Velcro suit on Velcro wall


Jun 01, 2022

Don’t Build a Website Made of Rubber…

If you’ve never heard the term, “Bounce Rate,” keep reading.

When it comes to branding yourself and positioning yourself as the authority in your niche, your website is the “command central” for expressing your brand personality. Building a website starts like any other construction project. First comes the idea, then a plan is drafted. By following the plan, you purchase your materials and start to build. Is this how you approached your website? Did you end up with a home page made from rubber or Velcro®?

Many business owners know a web presence is expected. If you can’t spit out your URL in conversation, do you really exist? What are the expectations of your site? Is it a money-maker or static brochure of 1990’s vintage? Do you know if your site is working for you? Can you look at the data and know whether the money you spent on your site has paid for itself? That’s a good indicator, right? Got any answers to this rapid-fire interrogation? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Often, the indicator for whether a site is successful or not comes from the data surrounding the home page. Rubber pages just don’t produce results.

A home page made from rubber has a high “bounce rate.” Never looked at your “bounce rate? Most entrepreneurs wouldn’t know what their bounce rate was if their life depended on it. I hate to break it to you, but your life just might depend on it. (Well, at least your livelihood.)

Bounce rate is defined by Google as: “… the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert.”

How Sticky is Your Home Page?

If your home page or landing page doesn’t appear relevant to the visitor, they click the back button. A bounce rate of 60% means six out of every ten visitors leave the site before digging any deeper than the first page. Research says that visitors make a decision whether to stay or go in as little as 1/20th of a second. Most of the attention is giving to site traffic or how many visitors hit your site. I’d rather have 100 visitors to my site that I can convert a major percentage to a client, than 10,000 visitors that make an immediate u-turn. So, I ask again: “Is your home page made out of rubber or Velcro®?” How sticky is your message? Is your site so compelling that the hooks and loops of the Velcro lock together? Are your “time on site” stats or your “total page views” revealing an engaged visitor (soon-to-be client)?

If you suspect your home page is actually made from rubber, I have a few tips. First, you’ll want to analyze your site to determine what may be distracting visitors. Are there graphics or words that don’t indicate your core product or service? You’ve got a fraction of time to grab their attention. What are the graphics or headlines on the site telling your audience?

Next, you’ll want to analyze the keywords that are most prevalent on your site. If your visitors have searched for keywords in Google, they’ve come to your site via that search. Your site may actually be optimized for keywords that have nothing to do with your product or service. Use the free tools that are out there to determine the focus of your text. If you are using a pay-per-click campaign, do your keywords match the content of your home page? If not, consider landing pages that match PPC ads as an interim step.

Another approach to reducing bounce rate is to consider your site navigation. Is it intuitive? Are buttons clickable? Do areas of your site look clickable but aren’t? Frustration can lead to a quick exit.

The best advice I can give for creating a site that converts traffic and leads to sales is to begin the process with a strategic plan. Don’t confuse the skills of a web designer or programmer with those of a trained marketer. Invest in a site that pays for itself with sales. Your site is part of the cost of doing business. One made from rubber will disappoint you every time.

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