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Attract – and Retain – Web Traffic

Many web developers and analysts are no doubt already familiar with the term “Bounce Rate”, but it’s a phrase business owners and professionals hoping to gain traction and traffic with their websites need to become familiar with. Your bounce rate indicates your appeal as a site and as a company because it tells you how many people visit your site but leave almost immediately. For example, your website’s home page may have attracted 1,000 unique visitors yesterday, but if 800 of those visitors left your site after briefly scanning the page and didn’t interact with any of your videos, images, or links, you have an 80% bounce rate for that day. This definitely isn’t something you want for the growth of your enterprise!

Bounce rate is important to understand because it could indicate key problems with your content, layout, or design. You want people to return to your website frequently for information, updates, and products. When passers-by glance briefly at your information and move along or press the “back” button on their browsers, this means you’re not providing the information they’re seeking. Here are some easy steps to help avoid that:

1. Make sure your website is very mobile-friendly. Most people use their phones, iPads, and other electronics to shop, read, or interact on social media. If your site isn’t compatible or makes mobile navigation difficult, your audience will be frustrated and give up in less than five seconds based on the latest research. Work with a trusted developer to help ensure your web pages are easy-to-read on all devices.

2. How quickly do your pages load? If you have massive image files or huge video uploads, your pages will take a while to load with average bandwidth. As mentioned previously, customers will generally only wait a few seconds before their attention wanders and their patience dries up. Check and double-check the average time it takes your pages to load on a range of wi-fi speeds. If you encounter problems, consider eliminating data-hogging media and streamline your landing page content.

3. Keep your blog titles or information headings relevant to the information you’re providing. All too often, a website attempts to attract high traffic by creating an alluring title to quickly catch attention. The problem with this tactic, however, is that this technique tends to attract the wrong audience, eliciting frustration when the misleading title doesn’t provide meaningful content. Keep your headings very clear and relevant to your products or blog posts. Your readers will be grateful for the clarity!

4. If your written content is sloppy, it’s time to sharpen it up. Bad grammar, poorly-written sentences, and misspellings detract from your message and convey a lack of professionalism. You may be an expert in your field, but your potential customers won’t be impressed when they see a plethora of grammatical errors on your website. Take a class on professional writing to tighten up your skills. Or, better yet, hire a competent content writer to make you look knowledgeable and impressive.

5. Keep your ads and pay-per-click banners to a minimum. When readers see a web page cluttered with flashing advertisements and tacky promotions, they’ll likely dismiss your website for spam and navigate away from it. Stop this in its tracks by focusing more on earning revenue from your meaningful content and excellent products. This will always increase revenue faster than flashing ads!

While a high bounce rate may be the norm for many websites, it doesn’t mean you need to fall into that category. Following the above guidelines will guarantee an improvement in your own bounce rate and put you a notch above the competition. After all, you never wanted your business to be just average in the first place.