First the good news … visitors flocked to your website. The bad news is, they hit just one page and fled. Not exactly a windfall for your brand. You had hoped for action. Perhaps guests were to download information or make a purchase. Instead, they browsed and bolted, leaving you empty handed and mystified.
Such hasty exiting is known as ‘bouncing’. The curse of websites everywhere. The higher the bounce rate, the lower your website performance. And all because visitors simply lost interest.
Brand marketers can implement several countermeasures to minimize bounce rates. But before they’re revealed, clarification is in order. In technical terms, bounce rate defines the percentage of people who visit only one page or stick around for just one session. One page, one view, and off they go.
But the core issue isn’t the one-time visit. The major problem is that the visited page may not be a brand’s intended destination. Often, search results will propel users to a page optimized for a phrase or keyword. If that page doesn’t contain what the visitor seeks, or a pathway to the object of their search, quick exits follow. Basically, visitors never see what a brand wanted them to. What marketing strategists must do is make sure visitors get to the right place. Search result links won’t necessarily do that.
Brand marketers must ensure that all ‘arrival’ pages lead to intended pages. Achieving this goal requires pathways to those prime destinations – hearty encouragement to continue the journey.
But before jumping to that step, marketers face an important task – ascertaining which pages search results are linking to. Google analytics tells this story very nicely. Once these pages are known, content and design can be modified to provide needed pathways.
A big and costly assumption made by marketers is this: search results always link to the home page. Not so. Depending on keyword or phrase chosen, results can lead to almost any page. For instance, they may display your services page. If that page offers nothing of value to the visitor, off they go.
Forging the Path
How are pathways to pages created? One of the most effective means is the internal link. Packing high-arrival pages with clickable connections to intended pages is virtually a slam-dunk solution. Any words or phrase used as a link must, of course, be clear, user-relevant, and impossible to miss.
Relevant videos also help lead visitors in the right direction. Strategically-placed on a high-arrival page, they assure guests they’ve come to the right place.
And don’t neglect proper formatting. An easily-navigated page will help create a positive experience and minimize the fleeing impulse. Cluttered formatting will do the opposite.
If you have questions or comments about minimizing bounce rates, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way.