Website Bounce Rates: Part 2

Joe Rosenthalwebsite abandonment, Website Bounce RateLeave a Comment

bounce rate

bounce rate

In our last article, we jumped straight into defining the bounce rate and discussed a few of the more contested subjects surrounding this form of website abandonment.   This week, we’re going to get into specifics and look at a few of the more common problems that drive up website bounce rates unnecessarily, and you’ll learn what you can do to keep customers on your site.

If you run an ecommerce website and your pages are experiencing a bounce rate well above the average rate of 36.5%, then it’s probably time to take a look at your pages with a keen eye for the following common problems:

Muddled Navigation
In very basic terms, the goal of every commerce-related website is to get the visitor to convert.  To do so, you need the potential customer to complete an action.  To complete that action, whether it’s purchasing a set of golf clubs or simply submitting a lead, the customer must move through your site efficiently along a well-defined navigational path.  If a user can’t figure out where to go after they land on a page, they’re likely to leave.

What you can do: Design with simplicity in mind.  Make all of your calls-to-action (CTAs) big and vibrant and eliminate any unnecessary steps between the starting point and your goal.  Take a look at websites currently running a similar campaign and take notes on their button and image placement.

If you see a pattern, use it as a guide when you create your pages.  Meeting a customer’s existing expectations when it comes to navigation makes using your website an exercise in the familiar.  The less a customer needs to focus on figuring out a website, the more they can focus on the end goal.

Content Design
Whether it’s the landing page for a new PPC campaign or a product description, you need to constantly consider the user experience while populating a page.  If your written material is presented in a solid chunk without graphics to provide spacing, chances are that users will be intimidated away, driving up bounce rates.

What you can do: Work with your graphics department to design a pleasing layout for each page.  While fully delivering your message to the consumer is important, you need to consider the ‘flow’ of a page.  Deliver content to a user in its most digestible form to make getting educating an enjoyable experience.

Mismanaged PPC Ads
Search engines provide browsers with an unparalleled volume of information when given nearly any search query.  Consequently, the average person now has little patience for results that aren’t exactly what they want. If a paid advertisement put out by your company sits at the top of search results and directs users to content that isn’t immediately and inexplicably relevant, there’s a high chance that visitors will bounce before they take the time to dig.

What you can do: There are two ways to go about improving bounce rates from paid search results.  First, be sure that any and all keywords and their associated ad text sync up with search results.  You don’t want people clicking on your link thinking they’re going to find something different from what you offer.

Keep synonyms in mind and make sure that the search terms you target are wholly relevant to your business.  Additionally, you’re going to want to customize landing pages for each keyword campaign.  The more relevant the landing page is to the user’s search, the lower the rates of website abandonment.  Take this opportunity to analyze search trends and create engaging content that matches user queries exactly.

Out with the Old, In with the New
Old content is a red flag for many visitors.  Selling products online is very much an exercise in trust-building.  By showing users content on your site that has an attached date from a few years ago, you appear stagnant and apathetic.  Websites have fractions of a single second to make a first impression on visitors–you want your website to look up-to-date and competitive, not abandoned and aging.

What you can do: Keep up! It may take a bit of work, but make sure to update any product pages, blogs, and news pages to keep everything up to date. Maintain a running blog filled with any industry-related news.  Keep your front page populated with your newest products and don’t neglect the newest trends in web-design–you don’t want your site to look like a Web 1.0 relic.

Stop that Racket!
Consider the following familiar scenario: You’re sitting at home browsing the internet and, if you’re anything like the average user, you have multiple tabs open so you can mutlitask efficiently and flip between pages.  Suddenly, some loud music starts playing and you scramble to figure out which tab needs to be closed in order to put an end to this uninvited media.  We’ve all had this experience, and not a single person enjoys it.  Automatic media can be extremely frustrating for users and often drives up website abandonment rates.

What you can do: The simple solution (and the most courteous) is to stop using automatic-play media on your website.  However, if it’s absolutely necessary and unavoidable, then try not to put auto-play audio or video files on popular landing pages.  For videos, mute the sound until the user opts in. If you’re running an AdWord campaign, avoid populating the landing page with sound clips that will startle and scare your users away.

While every website is a unique case when it comes to diagnosing website abandonment rates, these five problems are typically key contributors.  To learn a more about what you can do to reduce website abandonment rates and generate additional revenue for your company, contact us.  For more updates on abandonment-related news, keep your browser pointed at this blog!


Written by Joe Rosenthal

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