How do you keep visitors on your site longer once they’ve clicked-through from a search result? Here’s the lowdown that will help boost your online profits:
We all want to get our site to the top of Google but that is only half of the story. For example, what happens when people click-through to your site? Do they hang around and check out what you have to offer or do they quickly move on to the next result?
Obviously, you want the former to happen, so how can you make sure that it does?
When visitors find nothing of interest on your site at first glance and leave immediately, this is known as a ‘bounce’. A site with a high bounce rate from good quality traffic is an indicator that the website isn’t performing and meeting visitors expectations.
Sources of Traffic
Reducing your website’s bounce rate is a great first step in improving its overall performance and conversion rate.
First, you need to analyse the bounce rates of the different traffic sources. Focus your efforts on improving the bounce rates of the highest converting traffic sources such as:
- Search engine traffic
- Email marketing campaigns
- Affiliate campaigns
Ignore the bounce rate from unqualified sources, such as:
- Unknown referrer sites
- Social networking sites
- Random directory sites
Landing Page Design
How you design your landing pages can make a difference to your bounce rate. Here are some helpful tips for designing a landing page with a low bounce rate:
- Make sure the headline that you have on the landing page refers directly to the place where your visitor came from or the ad copy that drove the link.
- It is vital to provide a clear call to action. Tell your visitor exactly what you want them to do. Example: “Click here to see our exclusive new range”, “For updates and exclusive offers, subscribe to our newsletter today”.
- You need to write clear, precise and targeted content that’s geared specifically towards your visitors. Don’t write content that is vague or too general. Your visitors are here to read about a specific subject, so they won’t thank you for wasting their time.
- Prioritise. Place the most important information at the beginning of paragraphs and bullet lists.
- Keep it simple. Remove all extraneous matter from your landing page. Ask for only enough information to complete the desired action.
How do you know what’s working and what isn’t in terms of keeping visitors on your site? The answer is you don’t. The secret is to assume nothing and test everything.
Thanks to Google’s Content Experiments (in Analytics), you can create, test and monitor the performance of landing pages. The purpose of testing your landing pages is to reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.
Setting up an A/B split test on Google Content Experiments is very easy and free. Here is a basic overview of the steps involved:
- Create a campaign to test landing pages against each other.
- Upload the URL of the original page you are testing.
- Upload the URL’s of the other landing pages you want to test against the original.
- Send at least 500 visitors to the primary URL and Google will separate those visitors randomly for you to test the performance of the pages in a non-biased way. You can do this by using Adwords, email campaigns or even affiliates to send traffic from specific keywords through the funnel.
Finally, here are some golden rules to remember when you’re designing and testing landing pages:
- No idea is a bad idea until you’ve seen it in action. If you get an idea for a landing page, try it. Try them all.
- Make a different landing page for every keyword that gets at least 500 visitors per month. This ensures your highest converting keywords get all of the attention that they deserve.
- Send at least 500 visitors from the same traffic source/keyword to each landing page to accurately gauge its performance.
- Once you’ve tested several landing pages, try improving them by testing different versions of the best-performing pages.
- The best landing pages can then be tested to varying degrees using multivariate testing. This is where you test specific elements of the page rather than entirely new pages.
- Creating landing pages that encourage visitors to stay longer can sometimes be time-consuming and expensive, but it’s absolutely essential for high converting, high performing websites.
Make Your Website A Huge Success
Discover how to consider the needs and intentions of your websites visitors so that you can design the perfect website that serves your customers well and encourages them to buy from you and use your services
It isn’t easy to get the ideal website. In fact, it has been said that great web design is like walking a tightrope. Getting the balance wrong leads to a high bounce rate from your site, with users looking at one page before quickly leaving.
While every web design project is unique, why not try using this simple framework to keep your focus on those all-important web site visitors.
I call it the Five S’s because it defines five universal characteristics of your web visitors: Selfish, Sceptical, Stubborn, Stuck and most importantly (and controversially!), Stupid.
Did I really say Stupid? Yes, as contentious as that statement is, your visitors are stupid. I bet I have your attention now!
It isn’t actually as controversial as it sounds. When first-time visitors look at your site, they don’t yet know anything about your business. Even existing customers might not know all that you have to offer. With that in mind, you need to write a strong headline that says in plain, easy to understand language what you do. Have a prominent logo with a clear, compelling strapline.
Ensure that you remove any unnecessary text so that visitors can work out what you do and what your business is all about in just a few seconds.
It is very easy to over-complicate things. Business owners are often so close to their business that they can’t see the obvious. It is your job to help your customers know how you can help them and show them why they should buy from you.
Your visitors are selfish. Their visit to your site is just about them and their needs. With that in mind, you need to help them to understand why choosing you and your products or services will help them.
Show them relevant pictures. Use words such as ‘you’ rather than ‘us’, ‘we’ and ‘I’. And don’t forget to reassure them just how easy it is to proceed to the next step of your buying process.
First-time visitors are always sceptical and with every reason. They are bombarded with online marketing messages, and they have learned to be cautious.
To put them at ease and to give them the confidence to buy from you, make sure that you include trust signals. These would include logos of your partners and accrediting bodies and reviews and testimonials from happy customers.
Do you set out the benefits they will get by giving you their email address? Do you offer multiple contact points? Your website’s design must make trust easy.
Your visitors are stubborn. You want them to buy that blue widget but they may not be ready to buy just yet. So what do you do instead? Give them alternative calls to action in case they’re interested but are not quite ready to take the plunge.
Do you want them to follow you on social networks, sign up for your newsletter or bookmark your site? All of these ‘micro conversions’ are steps along the path to encouraging visitors to buy that widget.
Lastly, your visitors are stuck. Even eager visitors may need the push of a compelling call to action (CTA). Make sure that your CTA’s are big, prominent and colourful enough. Position them within enough whitespace to make them easily recognisable.
Don’t forget to use visual clues, such as arrows or wyes looking the right way in order to direct a visitor’s attention.
Don’t confuse them by having distractions on the page just as they are ready to buy.
The Internet has made things so much easier for businesses to reach new audiences around the world.
If you are keen to know how to use social media, online video, blogs and viral marketing to reach your target audience directly, drop me a line. You can increase business profits by running successful online marketing campaigns and the investment is any day worth the decision.