by Courtney Gordner
When it comes to keeping track of your website’s success, certain metrics are more important than others. Google Analytics is capable of serving up a wealth of information, and knowing which numbers to focus on can help you narrow down your focus to what’s working and what’s not.
The bounce rate of your website should be of particular interest, since it can help you to greatly improve the customer experience on your site. Bounce rate is, quite simply, a measurement of how many visitors leave your site after visiting a single page. As you can probably guess, your landing page – the page that provides your customers with their first impression — is hugely important to decrease bounce rate.
Below we’ll take a look at the most important qualities of a high-quality landing page to help you keep customers where you want them.
A general web design tenet that can be of particular help when you’re designing a landing page is the idea that nobody wants to be greeted by a wall of text. While we’re all guilty of skimming wordy articles in our web travels, the patience of customers is a particularly precious resource.
Remedying your site’s wordiness could be as simple as taking advantage of a popular optical illusion; breaking up large blocks of text could give readers the impression that there are fewer words than there actually are, when in fact all you’ve done is invest in some tasteful reorganization.
Granted, the issue could simply be that your site suffers from lengthy or poorly written content. If you want to get an outside opinion on the quality of your web copy, you might even think about having a third-party editorial service take a look at your site.
Intuitive Site Navigation
Nothing will chase a customer away more quickly than not being able to find what they’re looking for. If you’re going to be courting new customers, you’ll want to be sure that you’ve made it as easy as possible to get around on your site; existing customers may take your organizational challenges in stride, but it’s going to be a turn-off for first-time visitors.
One simple fix is to make sure that your site’s navigation menu stands out against the rest of your web design. Make it a prominent feature of the site, rather than burying it.
Say Goodbye to Autoplay
No matter how proud you may be of the multimedia content on your site, forcing music, sound effects or videos to autoplay when a customer visits is a surefire way to chase them away. If visitors to your website are scrambling for the mute button, or frantically closing tabs to silence your site, you’ve lost a potential customer. Providing engaging multimedia content is great, but don’t force it on your visitors.
Don’t Forget About the Old Content
If your site’s homepage serves as your landing page, there are a number of simple mistakes you can make. If you’ve been experiencing an unusually high bounce rate on your homepage, the problem could be the fact that you’re highlighting only your site’s newest content. By directing customers directly to your most recent posts, you’re inviting them to skim it and then leave.
You may want to think about shining a spotlight on some of your older content, as long as it’s still relevant. Think of content placement as a trail of breadcrumbs; sometimes it’s best to let them find their way to the news stuff, rather than serving it up right away.
Don’t Forget About Mobile Users
It may come as no surprise, but more and more web traffic is coming from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Because a greater percentage of your prospective customers will be visiting your site on a mobile device, you’ll want to be sure that your landing page takes mobile usability into account.
When it comes to mobile traffic, wordiness is a particularly important issue to iron out, since screen real estate is at a premium. You’re also going to want to strip out any images or other visual distractions that could cause the page to load slowly on a slower connection.
The Best Landing Pages
There’s no shortage of other design techniques to experiment with. Web design principles, such as color and contrast, might seem fairly contextual or subjective, but plenty of studies have revealed surprising relationships between color choice and customer retention. You’ll also want to pay close attention to ad placement on your site. If they’re too prominent, or they interfere with yours site’s usability, you’re going to chase your customers away.
Aside from these things, remember to never lose sight of the fact that your landing page is often your only chance to persuade visitors to stick around. If you have that simple fact in mind, you’ll already be on your way.
Gordon | Courtesy of the author