image of tausif akram By: Amby
20 May 2014

Are You Losing Too Much Traffic?

It’s good practice to routinely audit the performance of your website, and there are a number of tools available that provide advanced insight into the analytics and data that matter most. Of course, you still have to understand what those figures actually mean… and what you can do about it.

One of the most important sets of data to look at is the bounce rate of your website. This is the percentage of traffic that “bounces”… or leaves your site within the first 30 seconds of being there. It’s safe to assume that a high bounce rate is a bad thing, because you are losing potential customers.

However, you will never have a 0% bounce rate and you don’t want to. Instead, a more realistic goal would be to keep your bounce rate between 5% and 20%.

How to Lower Your Bounce Rate

Some visitors will arrive to your website for an unknown reason. This is as helpful as the “Keyword (Not Provided)” and it’s just something you have to live with. Accept this, and you can accept a small, reasonable percentage of traffic that bounces immediately. They simply aren’t interested in what you are offering.

In addition, there are visitors who are looking for a cheaper version of your product or service. Negotiating rates degrades the value of what you offer and these clients are bad for your sense of self worth. You want those cheap clients to look elsewhere, and an effective landing page will send them packing by showing that you put quality first.

With that in mind, it is healthy to have a small bounce rate. You can’t appeal to everybody. Yet a higher bounce rate (50% or more) is telling you that you are doing something wrong.

Where is your traffic coming from, and what are they expecting?

Most direct traffic comes from off line marketing. This traffic already knows about your brand, including your website, and went to you directly. Most online traffic comes from either a referring website/external link or a targeted search result. You can use Google Analytics to learn more about where your traffic is coming from, including which websites or search phrases bring you the most web-based traffic.

Digging a little deeper, you can determine what a new visitor is expecting when they arrive to your website. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to attract new visitors with the promise of something for free, and then “flipping the switch” by asking for financial information or a commitment. That’s not free, and it’s not what visitors expected.

There are many similar mistakes that your website might be making… and it all boils down to delivering what was promised. This is why it’s important to keep your internet marketing consistent and be careful with how you promote time sensitive information (such as a special offer or discounted promotion) because it may lead to disappointment and lost customers.

Outside of disappointment, here are several of the leading reasons why traffic will leave your website and become a customer of your competitor instead.

  • Your website uses pop ups or roadblocks.
  • Your website creates a bad first impression, which may be due to low quality web design or intimidating content.
  • Your website is littered with excessive ads. Yuck!
  • Your website takes too long to load.
  • It’s not easy or intuitive to navigate through your website. Nobody likes to hunt for information!
  • Your website isn’t responsive. More and more people are using mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) instead of computers to browse the internet, and ignoring that will cost a large percentage of your traffic.

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