Quick Website Changes that Improve Your Bounce Rate

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The Importance of Bounce Rate:

What in the world is “bounce rate”, and why is it important for websites?

Bounce rate is one of those nebulous calculations that Google uses in order to rank our websites. In essence, bounce rate is the measure of how long a “visitor” stays on a webpage. This depends upon numerous factors, such as: functionality, aesthetics, target audience, user experience, and, of course, if your “visitor” has found what they’re looking for in the first place.

Bounce rate is sometimes referred to by website designers as “stickiness”; and Google measures it in percentages. For example, if the bounce rate for your home page is fifty percent, fifty percent of your visitors are leaving within about a minute of arriving — or, are “bouncing” off the page elsewhere. So basically, the lower the percentage of “bounce rate”, the more engaging and “user-friendly” is your content, and the higher your website ranks on Google.

Let’s take a look at a few website issues that are relatively simple fixes to improve bounce rate:

Clear and functionality of navigation:

Although it may seem somewhat obvious, the easier your website is to navigate through, the lower your bounce rate will be. This includes ease of finding answers to clients’ questions, and follow through. You can imagine how challenging it is to come across a potentially informative website, only to discover that it isn’t what you’re looking for, nor does it answer the question or issue you are trying to solve.

This follows the premise that effective keywords in your SEO — Search Engine Optimization — will effectively lead potential clients to the vital information you are providing on your web pages. Ideally, relevant keywords and content — which we will cover shortly — will inevitably draw needed and valued clients to your site, lower your bounce rate, and increase your ranking on search engines.

Speed at which pages are loaded:

Another “given” in lowering bounce rate involves how quickly your pages load. In this age of “high-speed internet” and “I need it now–yesterday…”, it is imperative that one’s website loads quickly and efficiently. Gone are the days when it was more or less acceptable to load a website, and then go do something else while it takes two or three minutes to load. Even if a page loads for longer than five or six seconds, a potential client will be gone and move on in no time…

Things that will drag down your web page include, but are not exclusive to:
1)Self-hosting video content; 2)Large files or images; and 3)Hosting issues related to server maintenance.
Addressing these issues ahead of time will keep your pages loading quickly and efficiently, and prevent you from losing valuable clients “bouncing” off of your web pages.

Value of engaging content:

Content, content, content! Like the proverbial real-estate agent’s mantra: “Location! Location! Location!”
Valuable and informative content, placed strategically on your homepage, especially, and throughout your website, will draw your visitors. Great content answers their questions, solves their issues, and engages them so that they will not only enjoy their experience, but will come back for more! This is what ultimately lowers your “bounce rate” percentages and ranks your site higher on search engines.

But what makes content valuable? What is the secret formula? I know it sounds anticlimactic and redundant, but it is simplicity, in all its grandeur… Use keywords that your potential clients will most likely use in their searches. State your purpose, plain and simple, right there on your homepage. Be yourself, conversational, and engaging. It doesn’t have to sound highfalutin or technical. The internet is so dry and impersonal as it is…Your content has to make up for it, and have your clients returning.
They like that.

And finally, Calls to Action!

After navigation, quick-loading pages, and great content, calls to action is paramount to success in lowering your bounce rate. It sounds like a sales pitch; and it is…to a point. Your business is important; tell your customers why. Your business will solve their issues better than the “other guy”; show them how. Give them the first steps to conversion, engagement, and finally committing to giving you their business.

For example, say you have a blog about the importance of expanding one’s education. You tell them the facts, the statistics, the economy. You explain why education is important, not only in younger people, but throughout one’s life: how expanding one’s mind offers longevity and self-fulfillment…
And then….you stop…no “next steps…” no “learn more…” no “sign up for more information…”
Get the idea?
Once you’ve made the all-important conversion, there has to be that next level of engagement to finally get that subscription, make that connection, and get that customer or client.

In conclusion:

Hopefully, this covers most difficulties in relation to bounce rate and its importance. Website design and functionality are always evolving, and the importance of consistently optimizing one’s site cannot be stressed enough. There is always room for improvement and growth.

Let us know your thoughts and input! We value informative and positive feedback!

Five Signs that Your Website Needs Work

five signs your website needs work

In this age of technology, it is no secret that the world of internet marketing is fast becoming a growing entity of the future. Just as the average physical business needs upkeep and maintenance, so does even the simplest of websites. Whether you are a lifestyle blogger or a large e-commerce mega-store, your website needs monthly, weekly, and sometimes even daily upkeep.

The World Wide Web is a constantly evolving entity; even more so than the average fad or trend. So much so, that internet scholars working on degrees in web design often find themselves behind the times by the time they graduate! It is for this reason that we have narrowed down five primary signs that your website may need some work.

Is your website outdated?

Like businesses themselves, websites need to be kept up to date, maintained, and refreshed. A website cannot be just put together and slapped up on the internet indefinitely. Like standing water, it will stagnate and become stale information. As your coveted audience stops by your web page, they will see the same old stuff and move on. Also known as “bounce rate,” this means that Google analytics measures the amount of time your visitors stay on your web pages. For example, a 50 percent bounce rate means that 50 percent of your visitors are not engaging or spending any time on your site. Hence, the need to update: by this, I mean: maintain current content, relevant images, and engaging messages.

Is your website “mobile responsive”?

Mobile responsive? What exactly does “mobile responsive” mean?

It is a fact that the average consumer spends more time navigating Google and social media on iPhones and tablets, than on a standard desktop or PC. Therefore, in order to reach more consumers, businesses need to make their websites visible on both iPhones and tablets, as well as laptops. If your website is “responsive”, it will be not only visible, but navigable and readable on any device screen, in any browser. Speaking of Google, Google actually penalizes websites that are neither responsive nor have SSL. (https in their URL; not HTTP)

Does your website have effective SEO?

SEO, as you probably already know, means “Search Engine Optimization”.

What “Search Engine Optimization” basically means is how search engines, like Google, rank your website and make it more visible to your audience. Since Google functions by algorithm, one never knows exactly what will make a site rank higher than another, but we can take a pretty good guess. With handy WordPress plugins like Yoast, and an attentive website developer, your website can rank higher on Google–get closer to page one of the search engine–and ultimately get more eyes on your business. Let’s face it, when searching for something on Google, how often do you keep searching till you get to page nine or ten?

Is your website easy to navigate?

This may seem a no-brainer, but there few things more frustrating than getting lost on a large website. Unfortunately, this happens more often than not. A front page may take forever to load. Buttons that may be vaguely marked don’t open to the correct page or post. Even more annoying is not being able to get back to what we were searching for in the first place! What starts as an exciting opportunity quickly becomes a bad experience, and we can’t leave the site fast enough. Time to have a professional give it a once-over.

Is your website reaching your audience?

Finally, and probably most importantly, is your message getting across? Are you reaching the very individuals you have spent so much time and effort into connecting to? In other words, you may have beautiful images, and pristine SEO, but are you turning that precious traffic into conversions. Conversions is what a truly effective website produces in the long run. It is the deep sense of satisfaction in knowing that our work has paid off. Whether for positive feedback, happy customers, or higher income levels, we want our website to finally reach our ultimate goal.

Have other suggestions or issues? Please let us know in the comments! We appreciate and welcome feedback!

 

 

Dragonflies as Examples of Design and Functionality

So, tell me about these dragonflies…

Dragonflies are among some of the most intriguing insects on the planet. Flying rapidly, and hovering effortlessly over various bodies of water, adult dragonflies actually only live for about several months at the most.

Dragonflies, like butterflies, and other members of their family, Odonata, live most of their lives as nymphs, or young, wingless insects. As they mature into beautifully colored, flying adults, they feed on smaller insects, and are extremely adept and efficient in flight. Although the largest wingspans of some dragonflies in Central America have only been measured to be approximately seven and a half inches; in prehistoric times, their wing fossils have measured up to an astonishing twenty-nine and a half inches!

 

But what’s with the dragonflies? What makes them so special–so significant?

In numerous dragonfly folklore, dragonflies signify change, maturity, and adaptability. This unique insect’s four wings move in such synchrony that the dragonfly can fly in six different directions: hovering–like a helicopter, straight upwards, backwards, both directions sideways, and downward. This amazing ability is a must for being able to feed; protect themselves from predators; guard their habitat; and have the agility to adapt to sudden changes and situations. Ironically, all of these qualities are also imperative to running and maintaining any successful business or endeavor. A website, like the effervescent dragonfly, must have the same versatility and “flight” adaptability. It should excel in performance and in functionality, and be responsive to the needs of both clients and their customers.

 

So how does this apply to me and my business needs?

We, at Green Dragonfly Web Development, understand the needs and issues behind running a successful website. The internet business market is a booming industry, with unlimited potential for growth. A website’s design should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but should also reflect its functionality as well. A functionality which is user-friendly: made and developed by real people to help promote the needs of real people and their businesses. Websites need dedicated personnel with minute attention to detail. Like dragonflies, websites, in their own way, have multiple functionalities: They can move forward in pursuit of the client’s mission or business; backward, to re-assess direction or analytics; sideways, to create design and efficiency, even while live. It can also “hover” in the vast expanse of the internet…yet it must protect itself from the “prey” of viruses and potential “predators”.

 

Once the website is up and running, then what?

The great advantage to having a website built by people who know how to build websites, is threefold:

  • There will always be someone available to assist in solving functional and coding issues–so your site is always running smoothly.
  • There are countless ways to illustrate and design your website according to YOUR parameters. An actual human will navigate the endless array of code to meet your specifications.
  • After your website is complete, the thorough maintenance provided to keep it updated will give you security and peace of mind for as long as you wish.

That’s amazing! How do I get started?

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