To be clear, people who hit the ground don’t usually bounce. People who hit your website too often do. And it’s a major bummer. You’ve worked hard to rank well for your key words and spent money placing text and display ads and it worked! Hooray! You have a visitor. Ten seconds later – poof – they are gone. Boo! Let’s examine why people bounce and how you might be able to keep them engaged longer with content personalization.
People bounce from websites for a variety of reasons, but most fall into one of three categories. The website is not what they expected, the content isn’t engaging enough or the site contains features that confuse or annoy them. Let’s be clear, not all bounces are bad. You want people who are not good prospects for your products or services to figure that out early and go away before they waste sales resources, but assuming you’ve done a good job targeting prospects, you want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible.
People who visit your website will decide in as little as 10 seconds whether or not it is of interest to them. This decision is largely driven by whether the content they see on your page is in line with whatever search term or advertisement drove them to your website. If it is not immediately apparent what you do and how it relates to the reason for the visit, it’s see you later sucker. It used to be that marketers had to build many landing pages in order to match the content with the search. Luckily, content personalization can be used to display content that matches the interest of your visitor based on their search term. This is a powerful way to reduce bounces in those first precious seconds.
Once you’ve passed that initial hurdle of assuring the visitor they are at the right place, you need to have content that engages them and gives them a clear path to the information they seek. Content personalization can play a big role here as you can apply what you know about your visitors to their experience of your website. For example, if someone has purchased something from you before, you might provide them with a different path or set of options. If you know from a previous form fill that a visitor is an accountant, you might give them different content than you would a sales manager. Content personalization opens up a wide sea of options for content that speaks directly to each visitor. Not only will this improve your bounce rate, but it will also increase conversions and repeat visits.
Be sure that your engaging, personalized content isn’t buried under website pet peeves. Here are a few of the things people hate:
I’m sure you could add to this list with your own dislikes. The bottom line is don’t undermine your hard work with common irritants.
Controlling website bounce rate is a challenging, but key responsibility of marketers. Content personalization, good design and alignment between keywords and content are the key tactics you can deploy to help your guests hang around a little bit longer. That’s word from the bird.