With so much emphasis on driving traffic to eCommerce sites, you must also consider Bounce Rate. As online merchants of both services and products we should be concerned with this metric because of its correlation to our revenue stream. Simply put, the longer we can keep site visitors engaged, and on our site, the longer we have to persuade them to click ‘add to cart’, or pick up the phone and call us.
Before we begin to discuss how to improve bounce rate, we should make sure we are all on the same page about what this information means. Here is Google’s definition of bounce rate:
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality - a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren't relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert. You can minimize bounce rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.
Ok, sounds simple enough. Now we need to determine what bounce rate to be aiming for with our eCommerce websites. Bounce rate is determined by user intent and varies for each industry. As a general rule of thumb, 40-50% is acceptable (C), 35-40% good (B), 30-45% great (A), anything lower than 30% wins you two gold stars and an A+. There are many factors that may help to reduce bounce rate and are well within you control.
Have you heard the phrase ‘content is king’ in Internet marketing? The same can be said when you consider reducing bounce rate. Creating valuable content for your audience and keeping it fresh and up-to-date is perhaps one of the most powerful things we can do as site owners to reduce bounce rate. First, write website copy with your target market in mind rather than writing primarily for search engines. Include familiar terms and phrases that are general instead of using industry jargon throughout. It is solely your responsibility to educate people as to why your products and services are superior to that of your competition. Leaving them in the dust is the last thing you want to do. If a site visitors finds your wording confusing or over their head, they will click off the site and look elsewhere.
Put yourself in the mindset of a site visitor. Try to determine what types of information they would want to see in order to make an educated decision. Adding a section for product Ratings & Reviews, a detailed description of the product, and clearly defined pricing are all features that can help consumers make a purchase. Take the time to optimize your product descriptions for both humans and search engines (in a natural way).
The likeliness of someone reading a 1000-2000 word site page is unfortunately unrealistic. As they skim the pages, use appropriate headings to grab their attention and provide them with enough information to keep their interest and keep them engaged. You may consider keeping information regarding the superiority of your product or service, and why they should buy from you, above the fold. That is to say in the area of your site page that is visible without having to scroll further. This is your Internet elevator pitch. What would you say if you only had someone’s attention for 30 seconds?
When appropriate, consider creating site pages that encourage interaction. There are a number of ways to do this, a couple of those include, Interactive Surveys, and contests. Interactive Surveys can serve several purposes. The first is to allow site visitors to voice their opinion and help them feel as though someone is listening, and interested in their opinion. Interactive Surveys will arm you with valuable insight into your target market’s perceptions.
The second is contests which are a fantastic way to encourage people to come back to your site time and time again. With an increase in frequency, you might also find that they begin to explore the site further as you gain their trust and respect.
Help site visitors remember you through visual cues through website design, branding and incredibly well organized content. Add appealing graphics and photos to site pages and blog posts to add visual interest and something to break up a long stream of web copy. Often times I will skim a magazine and look at the photos first, and then come back to read the articles that look interesting. Remember to provide the same types of breaks for your site visitors. The next time they need to reference your articles they will be more likely to remember your site than others, and will likely stay longer. Attaching your content to visual cues will help act as memory triggers, and connect that content to your logo, branding image, etc.
Spend some time revisiting and examining pages with the highest bounce rate first. A higher bounce rate may indicate that you are attracting the wrong audience for that particular site page. Review the Meta Tags used and remove any that may be directing the wrong kind of traffic to that particular site.By: Dana Nevins
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