How Small Business Owners can Cut their Bounce Rates
When a business owner first plugs in their analytics, they might not know exactly what their “bounce rate” is. A bounce is essentially a visit to your site that lasts less than a second. If a prospective visitor opens your link and then immediately back pedals, that counts as a bounced visit. The importance of bounces factors mostly in SEO, as it negatively effects average time spent on your website, and bounces themselves are taken by Google and other search algorithms as means of identifying spam sites and those with undesirable content. No matter how compelling your copy is, no matter how much video material is on your site or how compelling your call to action, if your site has a high bounce rate then it does you no good. Here are some suggestions for small business owners on how to reduce the amount of bounces they get on their site.
Don’t create misleading links. This is a big one that often gets overlooked. You can often reduce your bounce rate without changing your site at all by simply making sure that any links pointing towards it let people know exactly what they should expect when they click through. People in general dislike being mislead, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Therefore, if you post a link saying “you’re going to love this!” and the end result is a sales page for windshield wipers, don’t be surprised if the visitor bounces because that’s not what they were looking for.
Invest in an organized website. The layout of your site does not need to be the best that money can buy. However, it should also not appear cheap or poorly planned. If a person thinks that they have landed on a spam site, odds are good that they will turn into a bounced visit. Therefore, you should strive to create a landing page that clearly displays the content that your customers are going to be looking for, if necessary the application fields that they need to fill out, and a well crafted call to action. If you are not comfortable coding yourself, then you may want to take what you have and apply a site update with the help of a third party developer. If you go down this path, however, be sure to ask for a briefing on how to use their CMS (content management system) so that you can apply simple changes to copy yourself without incurring billable hours.
Create regular traffic. Cultivate digital regulars by posting quality content. Building an audience for your website has multiple benefits, not the least of which is having a base of readers who can combat the effect of bounces on your sites average time per visit. Producing quality is always a good strategy, but in particular, it has the ability to mitigate the effects of bad traffic.
Photo Credit to Pawel Loj on Flickr