Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Does your website have static cling?

What is Bounce Rate: It is the percentage of users who are exiting your site upon landing on a single page and not continuing to any other pages during that site visit.  If a user hits your home page and leaves without digging into your site content that is considered a "bounce".  This rule applies to any page on your site a user lands on, whether it's bookmarked or found through search.

Internet marketers use bounce rate to determine whether certain pages of your site are communicating properly.  A higher bounce rate means there is much work to be done in improving the content on your site, whether it be an informational site or an eCommerce site.  There are factors to  look at that on a page by page basis that will affect your bounce rate, and in some situations a higher bounce rate might actually be okay.  A page that is bookmarked on a news site that is updated daily with stories and such may have a higher bounce rate.  eCommerce sites should not apply the same line of thinking.

Static Cling for eCommerce:

We, as internet marketers, need to be passionate about bounce rate.  You want a lower bounce rate on eCommerce sites - mainly because the end-goal would be getting your users to click that magic "add to cart" button and completing the sale.  If this is not ocurring on your product pages and your bounce rate is high you may want to assess the following information:
  • Does the user know WHAT you are selling?  It is clear they have landed on a product page and can EASILY purchase?  If you are selling, be sure that you product pages communicate that effectively.
  • Does your product's description provide enough information to assist the user in making the decision to purchase.    If you are selling an item that has many applications or uses, this should be spelled out in your description.  For example - if you are selling glue, and this glue can be used on wood, plastic, metal, etc - your product description should reflect that and not leave any unanswered questions the shopper may have.
  • Can the user/shopper easily figure out HOW to buy this product?  Is there a clear "add to cart" or "buy now" button or link?  In most cases, this should be found above-the-fold (meaning the user does not need to scroll to find it).  This is not always possible, and may not prevent the sale, but it's a good general rule of thumb.
  • Is your price point competitive?  People shop around - and the internet is the easiest way to price compare products before making a purchase.  If a user lands on your page and finds your product to be overpriced - the user/shopper will "bounce".
  • If you are running AdWords, is your campaign set up properly and effectively optimized?  Be sure if you are paying for site traffic that they are not bouncing quickly.  If you are advertising on specific keywords, be sure the user who has searched on that keyword is finding EXACTLY what they are looking for when they land on your site.  Use negative keywords to increase the value of your click-through-rate (CTR).  If you sell glue that only works on wood and not on plastic - remove the search traffic for "plastic glue" by adding negative keywords.  Also be sure your landing pages for your ads allow your user to find what they have searched for immediately.  Preferrably the user will land on the product page where they can immediately make a purchase.
At home, we use Bounce to get rid of static and stickiness on our clothing.  On the internet, we do not want bounce, we want our search traffic to stick, and we want our users to find what they are looking for.

If your bounce rates are higher - throw away that fabric softener or static guard and start digging into why your traffic is not sticking on your site.  Be sure if it is an eCommerce site you are checking your bounce rate at the product level and start working on improving the shopping experience for your user, by making it easy to make a decision to purchase, and then even easier to actually make that purchase on the spot.

These are just a few of my thoughts.  I'm sure you have your own sticky points to ponder about bounce rate, and I'd love to hear them!

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment