Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Improve Bounce Rates to Get More Action

by Kenn Schroder

One of the biggest problems on websites, especially coaching websites, is a high bounce rate.

A bounce rate is the rate at which people simply "bounce" off of your website; specifically, your home page. For instance, a person might land on your home page and won't click further to any other pages.

The impact is obvious. When people bounce off of your site, they don't spend time or take any action. They don't subscribe to your email list. They don't ask for a free session. They don't buy a product. Quite simply, it's a waste of your marketing efforts.

The main cause of high bouncing is confusion. Many home pages aren't clear, aren't easy to look at or read, and don't lead visitors to other pages.

A successful home page gets visitors clicking deeper into the website. To do this, the home page needs to ground people and direct them to the next page.

Three things that get visitors engaged are:

1. Pages that download quickly. Slow-loading websites give visitors time to get distracted and/or think your website doesn't work. It must open up in a few seconds.

2. Professional-looking pages. A professional design says you're a serious coach. It says a serious effort has been made to help the client; meaning, there's probably value here. Keep your layout simple. Use easy-to-read fonts; have an easy-to-follow navigation; and use two to three colors that are attractive and appealing.

3. A home page that answers these basic questions: "What is this?", "Is this for me?", and "Why should I be here?" Your tagline, website name, home-page copy, and even the choice of words in the navigation can help answer these questions.

Now that your visitor is grounded, he's ready to continue. Your home page needs to lead the prospect to another page.

The essence of getting people to take action is to know what they want, and what you want. Then devise a next-step plan that'll help achieve both.

Let's say you want visitors to sign up for a free session. And, as you know, your visitors have challenges they want to overcome. To get them to move towards this action, you'll want to lead them onto a page that shows that you understand their situation; that you know where they want to go; that you have a method to do this; and that you've helped others like them.

Another example is to invite people to sign up for your email list and grow a relationship, providing helpful information over time.

Whatever the action you want visitors to take, be sure to make that button or link stand out.

The bottom line: confusion and lack of clarity cause visitors to hit the road before exploring your services. Make sure you ground visitors and lead them into your website to build a relationship that ultimately leads them to hiring you as their coach.

About the Author

Kenn Schroder helps coaches who are struggling to attract clients. He provides web design, web marketing and search engine optimization to help you build a client-attracting coaching website. Get your FREE report and FREE newsletter to help you build a practice full of clients. http://www.CoachingSitesThatWork.com