Faced with endless options and general information overload, making quick judgement calls is a necessary part of being a human online. This leaves only a brief window of time for your website to make a good impression – otherwise your visitors are bound to go elsewhere.
If your bounce rate is so high that it’s at risk of leaving Earth’s atmosphere, it’s time to consider why your website isn’t impressing your audience. Here are five key areas to examine as you review your website.
1. There’s no clear reason for visitors to stay.
‘Why am I here?’ isn’t just a philosophical question. It’s a very real concern for anyone who chooses to give your website a chance. Even if you operate in a very specialised niche, if you can’t demonstrate your value, they aren’t going to stick around.
- Ensure every single page on your website has a clear reason to exist. If it’s not solving a problem or otherwise fulfilling a visitor or business need, get rid of it.
- Grab attention and communicate that reason in a prominent location on each page.
- Keep your content easy to digest. You don’t expect to see an entire essay on the value of eating bananas as soon as you load the fruit and vegetable section of an online grocery store. Don’t overwhelm your visitors with information as soon as they arrive on your site – gradually disclose it as they need it.
2. You don’t take advantage of video or interactive website elements.
Different website visitors prefer different methods of absorbing and skimming information – even within the same target demographic. Offering multiple ways for potential clients to engage with the products, services and information on your website increases your ability to reach them all.
- Consider making a short introductory video for your website. If you don’t have the skills in-house, look into working with a professional to create the perfect introduction.
- Look at your most-visited pages that suffer from poor bounce rates and examine how they could encourage visitors to take the actions you want next with an interactive element. This can be as simple as offering a small online quiz that then recommends a specific service, or adding the ability for users to dynamically compare and filter product features.
3. Your website is hard to use.
If your website is slow to load, difficult to navigate, and only optimised for a desktop computer experience, all the videos and clever features in the world won’t stop visitors from clicking away.
- Be certain your website is usable on both desktop and mobile devices. This will ensure your potential clients have a consistent experience with your site at the office, at home and on the go.
- Simplify your web forms. You may wish to collect a significant amount of information from your users, but lengthy, complex online forms have high abandonment rates. Use analytics to get the data instead.
- Test your navigation structure with real users. Ensure your navigation menu is comprehensible to the people who will be using it.
4. You’re using poor quality, out-of-date content
Badly written text and low-quality images don’t just make your website harder to use – they have a negative impact on your brand overall. And we aren’t just talking about the outdated copywrite text in the footer of your site (though you should fix that asap). Things to do:
- Update or remove low quality photographs and videos. Where possible, use images unique to your website – photograph your products, people, and places of operation.
- Ensure your content reads well and is free of errors. If you don’t have the time or the skills, again consider seeking out a professional to write your content for you.
5. There are no clear calls to action.
Even if you’re succeeding in the other four areas, your bounce rate won’t improve if you don’t show your website visitors what to do next. Things to do:
- Highlight the most important thing a visitor can do on each webpage with a button or prominent heading. Example actions: ‘Sign up’, ‘Donate’ and ‘Add to cart’.
- Be economical with your calls to actions. It might be tempting to draw attention to as many things as possible, but the more calls to action you add to a page, the less of an effect they each have individually.
- Keep call to actions consistent. The big blue button means request a quote or add to cart, don’t then use the same button style for a user to view a new page or details of a product. It can get confusing on what you actually ‘want’ them to do.
By following the tips above, you will be well on your way to making a great first impression on your visitors and reducing your website’s bounce rate.
If you’re looking to get started on updating your website to make the best impression possible, we can help. Let us know where your website needs a boost, and we can assist you to take the next step.