Check Google Analytics First
Before you start making drastic changes to your website, the first thing you’ll want to do is examine your site’s analytics. There are several factors that could be causing people to leave your site, and by examining your analytics first, you can often pinpoint the exact reason. Once you open up Google Analytics, you’ll want to focus on two stats in particular – bounce rate and the average time on page. Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to that page and leave without visiting another page. The average time on page is the amount of time a user spends on that page before leaving. Keep these two stats in mind when you’re exploring the possible reasons below:
#1 – Your Page Loads Too Slowly
One of the most common causes of a high bounce rate is a slowly loading page. Studies have shown that you only have a few seconds to grab your visitor’s attention. In fact, 55% of people spend fewer than 15 seconds on a page before leaving. If your page takes more than a few seconds to fully load, chances are that visitor will just leave without even giving your page much of a chance.
Luckily, it’s typically easy to improve page speed. For starters, make sure all of your images are optimised for the web, focussing on mobile devices too. Large image files are often the culprit of a slowly loading page. After that, try to simplify your pages. If you have a lot of fancy animations, or WordPress plugins, that need to load, it’s going to slow things down. Finally, consider your server. If you’re running your website on a crowded server, this will slow everything down. Switching to a faster server could result in a faster website, and therefore a lower bounce rate. To test out your sites speed, and to get some suggestions on how to improve it, you can use this tool from Google.
#2 – Visitors Aren’t Finding the Information They Want
When someone visits your website, they have a very specific goal in mind. Maybe they are looking to learn more about your product, or find out how they can engage your services. If the visitor is unable to find the information they want easily, they’ll likely just leave your page. This will be evident in a high bounce rate, with a low average time on site.
To fix this, take each page one at a time and think about why someone would visit that page. What are they looking to get out of it? Once you’ve answered this question, you can make changes to that page to emphasise the important information. You can format the page to make the important points stand out, put your contact information in a larger font, or remove some distracting items that were drawing focus away from your content. Keep your user in mind whenever you’re planning out a page, and think about what their main goal is.
#3 – Visitors Are Given No Clear Direction
Once someone is done reading your page, you need to give them something to do. This is called the Call to Action. Let’s say you’ve put together an entire page outlining a common problem amongst your target audience. After they finish reading the page, they understand the problem, but they don’t know what to do about it. If you don’t offer them an action to take, they’ll visit another site for some clearer directions.
At the end of your pages, make sure you have something like “Contact Us today to learn more” or “Click Here to buy our product”. This simple action gives your readers something to do, so that they don’t wander away when they’re done reading. To tell if this is your problem, cheque your average time on site number. If it’s high, but so is your bounce rate, that means people are reading a lot, but still deciding to leave. This is often an indication that the reader was given no clear direction as to what to do next. To learn more, here are some tips on how to write a great Call to Action.
#4 – Inattention to Detail
Finally, you may just need to go over your page with a fine-toothed comb. Sometimes we miss little details on our page, but our visitors pick them up. Since you only have a short time frame in which to make a good impression, it’s important that you pay attention to all the little details.
What sort of details? For starters, make sure there are no typos on the page. Typos make a bad impression, and visitors may want to look for a more professional company. Another thing to look for is broken links. If you have a link that says “Click Here to Purchase”, and the link leads nowhere, this will clearly frustrate your visitors. So go over every element on your page and make sure it’s absolutely perfect. Sometimes all you need is a few small tweaks to improve the impression you leave on your visitors, and get them to stick around.
Keep An Eye on the Important Stats
As you make the changes above, keep an eye on your bounce rate and time on page stats. If you made the right changes, you should see an improvement in these metrics before long.
However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes your stats are bad, but no matter what you do, you can’t seem to figure out why. If that’s the case, contact us today about our free UX video audit. With it, we can go over your website with you, and point out any issues you may want to fix.
You’ve spent so much time getting your website up and running – don’t let it go to waste by settling for a high bounce rate or an inefficient page. Take steps to correct these problems, and before long your page will start bringing in the customers you’ve been after.
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