Improving Your Bounce Rate Through Better Landing Pages

Fri, Jul 24, 2009

Web Analytics

Think of all the ways that friends come to visit you at your home; chances are that many of them come through the front door. Sure, there may be a few friends that know the “secret” to going to the backdoor or coming in through the garage door, but most people come in through the front door – so naturally most homeowners spend a lot of time making their entry ways look well decorated and inviting.

Now think about your website, or perhaps a site that you are engaged in SEO with. I’m willing to bet that the site has incoming links from other sites pointing all over the place. Sure, some may hit the home page, but your visitors are coming in through every virtual nook and cranny they can find!

As an SEO professional you should know that one of the biggest problems out there when it comes to understanding bounce rate (why people don’t complete a purchase process, or don’t complete navigation to a specific page) is because the landing pages they hit (the first page they see when they visit your site through a link) don’t engage visitors enough to turn them into customers. It is your job to understand what landing pages most visitors come in through and to take that information and work on designing landing pages that help visitors convert into customers. It’s something that very few people actually do, yet the impact of these changes alone can often times pay many times over for the cost of doing SEO work.

First, homepages are great but today almost every page on your site has the potential of being a landing page. One of the first things you should always do is setup funnels and conversion goals on your sites. You need to understand the process visitors take to get to the final page you want them to see, and you need to know how many people actually achieve that goal. The good news is tools such as Google Analytics can easily tell you all this information and more for zero cost.

Once you know your top landing pages then its time for you to work some search engine optimization strategies. Here are 5 things that every SEO professional should keep in mind when thinking and designing landing pages:

  • Offer your customers a way to “sign up” for more information or to join the community. In this Web 2.0 world customers are looking for ways to connect – don’t make it difficult for them to do so. Make sure your landing pages let people join the community and get involved.
  • Keep the credit card forms away – the last thing a potential customer wants to see the moment they hit your site is a form asking for their credit card information. Visitors don’t like to be solicited the moment they walk in the virtual door, especially by a site they may have never visited before.
  • If you got it, show it! Landing pages are a great place to put customer comments and show off a few testimonials. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn – just look at how Amazon features their reviewers on every product page.
  • Reassure visitors that they are “safe”. Landing pages are great places to put links to privacy policies, data retention policies and customer service functions.
  • Get rid of the “ad” pages before the content. Nobody likes to visit a site and the first thing they see is a huge ad. Chances are people are just going to close their browser window and move on. These big “interrupting” ads that appear before content may seem cool, but how many visitors are you scaring away?

With a little bit of work you can apply these techniques and ideas to your top landing pages and see the results through metrics such as bounce rate and conversion goals. The good news is that once you’ve tackled the big fish, the little fish (the smaller, less hit landing pages) become easy to do. Before you know it your conversion rates will show the results – and your bounce rate will be something a little more manageable!

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.