’re in Google Analytics, look at a few other areas. View the breakdown of visits under mobile overview. Are more people bouncing from mobile, desktop or tablets? Then look at your traffic sources, where are you loosing the most visitors, from organic search, direct, social, or referral traffic? These metrics are helpful to understand so you can identify the problem areas on your site.
Does Your Site Have Great Design?
One reason people leave your site is because of a poor user experience. If you website's design is outdated, unprofessional, and doesn’t immediately give a good first impression. Then many people will leave. Studies have shown that visitors form a first impression in just a fraction of a second and at best you have 3-5 seconds before they decide to stay and learn more or leave. Give extra attention to the content of your website that's near the top, what's sometimes referred to as above the fold. If this content is well designed and highly relevant then people are much more likely to continue to stay on your site. Also be sure that your website has a structure, layout and navigation that makes sense to help visitors find what they are looking for. Gone are the days where just having a website is good enough! Important to hire a professional to help build and design a website that provides a great user experience and clearly communicates who you are and what you do to your target audience.
Is Your Site Mobile Responsive?
Each day more and more visitors are viewing websites from a mobile device than from a desktop computer. If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, you are sure to loose some visitors. Make sure your website is designed to be responsive, which means it's built to automatically resizes and conform to different screen sizes depending on the device the user is viewing on.
Does Your Site Load Fast Enough?
Every second counts! Some studies are saying nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and tend to leave a site that hasn’t loaded in 3 seconds. There are a number of reasons why your website may be loading slowly.
- Your images could be too large and not optimized for the web.
- You might host your website on a shared server where other websites on that server all compete to use the server's resources.
If you are concerned about your website's load times, talk to a web designer and/or developer for some technicals ways they can help optimize your website to load faster. Some ideas might include:
- Minimizing CSS
- Installing caching plugins
- Using Content Delivery Networks
- Prioritizing when certain scripts load
Having a fast loading website isn’t just critical for a good user experience, it can also affect your search engine rankings as well.
Are You Providing Good Content?
Ensure that your content speaks directly to your target audience, check out our post on creating buyer personas for more information on how to fine tune your audience. Your content should be well written and clearly communicate who your are and what you do. It should be organized with headings, short paragraphs, bullet points, and visuals to help people easily read and scan to find what they're looking for. Make sure your blog posts are educational and not self promotional and provide a clear call to action to download a relevant content offer. Also reference other related blog posts while linking to them in your content where it makes sense. Content not only drives traffic to your website but result in more pages read and more visitors converted into leads and customers.
Do You Know Your Visitors?
It's important to have an understanding of where most people are entering your website and leaving. As mentioned above, Google Analytics will let you drill down and see this information. Is the home page the biggest issue or are most people finding your website through one of your blog posts and then leaving. You’ll want to identify the pages and blog posts with the highest bounce rates are occurring. While we’re in Google Analytics, look at a few other areas. View the breakdown of visits under mobile overview. Are more people bouncing from mobile, desktop, or tablets? Then look at your traffic sources, where are you losing the most visitors, from organic search, direct, social, or referral traffic? These metrics are helpful to understand so you can identify the problem areas on your site. You should also consider average session duration, to see the average amount of time users spend on your website. Research done by Databox shows that a reasonable benchmark for average session duration is between 2-3 minutes.
The 5 ways to keep visitors on your website are, knowing your visitors, make sure you have a great design and user experience, make sure your website is mobile responsive, improve your page loading speed if needed, provide good content. By following these simple steps, visitors to your website should stick around for longer, your conversation rates should increase and your rankings in search should also improve.
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