Would you like to know the secret to lowering the bounce rate on your web pages at the same time increasing their conversion rate?
It’s not that hard to do if you can match your web visitors with the goals of your web page…and the way to do that is to use these six insights I’m about to share with you.
Let’s talk about aligning user and web page goals first.
Matching User Goals with Your Web Page Goals
So, what do I mean when I say “match user and web page goals”? For example, if I type in “web analytics tools” into Google, I get this results page:
And if I choose the Accenture.com sponsored link, here’s the page I land on:
By looking at the above page, can you tell me what Accenture would like me to do? If you said “take the assessment” you’d be right!
So do you think that Accenture has very good conversion for that page? I would think so. The goal of the user is tightly aligned with the goal of the web page.
The lesson for you is to get the two goals as closely aligned as you possibly can…the closer they are, the higher your conversion rate is going to be and the lower your bounce rate.
Let’s look at the insights now.
Insight 1: Sources
Your first step is to understand where your traffic is coming from. Look at your analytics and see which websites are referring traffic…look at the entrance paths and keywords.
In Google Analytics, you can do a segmentation drill down to see sources by Campaign, Medium and Ad content.
Evaluate the keywords to see which ones are sending you traffic. Are they relevant to that particular page? If not then no surprise that people abandon the page.
What should you do? Optimizing the keywords on the page would be a great start.
Next, look at the websites that are sending you traffic. Are they linking to your page via a confusing link? Then you know why people are bailing.
If that’s the case, you should contact the website owner and suggest they optimize the link to reflect the content it’s linking to and lower the bounce rate.
Next, evaluate what campaigns are driving people to your site and the conversion rate on those campaigns. In Google Analytics you can find this report here:
As you evaluate, did your goals you had behind those campaigns, like content, calls to action and discounts match user expectation? Make sure those campaigns match the goal of the web page.
In the end, your goal is to get your “referring keyword” report to show pretty much a perfect match for the content on that page. That will take time to accomplish, but lower bounce rates and higher page conversions will be worth it.
Insight 2: Calls to Action
One of the biggest reasons that web pages fail is because of poor call to actions. The customer wants to do one thing but your page forces them to do something else.
You should make it easy for your user. For example, if you visit getspool.com, you’ll come to this page:
What is the call to action on this page? There are actually two, but both complement each other. Since Spool is a new tool, you will probably wonder what exactly it can do for you. The web page developer rightly put an introduction video on the landing page.
But that’s not all.
Beside that you can see the sign up box for an invitation. Their call to action is clear: “sign up for our invite list.”
Let’s look at a bad example.
Say I’m searching for “cloud storage.”
I search Google and scan the text ads on the right and decide that since Dell is a reputable company I’ll choose their link. They should provide me with good solutions on cloud storage, right?
When I land on the page this is what I get:
I don’t get it.
I’m looking for cloud storage but I land on a page that’s talking about “fluid architecture.” The bold line mentions something about managing my data through something called “storage consolidation.”
This web page fails because it’s not aligned with my goals. In fact, it raises more questions than it answers.
Let’s look at a non-ecommerce example real quick. Search for “social media news” and Mashable.com is at the top of the page. I go to their website and this is what I see:
As you can see, there is a perfect match between content and my goal when I arrive on the page. I’m sent to the home page where I see the featured/latest news…and the navigation is clear that if I want news specific to just social media, I can click that tab.
When it comes to deciding which calls to action are the most important, it should be those actions that users are going to perform the most. And they should be clear.
Look at your web pages. Identify what are the one or two jobs you want a user to do on that page and then get rid of everything else. The goal to raising conversion rates is to focus your call to actions.
Insight 3: Five-Second Rule
As I explained in the last insight, when it comes to creating web pages that match your users’ goals with your web pages’ goals, it’s best to keep it simple. One of the best ways to test whether a visual presentation is simple is to run the five-second test.
This test was originally created by Vinod Khosla. He would put up a slide then remove it after five seconds and ask the viewer to tell him what he remembered. Dense slides would fail, meaning less is more.
You can test your web pages the same way by using a tool like fivesecondtest.com.
This is a great tool to use to test your mock ups, call to actions and wireframes. The steps for doing so are easy.
- Sign up for a free account.
- Upload a screenshot of your web page.
- Let users complete your test.
- View your results.
The graphic representation I outlined in red shows you in a quick glance what appears to be the main goal of the site, in this case “download this.”
You then have to decide if that is what you were trying to accomplish. If not, then you need to tweak and retest. Fortunately it’s free so you can do this as many times as you want!
Testing is something you should be doing all the time. It provides such great feedback that will raise your conversion rates. If you’re not testing, you’re leaving money on the table.
Insight 4: Testing
As you probably know, I’m very fond of testing and tracking my results. That’s how I came up with the new blog design, including the colors.
You might wonder why color would be so important, but during my testing I learned that the newer calm yellow boosted the time my blog readers spent reading each post to 4 minutes and 17 seconds. That’s a huge insight, wouldn’t you agree?
In addition, in a re-design test I ran two years ago I learned that my blog readers don’t like “categories.” I also learned that they preferred content in the “most popular post” widget off to the right.
I wouldn’t have uncovered these insights if I hadn’t tested.
Testing your web pages will allow you to build pages that attract more readers and gives them what they want, lowering your bounce and raising your conversion rate.
One of the best ways to test and experiment is to use A/B testing tools like Optimizely. This is a great tool that allows you to test elements on your page in real time, so you can even make edits as results pour in.
How well does it work? Well, Optimizely performed a test on their home page to see if they could raise their conversion numbers for their call to action “try this.”
They tested different wording for that button, like “Get Started,” “Test it out!” and “Give it a try!” In the end, by looking at the get_started goal and the data from the conversion rates and error bars they were able to figure out that “Test it out!” had the highest conversion rate.
A/B testing will always give you a definite answer to the clear winner. There is no guessing. You will know from the numbers.
Insight 5: Heat Maps
Instead of looking at numbers, you can look at what users actually clicked on your page by using overlays like Crazy Egg’s heat map.
Here’s the confetti version:
You can see where the visitors are converging in addition to the top referrer in the chart to the left. You could also look at how users typically scroll on your site:
And here’s the traditional heat map view:
If you look at two of the hottest spots on the page, “All Time” articles and the “Join” button are the two most clicked buttons. That’s good news because one of my goals with Quick Sprout is to encourage people to subscribe.
It looks like it’s working!
When you do this for your own web pages you will start to see where all the clicks are, but you’ll also be able to break those clicks down into segments. It shows you visitor clusters and their goals.
You then can optimize your own web page based on this information, closing the gap between user and web page goals.
Insight 6: Visitors
Last, but not least, one of the easiest ways to figure out why a web page isn’t performing well is to simply ask your users. And the best tool that I’ve found to help you understand why people exit your site is Qualaroo.
This survey is simple and asks these questions:
- Based on today’s visit, how would you rate your site experience overall?
- Which of the following best describes the primary purpose of your visit?
- Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?
- (If yes) What do you value most about the [sitename] website?
- (If no) Please tell us why you were not able to fully complete the purpose of your visit today?
You will have to sort through the data and interpret the findings, but the insights you gain will be worth it!
Raising the conversion rates on your web pages is easy when you understand which insights you need. And since there are six of them, you should have plenty of information to make wise decisions that matches user and web page goals.
What tools and insights do you use to lower your bounce rates and increase conversion on your web pages?