How to keep your website sticky and your bounce rate low.
Let’s start with bounce rate
Google Analytics definition is “single-page sessions divided by all sessions or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server”. In other words, they came and left immediately because what they saw did not line up with what they wanted.
Is a high bounce rate always bad? It depends. A high bounce rate might not always be bad a bad thing. Sometimes you want people to leave quickly if they aren’t the right prospect or if they are directly aligned to what they needed and didn’t need to stay to complete the task. But for most B2B websites, a bounce rate is a bad thing and if your homepage is the gateway to the rest of your site (multiple pages), you probably want a person to remain on your site and not leave immediately.
So what makes a website sticky?
I like to say that a poorly organized and constructed website is like throwing a party and having everyone arrive at your front door and not letting them in. I have seen too many companies spend thousands of dollars on driving traffic to their sites but spending no time, money or resources on understanding what happens when people get there. Here are four important questions you need to ask yourself to understand if your website has the promise of stickiness.
1. Does your website make sense?
No one deserves to be confused when they go to your website. We don’t do it intentionally but we often cram too much information on the home page, create a navigation that is not reflective of buyer questions or the buying process, or we present product information that has no bearing on what the customer/prospect is trying to do. These are just a few mistakes we see companies making regularly with their websites. A website has to be for your customer. Not a dumping ground for product information. And most certainly, it can not be a vague conversation with slogans and buzz words (see item #2) that confuses and confounds a visitor. You know who you want as customers so make the visitor experience as specific and useful as possible when people hit your website.
2. Have you buried the lead in buzz words and slogans?
Why should someone buy from you and not the million other choices they have to solve the exact same problem? Tech companies, I am speaking directly to you. If I go to one more Managed Service Provider (MSP) or Value-Added Reseller (VAR) website and see a collection of “managed services, cloud services, hosted services,” I am going to pull my hair out (and bald is not a good look on me.) Every website is saying the exact same thing with the exact same collection of industry jargon. How do you expect to stand out in a sea of “same” and get someone to choose you versus the other 10 results on the Page One search results. A value proposition is arguably the most important element of your marketing message. Don’t bury your value prop in buzzwords or what you do (cloud services!). Make it matter and make it the foundation of the content you serve up.
3. And on the subject of value proposition, is it compelling?
Is your positioning correct? Is it distinct? Does it encourage someone to take a next click on your site or do they just bounce? The primary reason your website is not sticky is because you are not serving up the right content to the right people in the right format. Fix this. It’s the most important thing you can do in your marketing program this year. Get it right and have an endless flow of leads coming to your business (and not your competitors.)
4. Wrong audience?
If you have the right value proposition for the audience you’ve chosen but your site isn’t attracting the right traffic, visitors leave simply because they don’t need what you have to offer. Let’s say you were trying to attract visitors to buy an enterprise-wide software for their large company but you find your traffic is mostly small businesses and boutique firms. Your site is attracting the wrong traffic because your content isn’t in line with your keyword strategy or you just don’t have the right content so you might want to take a closer look.
If you’re attracting the right traffic (let’s say large business owners) but what you have to offer is just not compelling, they might just think what you’re selling is the same as everyone else or simply think that they have something similar already. You must give them a good enough reason WHY they need what you have and you may want to re-visit your messaging.
Look at your bounce rate for the last 12 months and observe the changes every month. Take a look at the bounce rate for your most viewed pages and definitely pay attention to your home page. If the bounce rate of your home page is higher than most or it’s over 55%, you might want to reassess. Check out HubSpot’s infographic they published with benchmarks for bounce rate.
Next, you need to assess your website content and current conversion strategy. If you are not able to objectively do this for yourself, hire Marketing CoPilot to conduct a Website Audit that will provide the action plan to get it fixed. Make your website sticky for your target audience and make it your best sales tool.