Boing, Boing, Boing. The Dreaded Bounce.
Spring in your step is a great thing, but bounce on your webpage is online revenue suicide. What is bounce rate? It is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. So what does this mean for your site, your company, your on-line presence, and your ability to make money on the Internet? Everything.
SEO is a waste of money if your visitors are leaving your page faster than a gaggle of 14-year-old-boys at a Barry Manilow concert. Research shows you have about 6 seconds to get them to stay (on your website – much less for the Barry concert).
Bounce rate tells you a lot of important things:
- Everyone searching on the Internet has a question. How well does your site answer their question?
- How are users measuring your site in terms of quality?
- Does your site “look” trustworthy and legitimate at first glance?
Landing pages need to be compelling, tailored to your users, and useful. Your site needs to look like you have a real, trustworthy company – a place that is going to keep its promises and take care of me, my purchase, and any problems I might have along the way. It doesn’t matter if you are running your business out of your mother’s basement – but your website can’t LOOK like you are.
What to do?
Write better headlines.
One of the easiest ways to get users to stay on your site and poke around is with engaging headlines that answers the QUESTION. (remember — everyone searching was looking for something). Make sure your headline has the most important keyword, and it is close to the beginning of your headline.
There are a lot of terrible sites on the Internet – and searchers are savvy. Make sure your readers know that you are one of the good guys upfront.
Putting most critical keyword in your headline lets your readers know within a split-second that they are in the right place, and they are more likely to keep reading. Remember the golden rule of website usability – “Don’t Make Me Think.” Spoon feed your users and they will thank you.
Talk to your users like a friend, not like a cheesy salesperson. They are more likely to trust you, and keep reading. Don’t forget – the bounce clock is ticking. Think about your product or service from the customer point of view – the BENEFITS it provides to the customer – NOT the features. Benefits answer the question “What’s in it for me?”
Create Great Content.
The best thing you can do is to create compelling content that is readable, clear, and answers the question of your users. But that is not enough – your content needs to SOUND like your users as well – in terms of tone, voice, and language. Use words that your readers use – so they feel like they have come to the right place.
Don’t make them think. And don’t let them bounce.