Plain and simple, a website is e-real estate. In today’s digital economy, an active social media presence and functional, great-looking website are indispensable for competitive advantage. High-traffic web pages tend to entice even more traffic, but the quickest way to lose this momentum is not always just because of subpar SEO, though. Bounce rates, a metric that rewards websites that pull users in and keep them clicking into more content, should be taken more seriously.
Users may ‘bounce’ for a myriad of reasons (think: oops! that’s not at all what I was looking for, let me go back to the results), and each industry varies on its averages (cooking blogs typically have much higher bounce rates than hair salon websites, for example). Some reasons for bounce rates are totally valid – as outlined here. However, if your page begins to see higher than average fleeting traffic, diminishing placement in the search results, and an all-around decrease in profitability, your traffic is likely either underwhelmed with your site’s aesthetic sensibility and/or confused by your site’s functionality and layout. This should be the loudest and clearest message that a new website should be considered.
Websites with too many pages and an overwhelming amount of text also lead to fleeting traffic, as do pages with annoying pop-up menus, minimal information, and/or an overall feeling of being unfinished. Remember: no one wants to put in the effort for your website to function. The gospel for user experience study is Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, a book whose title summarizes the entire field of study. Users want quick access to information; that’s all.
In the same token, there’s much to be said for well-appointed aesthetic qualities in web design. Pixelated logos, low-quality images, out-of-trend fonts, and an overabundance of stock photos all lend themselves to an impersonal, unenjoyable web experience; users on these sites feel that they’ve entered a digital ghost town and may assume that your organization is either defunct or generally out of touch. Websites should never be treated with a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. Regular maintenance and updates are top priorities for successful sites.
No one knows your site better than you do, so remember that just because you know the ins and outs of each page, most of your traffic probably does not (for most of the internet’s websites, a very high percentage of users rarely even click off of the first page!) Be open to new design suggestions, repeating information on multiple pages, and constantly refreshing your site with professional photos; most of all, only trust web designers who share these same sentiments.
In short, if your site feels as though it has gotten stale or is not the easiest to navigate, you’re probably right. Never fear, though! White Studio Creative provides web design, as well as professional photography and videography, social media management, and graphic design solutions for businesses in any field.