Website that can't keep potential clients in it is a website that is not set for success. A website that doesn't serve its purpose.
When it comes to online marketing and engagement there's two important metrics to watch:
- Bounce rate.
- Exit rate.
Read on and you will learn about the implications these metrics have on your online performance, as well as how to optimize them to achieve the desired outcome:
To keep your leads in your website.
What is the Bounce/Exit Rate?
Even if they show similarly relevant data, they're, however, not quite the same.
The definition Google gives to bounce rate is the following:
Bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits (or web sessions). It is the number of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without any further browsing.
What this metric shows is how many people leave your site after their first visit.
What you see on the right is a funnel, from the landing page (login) to conversion (confirmation page). The bounce rate would be 4.13% (the small red handful of people that left from the landing page).
The amoun that stays in, will continiue to click until they either stop feeling compelled and exit or they convert through the funnel.
For each step they take down the funnel, there's a percentage of people that leaves.
The percentage of people leaving at each step of the funnel is the exit rate for that specific step
As you can see, both metrics contain vital insight for the proper functioning of your website.
You want to minimize these rates. In doing so you make sure that you hook as many leads as possible.
How do we go about it?
Here are the 5 things you need to watch that affect your bounce/exit rates:
#1. Know Your Visitors
First of all, ask yourself this questions:
Do you think that you're addressing the right type of audience?
Are the people coming into your website the kind of people that would want to stay in?
Are you within the right niche?
This is probably the most fundamental question you can ask yourself when it comes to marketing your content.
It doesn't matter wether your website has the perfect layout or there's high volume traffic coming in.
If you're not attracting the right type of audience you're pretty much done. No matter how many people coming in, if they're not interested, they won't stay.
Once you're sure you have the right type of visitors we can proceed.
There's a few things to look at when you're examining your audience that affect the bounce/exit rate.
-Why are they visiting your website?
-Did they already know they would buy from you?
-Are they just gathering information about a product?
-Are they in just for the content?
These questions matter.
If they already had a preconceived idea about buying from you, the exit rate of your Checkout Page will be significantly lower than it would be, let's say, if they were just investigating about the product.
If they're in just for the content, they might stay in, hopping from one article to another, or just watching your videos, without going down a specific funnel or responding to a call to action.
Know their intent well so you can design the rest of the elements accordingly.
This links back to the previous one.
Different people come from different sources, and depending on the source they come from, they might come with one intention or another.
If they come from paid advertising they're much more likely to bounce out quickly. As opposed to someone coming through the link someone shared on social media.
These are all thing to keep in mind when designing the UX (User Experience) interface. The more you can tailor your website to match your audience's behaviour the more likely you're to have a highly engaged audience interacting.
As you can see below, the average bounce rate changes from industry to industry. So don't worry too much if you experience a bounce rate higher than you expect. In fact, a high bounce rate doesn't even have to be a bad thing (stick to the end)
#2. Watch Your Landing Pages.
Your landing page is where you leads enter your website. It is the very first thing they see, and depending on how compelling it is for them, they will decide wether they keep on navigating or bounce out instead.
These are the three qualities a compelling landing page has:
Proper Design and Layout
A clear, neat arrangement of the elements and proper display of those has a profound effect on the UX.
Your landing page is the first element a potential customer sees.
Just like when you invite someone you just met over at your place, you want to have it nice and tidy so they don't leave with the wrong impression.
Besides - even if the design sucks and they're in for your content - if they want to find an element or a specific page and they can't find it, they will get tired and leave.
Make sure you design a proper layout that will make it easy for the customer to follow the steps. Alternatively - if you can't do it yourself - hire someone who can take care of this.
Clarity of Message
This relates to the one above.
You need to let your audience know what you're in here for.
It's not about leaving traces and hints for them to figure out what your website is all about.
Nowadays people have a significantly reduced span of attention, if you can't catch their attention quick and convey the right message, even if you cover their needs in your website they're less likely to know.
Don't make them invest too much, they won't.
A clear, strong message that quickly shows what value they can expect from you will keep the most people in your website.
Speed and Usability
It is no wonder - then - why you should aim for speed.
Want to know a guaranteed speed killer?
If you don't have too much of a clue when it comes to web design, you might feel temptated to ask your designer to include many different widgets, menus, animations, so on and so forth.
The less loaded with non-sense your website is the more agile it will be.
A lead who comes in and evaluates your website (within a very limited amount of time) won't stop to check every little widget you thought would add to the design.
It will - however - make them want to bounce out not to feel so saturated.
As the research conducted by Google shows, this is how slow websites make you lose customers.
Aiming for speed and usability will make a shift so huge in your bounce rates you wouldn't belive.
#3. Link Properly
As I've mentioned before, you want to make the lead stay by providing them with sufficient, relevant links.
A customer always wants to do this the easy way, and if they come to your website seeking to solve a problem, they expect to have everything at their grasp.
If they know that you sell A or B, but you don't link them directly to A or B they will not make the conscious effort to reach for the product landing page.
Maybe a lead is reading through your article and wants to know some extra information about a certain topic related to your content.
There's two possible scenarios:
- The lead leaves your website and searches for the information elsewhere.
- The lead clicks on a link conveniently placed directing them to another article in your website (regarding that topic).
Which one do you think has more of a positive impact on your bounce rates?
Also, you want to consider adding a sidebar linking to related articles.
Or a footer accomplishing the same goal.
The main takeaway is that it is your responsibility to guide the lead along their journey.
Leads should be led, not hoped to find their way.
You must proactively show them the steps you want them to follow. Otherwise someone else will.
In the end, if your lead has succesfully come down the funnel, they will see your CTA (Call to Action). Which is a topic to be discussed separately.
#4. Improve (and Scale) your Content
It kinda feels like regurgitating from my previous post on branding. But I can't stress this enough:
Quality content produced in mass is the foundation for any brand that wants to prevail
In that article I discussed how quality content generates engagement in your leads. Engagement and bounce rates are direct opposites, right?
You can have the most elegant, well-laid website in the world. You might have the right traffic sources, or even be addressing the perfect type of niche.
If you lack solid content, you have a lame web presence. Meaning that your leads lose interest in your product/service as they can't see the value you offer.
There's a million reasons for proper content to be indispensable in any brand's online precense, so I'm not going to hammer on this topic more than necessary.
It is very simple:
- Produce quality content
- Have your audience loving it
- Link to more quality content
- Audience stays in the website
- produce more quality content
Bonus: people respond better to novelty rather than perfection, don't settle for the great content you've created, keep producing, because in doing so you give your audience an incentive to enter your website again, which leaves you with a new chance to have them go down the conversion funnel... Hook them up with a bait, and make them impatient to check you latest content, on a constant basis.
You want to have a constant flow of potential clients coming in, if you stop giving them a reason to come in, they will not find their own.
#5. Design the Right Funnel.
We could argue that there's three fundamental steps to any funnel:
- Landing page
- [...] Everything in between [...]
- Call to action
Now well, parting from those, just keep this in mind...
A lead that visits your website seeks an answer for these two questions
- Is it here where I'm supposed to be?
- If so... Where am I heading next?
It is your task to answer those questions for them. In fact, the answer to these questions should be so obvious and intuitive that they shouldn't even arise.
Just by taking a quick glimpse, the lead should be certain that they will find resourceful content in your website, as well as where they should go next.
This is accomplished, of course, by a clean and direct layout.
Clients give their money to those who offer the easiest, most effortless solution to their problems.
They're stressed enough in trying to find their solution, don't make them go an extra step in their search by adding a layer of complexity. Keep it down to the bare minimum, don't overload your site with links, don't sacrifice directness for aesthetics.
Leads don't value the coolest site, specially when there's money involved. They value the burden you take off them.
Keep their path painless, intuitive and direct.
It is not all about the lead staying
How does it serve you anyway?
Yeah you're generating engagement.
Yeah, you're defnitely building up your brand.
But if a client only stays in for the content, and doesn't go down the funnel, they won't convert.
If you don't pave the route to conversion adequately, there's no point in creating all this content and subsequent engagement.
Your content is their win side of the agreement.
Them converting is yours.
You want to create a win-win relationship, otherwise it wouldn't be fair.
Give Them a Call to Action.
Don't be shy, you're just offering them the right way to convert.
In many cases your leads do want to convert, you just need to make it accessible for them.
For further info I suggest reading my article on this topic:
Reduce the Amount of Steps as Much as You Can
Remember the three steps to every funnel?
Remember the second?
[...]Everything in between. [...]
Well, this consists of every step strictly necessary between the landing page and the call to action.
In may cases, like the main page of my website, landing page and call to action occur within the same page.
This is of course optimal for high conversion rates and low bounce/exit rates. Just think about it:
If we assume that for every step there's at least one percentage of exits, we could pretty much argue that the less the steps the less the exits.
Building a high converting website definitely takes effort. However, applying these steps will greatly increase your likelihood of success.
Good news is:
You don't have to take care of everything yourself, there's full stack web developers like myself that can take care of these criteria.
Hit me up, I will review your website and give you a full analysis on how well your funnel converts and tips on how to improve it. All this for free.
Alternatively, if you don't have an existing website or a thought funnel in it, you can still hit me up. I will suggest a game plan and explore different possibilities with you. Also for free.
I'll be waiting for you ;-)