What percentage of visitors is leaving your website because they cannot find what they want? Aside from SEO and driving traffic to a website, what happens after they arrive is even more important.
Is your sales copy disjointed, is there a clear call to action, are you speaking to the right audience? Are there conversion funnels in place to facilitate alternative actions? Just by answering these basic thought-provoking questions, you can uncover why bounce rates are high and your pages suffer from fractal projections of coherence vs. a unified theme and defined conversion objective.
It’s not what we think is important as much as what the visitor thinks is important that can make or break a website. Even our homepage at www.seodesignsolutions.com which I have been holding on too for far too long is in the midst of a redesign that allows visitors to get right to what they want, with all assumptions aside.
Some people are (1) curious about SEO Services but are not ready to move forward (2) others have heard about our free WordPress SEO plugin SEO Ultimate and are looking for the download area or additional stats (3) others want to glean SEO tips from the blog and (4) some just ended up here from the authority of the domain ranking for so many keywords.
The point being, regardless of how they got here, it’s up to us how we sculpt the user experience and provide a frictionless transaction to funnel readers to the most appropriate area of the website most suitable for facilitating conversion.
You really have to put yourself in the mind-set of the viewer and give them what they want or they will just close the window, click the back button and find what they need from a competitor who is more savvy at communicating the purpose and intent of the page is and how it can remedy a current concern or provide a solution to what ails them.
SEO is a means to an end, but it won’t make people purchase, you still have to speak their language, create appeal, trust and engage them enough to encourage the proper response. Anything else is merely an exercise in futility, things like (1) asking for personal information without engaging their intelligence (2) having advertisements or banners distracting users when your product or service should be the focal point (3) making the user have to “find Waldo” to figure out what to do next.
All of these things have quick and easy remedies, but, ironically, how frequently are we discouraging users by “SCREAMING AT THEM”, then a simple link or small icon is enough to say, over here is what you need.
Each type of website has its own unique requirements of design, call to action, content and context, finding that is not always easy, but keep in mind, if you can’t figure out in ten seconds from landing on a page:
- What the page is about
- What action item is next
- What’s in it for them AND
- Why they should take action
Then chances are neither will your visitors. In the real world, there are distractions; it is not like people are in the cone of silence when they are reading your content.
If they used a search engine, they are there because (1) they are looking for something or (2) they followed a link from another search which led to a tangential click through meaning they may already by hazy about who, what or why they are there and why they should give you any more of their attention. There is no need for chit-chat at this point, they already know what they want…do you?
With busy office environments, public transportation, deadlines and thousands of things that disrupt the flow of continuity and coherence while they potentially peruse your pages, the last thing you want your website to communicate is more static and “market-speak” for consumers to digest.
The feel good factor exists, even though it is different for everyone, there are things you can do based on usability testing to utilize the right colors, the right type of layout with your template design, just enough text to entice but not too much to discourage them from reading, coherent navigation and the appropriate trust symbols, testimonials or credibility to engage users.
What you cannot do is make half-baked assumptions based on a narrow minority within your own business that you know your own customers needs more than they do. Feedback and testing will allow you to fine-tune vast or elusive elements within a site to a coherent structure without losing your brand awareness in the process.
Bounce rates are a start, for those unfamiliar with the term, “bounce rates are determined by how long a visitor stays on the page or if they click through to another page within the site“, but deeper there is a significance of connection, that if it’s lacking, so will your websites conversions.