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Tuesday
Nov152011

Grab people's attention and keep them on your site

Use Google Analytics to track visitors on your website

Getting visitors to your website is just the beginning of engaging them online. Your homepage is like your shop window, and in the same way that physical stores use signage and window displays to draw people through the door, your website needs to send the right messages to visitors to encourage them to spend time on your website.

Bounce-rate is the term given to the proportion of visitors to your website who don't engage with your content, but instead leave immediately. They bounce by clicking the back button, or by closing their browser. The rate is shown as a percentage in Google Analytics and other visitor tracking software, and anything over a 50% bounce-rate is a signal that visitors are not being drawn in by your homepage content.

Reduce your website's bounce rate by understanding your visitor's expectations

As in the physical world first impressions count. It's critical that your homepage offers a clear, easy to navigate, body of information that they can understand. Are you serving your visitors the right information, in a format that is clear and accessible? Are your navigation menus clear, each link containing descriptive text, that helps both humans and search engines understand where the link will take them? For example if you're a wedding planner, changing your services menu to wedding planning services helps potential customers find the page of your website they want in a glance.

Good practices include: 

  • Clear navigation menus
  • Landing pages for specific content or services
  • Professional quality content, including photo and video

Whilst flashy (Flash) content can seem attractive on the first visit, regular customers are likely to be frustrated by an intro or splash page as it slows down their entrance to your website, and doesn't provide them with new or relevant information. A snippet from your most recent news story, blog post, or twitter feed is much more helpful.

The key question to improving visitor engagement is “what are my visitors expecting when they visit my website?”. Once you answer that question you can decide how to present the information most effectively.

If you don't know the answer to that question, look at your traffic tracking software, such as Google Analytics, and see what search queries people are using to find your website. If you're an accountant and the leading search queries relate to personal tax, then you should feature information, advice or a description of your personal tax services on your homepage.

If you discover that the phrases people use to find your website are not the services that you want to promote, then you need to look critically at your website and ask yourself why the search engine has connected you to those keywords, and not the ones you want.

Google's External Keyword Tool

To discover what phrases Google has connected to your website visit their External Keyword Tool, enter your website url in the Find Keywords section. You can see the number of monthly searches globally, or in your country. Choose Exact match for accuracy.

Don't hesitate to call us for more information on on-page optimization, seo services or content strategies for business.

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