Are visitors fleeing your website in droves with zero engagement or interaction? Here are eight things that are making your bounce rates sky-rocket. Fix them, or you’re sunk.

Content Not Satisfying Searcher Intent

unsatisfying content

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People visit your website to find information search results have led them to believe your pages contain. Serving them content riddled with sales language, lacking in-depth information, or is boring to read will cause searchers to leave your site. Sentences stuffed with search engine optimization keywords won’t address user concerns either — and may trigger a Google algorithm penalty.

Focus on the Searcher: Write for searcher intent with useful information that doesn’t ‘hide the ball’ with a sales pitch or sign-up requirement. People will stay on your site longer and share your info, which will increase your traffic and opportunities to convert.

Poor Website Navigation

poor website navigation

Image via Flickr from S.A.L.

If visitors can’t find the information they want on your site, they’re going to look elsewhere. Poor navigation and page layout can easily confuse people, leading them to bounce away. You want a clean page layout that presents your content front and center. Don’t require searchers to click through multiple pages to get information. Cut the excess in the interest of a streamlined user experience.

Enable Breadcrumbs: Getting lost in the depths of a massive website causes users to flee your site for landing pages with easier navigation. Install a breadcrumbs plugin to give visitors a clear path back to where they started.

Slow Load Times

slow load times

Sluggish website speed can kill both the time users spend on site and your search rankings. People won’t wait more than a couple of seconds for your page to load. Even those that hang around will have diminished trust and attention. Your page needs to load in an instant, or searchers will probably think there’s something wrong with your domain.

Optimize Your Website: Check out how fast your website loads by running it through Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Fix the problems that appear in red, which usually amount to leveraging browser caching and cutting down on the render blocking JavaScript.

Pop-Ups Blocking Content Access

content blocking popups

Image via Flickr from epSos

Searchers today won’t put up with heavy-handed conversion tactics and will leave your site for one that doesn’t demand personal information. Want people to sign up for your mailing list? There’s a better way to ask than by blocking content access until they give you an email address.

Get rid of those forms flying in from the edges of your page offering a “chat live” service, as they just attract spam bots trying to sell you “guaranteed” marketing strategies. Any legitimate lead that clicks on a chat service has more steps to go through to access your content or service. Reduce the barriers to entry for better interaction and lower bounce rates.

Utilize a Strong Call to Action: Converting searchers into fans means giving them compelling content that addresses their needs, and asking them to join your community to get more of it. Install a contact form where searchers can join to get more of your stuff.

Lack of Mobile Friendly Design

mobile friendly design

Image via Flickr from Wily

Ignoring people accessing the web through mobile devices shuts the door on 30 percent of potential search traffic to your website. A website not optimized for mobile search can have images that block content, forms that don’t function, and a poor user experience searchers won’t tolerate. People don’t think it’s a good idea for your site to work well on mobile anymore — they expect it. Blame your exploding bounce rate on your site’s shaky mobile version.

Code for Responsive Design: Responsive design shrinks your website to fit the user’s viewing screen, whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or phone. This is the best way to make sure your site stays consistent in its content delivery and appearance.

Too Many Converting Elements

too many ctas

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A cluttered web page with multiple contact forms and flashy selling points turns your site into the Internet version of a swap meet. All that glitz and in-your-face buzz phrasing turns modern searchers off in a hurry. Trust your content and products to give visitors what they want, without beating them to death with your branding messages. They get it.

Streamline Your Forms: One contact form to rule them all. Feature it prominently on the right or left side of the screen, away from site content. Include a call to action at the form’s top, detailing what users can get for converting — free case review, 20 percent off your order — in one line of text.

Ancient Website Design

ancient website design

Image via Flickr from paolo.gislimberti

Appearance plays an important role in how searchers choose to interact with your site. A website that looks like it came from 1995 throws up red flags in the minds of today’s Internet users. They think your site probably wants to steal their credit card info, or at the very least, send malware to their computers. The result is a fast bounce in search of a better looking domain.

Re-Skin Your Website: You may be able to update the look of your website in a few clicks, depending on your content management system. Check out these free WordPress themes and revamp your site’s image before it’s too late.

Auto Playing Video and Audio

autoplay audio

Image via Flickr from Snefa

Ever open a web page that starts blaring loud music from an unidentifiable source immediately upon loading? You probably clicked away from that page right away. So will visitors to your site, if you force unwanted audio or video on them without asking. There’s nothing wrong with presenting videos or music, but give your visitors a choice in accessing it. They’ll stick around longer and dig deeper into what your site has to offer.

Create a Dedicated Video Section: Add a page where visitors can watch your videos. Host the video on YouTube or Vimeo and embed the footage into the page. Doing so helps with load times and viewability.

User experience is the most important element in effective website design. If you give them what they want, visitors will do more than read your blog posts — they’ll turn into an entire community of cheerleaders, fans, and supporters.

Just like everything in life, marketing has some basic rules that you’re supposed to follow. However, in some cases, your marketing benefits from breaking these rules. While you don’t want to break all of the rules all of the time, remember that these are not set in stone.

1. Keep Your Focus Unwaveringly


Image via Flickr by Mark Hunter

Rule: It’s said in the marketing world that you should keep your focus. What should you be focusing on, exactly? The rule is that you should focus on your marketing strategy and conversions. Without conversions, you’re not going to make any money. So, you need to do anything and everything necessary to increase the people coming to your landing page, which will in turn help you sell more.

How to Break It: Let’s be honest – making money is most likely the reason you have a landing page in the first place. You want people buying your product or service. However, the best way to do this is not to constantly focus on getting people in the door. If you do this, you’re going to end up getting the wrong people. Instead, focus on your customers. Figure out your target market and use it. In addition to this, you’ll want to split your focus between a few things. Customers, marketing strategy, and your landing page layout all need to be on your mind.


Cool Free Tool: Is My Site Broken by Voodoo Alerts

Voodoo Alerts has launched a cool free tool that accurately and quickly checks any website for breakages, browser incompatibility, and many more factors that commonly cause poor user experience and failed conversions. This great free website check tool will analyze your website and provide feedback to help you fix any breaks that may be costing you money.

Need an example? What if your payment funnel is broken? How long would it take before you knew this, and could get it fixed? How many dollars would be lost if your ability to take payment on the most popular version of Chrome was compromised for an hour or two? The most used Chrome version accounts for 18 percent of all internet traffic, so that means your profit for those few hours decreased by at least as much. No design team is perfect, so this tool does the difficult work for you, identifying possible problems that the team has missed, automatically.

Is My Site Broken free tool

Is this just another synthetic test?

That’s a great question, but c’mon, you know us better than that. Would we waste your time talking about just another synthetic website test? Of course not! This website check tool is intuitive, using what we like to call “bloodhound analytics” to sniff out the root of your failed conversions. Synthetic tests only check your site for predetermined, preprogrammed factors. But let’s be honest, if we knew which sectors were breaking well enough to program a synthetic test to examination their function, we wouldn’t need the test right? With this free website check tool, you’ll get a website report that grades each main class of your website against the industry standard. Know exactly how you stack up against your competition and how you can better your company to gain an edge on the competition. (more…)

A/B testing is the best way to find out how you can mold your website to optimize conversions. However, it does not guarantee better numbers for your business. If you go about A/B testing incorrectly, your efforts could amount to striking the air—leaving you frustrated, tired, and with nothing to show for all your efforts.

Is your A/B testing working for you or against you? Are you making any of the following mistakes? (more…)

To give you an idea of how powerfully pricing can influence consumer behavior, consider the results of a recent study done by three management professors at Yale. The study gave subjects $1 with which they could either buy one of two packs of gum or keep their money and buy neither. When the researchers priced both packs of gum equally at 63 cents, only 46 percent of subjects made a purchase. By contrast, when they priced the packs of gum at 62 cents and 64 cents respectively, 77 percent of subjects made a purchase.

Clearly, even the slightest variation in price can have a profound impact on sales, which is why more and more companies are trying to take the guesswork out of pricing strategy by split or A/B testing price. Split testing can give businesses insight into what to charge and how to display price by revealing how actual customers respond to different pricing scenarios.

However, the marketing industry remains vehemently divided on the wisdom of split testing price. Some say value-based pricing is impossible without it, while others believe it does more harm than good. Below, we explore the arguments of both sides on the issue. (more…)

Through email campaigns, pay-per-click, and more, you’re driving people to your website every day. However, it’s likely the majority of your traffic is coming straight to your homepage. This seems like the ideal place to send people, but in reality, it’s one of the worst options. Make sure you’re sending people somewhere useful.

Microsite or Landing Page

Are you targeting a specific subsection of your audience? If so, make sure to send them to a microsite or landing page. These pages can be created specifically for the audience you target. This is most effective when used for pay-per-click campaigns. When a customer clicks on the link, it takes them to a site specifically related to what they searched for. They will feel more connected to your company and your product this way, rather than if they were simply taken to the home page. (more…)

Your email marketing materials must stand out – not just in a user’s inbox, but once the email is opened too. In the past, email marketing campaigns that encouraged click-throughs typically did so by inspiring users. Read on to find out four ways that you can ensure your email marketing stands out from a crowded inbox and gets the message across.

Give It Personal Appeal

Nothing is more compelling than an email in which the President of the United States calls you by name. President Obama’s Change email campaign understood this exact approach. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be our nation’s leader to take advantage of it.

Email macros make it easy to include a personalized touch, but how you use a person’s name is just as important. The best emails feel personal.  And they are. So, address the customer, but also reach out like an old friend. (more…)

To pop up or not to pop up, that is the question – and the answer isn’t as simple as you think. Sometimes a pop-up is an ad, other times pop-up content is meant as an aid or helper item that provides more information to visitors; however, it could be hurting your business instead.

Read on for the lowdown on knowing when this strategy works and when you should avoid it altogether.

The Good and The Great

Image via Flickr by jonworth-eu

Rich media ads created with HTML5 are the best way to execute pop-up content. Floating rich media pop-ups appear on top of existing content and require the user to close it before he or she can continue. However, rich media ads typically take advantage of the format and include videos or a call-to-action with a reply form.

A good pop-up would also consider the type of content a user might want to see. It’s customizable and adaptable. For example, an inbound pop-up ad should be relative to the content the user is currently viewing, as in a product. Likewise, an adaptable rich media pop-up may detect the user’s Internet speed and provide relevant content without killing his or her download speeds. (more…)

Today, companies must optimize for three different user experiences: laptop/desktop, tablet, and mobile. Morgan Stanley analysts predict that more users will reach the Internet on their mobile device than on their computers by 2015 (or sooner). Take Google’s latest changes to its algorithm into account — it’s trying to better understand/produce answers for long-tail search queries (common to mobile users) — and you’ll understand the need for a quality mobile site and landing pages.

If you’re making any of the following mistakes on your mobile site, you’re leaving business on the table.

Your Images Aren’t Scalable

multiple devices
Image via Flickr by mattcornock

The images on your website should change size according to the device they’re being viewed on. If your images aren’t scalable, they won’t fit the screen view and they’ll affect text and flow. You can fix this problem by using responsive design. (more…)

When it comes to generating new leads for your business, you don’t have to do all the work. Your customers can also work for you by generating leads through social media and sharing. The following ideas are low-cost ways you can use your customers and social media to spread your company name.

You Can’t Afford to Ignore Video

Image via Flickr by Roberto Verzo

In December of 2013 alone, 188.2 million people in the United States watched online videos. Video content is no longer just for funny pet tricks and embarrassing falls. Retailers are learning that videos are an ideal way to generate sales and turn customers into brand advocates. For example, online housewares store Stacks and Stacks found that customers were 144 percent more likely to buy an item if they had viewed a video about it. With close to 55 percent growth in 2012, video is the fastest growing advertisement tool online. While the ideal product video is no more than 30 seconds long, it should also be engaging enough for consumers to share.

Of course, video content production can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. You can either hire another company to create something for you, or you can pick up your iPhone and use your computer’s editing software. (more…)