In the world of digital marketing today, it’s easy to get caught up in all the talk of search engines and social media. Don’t get me wrong, these are two powerful tools. They help people find us and engage in conversation. In today’s article, I’m going to share with you my top two tips for making your website more engaging AND rank up on search engines.
The focus is not search engines. I’ll say it again, the focus is not search engines. The focus is on the conversation between you and your customers, which are the people visiting your website. In 2019, nearly 60% of all traffic is coming from mobile devices, so, your website should be mobile by now. The only thing worse than not having a mobile website in 2019 is having a bad mobile website.
To more fully understand the logic behind this phenomenon let’s talk about the top (and really the only) two website statistics that actually matter.
#1 Website Stat That Matters: Average Pages Viewed Per Visit
Pro tip: open your website on a friends phone (do it now if you can) and ask them to interact with it for 60 seconds and observe. How many pages did they visit? How easy was it for them to navigate to the next page? And lastly, were the pages they visited the direction you would have steered the conversation if your friend was a prospective customer?
If your friend was able to visit more than one page, that’s great! When people interact with your website from their mobile device they will engage with it if their first impression makes sense, increasing the likelihood they want to learn more about your business. If your friend did not visit more than one page on your website, it may be time to re-evaluate your mobile design.
Websites that only get one pageview per session contribute to increasing your website’s “bounce rate.” The term bounce rate means the percentage people who visit your website and only view a single page and navigate away. If you check your website’s Google Analytics it will tell you your website’s bounce rate on the home screen.
The standard for bounce rate does vary across industries, however, a website on a mobile device that is not easy to interact with will have a significantly higher bounce rate. I find that most websites with a poor mobile design have a bounce rate of 50-75%. This is incredibly high. A bounce rate over 25% tells you that 1 out of 4 visitors to your website is leaving without visiting another page. A high bounce rate means your website’s user experience is lacking, and your message on mobile may not be communicated clearly.
To remedy a high bounce rate, making improvements to your website’s user experience on mobile is a good place to start. You want to lower your bounce rate so people are visiting more than one page, yes, but the point I really want to make here is that you should be doing more than just getting your website visitors to view more than one page. The better experience your website visitors have on mobile, the more pages they’ll view, and the more they will learn about your business and the service you offer to the community. That’s what is most important. The takeaway here is to start by designing your website to fit the experience you want your customer to have on mobile.
#2 Website Stat That Matters: Time Spent On Website
Pro Tip: Did you have a friend experience your website on their phone? Try asking another friend (do it now), and observe how long they spend on each page. What pages do they spend the most time on? Why?
Imagine you’re meeting with a close friend at your favorite coffee shop. If you’re like most people, you don’t dive into some deep topic the moment you sit down. Small talk is a great way to ease your conversation into what you really want to discuss. From a conversational point of a view, the start of new interactions are often short questions and answers from each party.
The bistro arrives with your order, and you take your first sip of coffee or tea, and become even more energized by the conversation with your friend. After a few more minutes your friend shares a story and you listen. This is the first “ah-ha” moment of your conversation. The first time something of value is shared.
Now depending on how engaging the topic is, you can choose to re-engage and dive deeper into that subject matter, or redirect the conversation to something more relevant. The deeper the conversation the more value that’s shared, the stronger your relationship grows.
I just broke down a simple conversation over tea or coffee. Why? Because this is the exact same thing that happens when someone visits your website from a mobile phone.
The point I want to make here is two-fold.
First I want to piggy-back on the first website stat that matters: average pages viewed per visit. Without the small talk to direct the conversation and provide the necessary information your website visitor wants–you won’t ever get to the first story or “ah-ha” moment before your customer leaves your website. You’ll never get to the point of being able to grow and deepen the relationship with your website visitors without making small talk first. To get to the point of deepening the conversation, your website must be easy to interact with on mobile. I share this again to reinforce the importance of designing your website to fit the experience you want your customer to have on mobile.
The “ah-ha” of the #2 website stat that matters is that the more time that’s spent on a particular page allows you, the website owner, to give more value to your customer. Its all about the conversation you’re having with your customer, and you own an important role in serving them. To further elaborate what I mean by that, watch this short clip from the video below:
It’s all about intention. Through sharing stories and educating your customers through your website you open yourself up to giving more value and deepening your relationship with your customers. The more time and intention you put into your website’s content (your conversations with your customers), the average time spent on your website goes up.
More time spent on your website could mean one of two things for you. It could mean people can’t find what they’re looking for easily, or, it means they are able to find what they’re looking for and you are in fact giving more value to them on each page.
Hopefully in your case it’s the later–but if it’s not it might be time to consider stepping up your digital marketing with a fresh website and new marketing strategy.
What is the most important thing you can do today to improve your website’s performance?
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