A high bounce rate can be a little soul-crushing. You invest and work hard on your website, only for people to spend seconds on a page before leaving. What’s going wrong?
Most businesses focus on making their homepage the “front door” of their website, and that’s a good thing. You want your homepage to be welcoming and clear. But there is no guarantee that your homepage will actually be the page a visitor lands on. What if a first-time visitor to your site gets there because an interior page showed up on a SERP? Will they still know what to do?
When you consider every page on your website as the potential first page a visitor sees, you start to view your pages differently. You begin to think of every page as a “homepage” which must entice the reader to stick around, read some content and, hopefully, click a link to explore your site a little further.
Here are six tips to stop visitors from hitting the back button when they arrive at your site:
1. Answer questions immediately.
You know how they say it takes 7 seconds for someone to form a first impression? A website gets even less time. A first-time visitor to your website will decide whether to stay or hit the back button after only a quick glance.
They have to quickly decide:
- Am I in the right place?
- Does this page have the information I’m looking for?
- Should I bother reading more?
To prevent visitors from leaving, you have to answer their questions ASAP. The content at the top of the page must work together to communicate quickly and clearly what the page is about and why a visitor should keep reading.
2. Create a cohesive, informative header.
The page header is an important sign that helps visitors orient themselves on your website. It should include:
- Your company name and/or logo
- A link to the homepage from your company name/logo
- A brief and descriptive website tagline that explains what your site is about.
Avoid large header graphics as they reduce the usable space above the fold (we’ll get to that in a minute).
3. Make sure your navigation is clear and uncluttered.
For visitors who arrive through a link and decide to continue browsing your site, clear, concise and intuitive navigation labels are a must. Don’t let your visitor get lost and wander off!
4. Make your pages able to stand on their own.
When a visitor arrives via a link they have very little context for your website. So make sure every page is self-explanatory and can be understood without having to read any other pages on your site. It’s OK to repeat some information found on other pages if it helps the reader understand the page.
Be sure to put a call to action with some links at the end of each page. Because every page must be a starting point for further exploration, not an endpoint.
5. Put important information above the fold.
“Above the fold” refers to the portion of a web page a reader can see without scrolling. Readers will only scroll down if you’ve successfully captured their attention and aroused enough curiosity to read on.
Don’t make visitors read a load of background information before they get to the point. A good tactic is to write a summary of the page in the first paragraph, just like a newspaper article. And don’t forget to include your most compelling benefits.
6. Build out a network of related links.
When someone arrives at your page from a search engine you know they’re interested in the page’s topic. So it makes sense to link to other relevant information on your website, such as other articles and products.
A good rule of thumb is to include at least two links to other pages on your site. Include one link to a page that’s higher in the site hierarchy, like a services page or your contact page, and another link to a page that’s lower on your site hierarchy, like a specific product page or a blog.
By applying these six tips to your website pages, visitors will find the information they’re looking for and be more likely to stay a while and browse more areas of your website. Need more help with making your website a welcome place for visitors? webFEAT Complete can help you get your interior pages up to the challenge. Reach out today!