As a online business owner, one of the worst metrics that you will encounter is your bounce rate. Think of bouncers as window shoppers, they stop by, glance at your store and kept on going – all you get from that is a potential customer who looked at your store and took no action.
The reason for the bounce could be any number of reasons such as misinterpreted information, wrong website, typo, just didn’t click, etc. Anyway, your goal as an online business is to trap those people and navigate them to your goal, as simple as that may sound – its tough! I’ve put together some of the things that you can do to help reduce the bouncers and gain their attention.
The response time of your website matters at the highest level, nobody wants to wait for your page to load and with the speeds at which our ISP’s can pull and push data, the expected response times have dropped drastically. Jakob Nielsen has written a detail article on website response times, you should read it – a snappy user experience beats a glamorous one. I strongly suggest performing some experimentation on your website and determine its current speed, we recently published an article on how you can track page load times with FoxMetrics. Once you’ve determine the average load times per page, sort them by speed and tackle each page that takes upwards of 6secs or longer to load. Speed it up! Here are some things you can do to speed up those pages.
- Reduce the number of images
- Compress images
- Reduce the number of content on a single page, users hate to scroll too many times
- Reduce the number of database calls, if you are making multiple calls consider aggregating the result into a single dataset
- Reduce network chat
What are you selling? What do you have the offer? Your website has to be able to convince the user in a single pitch of what you are selling, why you are the best and why the user should consider signing up with you. If you can’t get that much conveyed to the user then he or she is probably going to bounce off or play around and leave later. Your product has to be an instant utility and proves to the user that its going to be useful as quickly as possible.
Credibility & Branding
If you are able to successfully complete the above, your next steps are to show your users that you are credible and you are not in the business to rip them off. There are several ways you can do this which includes but are not limited to contact forms, phone numbers, forums with active moderators, a blog, logos of partners and etc..
People are looking for stuff and they really do hate drilling through your non-organized pages to find what they want, so provide them with a clear path to what they are looking for and close the deal.
Yes, provide relevant content and relevant only to your product, having content that has nothing to do with what you are selling is simply a way for your users to exit, you need to show them that you are the master of your domain.
Avoid External Links
Yes, we do want to share the link juice and provide a means to credit people for their work, however, there is a great chance that an outbound link to another site that has a lower bounce rate will capture your potential customer and they will not return. So, its imperative that you think before sending your users off to another website, work on reducing your outbound links especially on your landing pages or home page.
Maybe the user is not ready to commit now, it could be that they are just reviewing all their choices, so if they don’t want to sign up now, you should work hard in collecting as much data about them (newsletters, rss feed) so that you can contact them later with say a promotional offer or a pitch.