Some business owners don't consider the design of their blog at all when publishing content on the web. Others over think design and believe that an attractive design will automatically lead to conversions. The truth is somewhere in the middle and can be industry dependent. Analytics can ultimately guide you to the perfect balance but the following information should be considered when building a business blog.
The First Impression and Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a statistic that measures the initial behavior of a website visitor. If that visitor leaves within a certain time, pushes the back button or only visits the page they landed on and leaves, it is considered a 'bounce'.
This statistic is unimaginably helpful to business bloggers. It helps you answer the following questions;
- Are my landing pages adequate?
- Am I attracting the right audience?
- Is my design appropriate?
- Am I producing a positive first impression?
On the internet you have only a few seconds to make an impression on a website visitor. If they feel your site ins't what they expected or isn't as advertised they may 'bounce' off the page.
How to Keep Visitors Once they Land On Your Site
The first thing to remember is to keep your site as advertised. In the early days of the world wide web websites would advertise to search engines that they had images of celebrities in order to get visits. When in fact they were websites where the visitor had to fill out a survey to gain access and the content wasn't what they thought in the first place.
This was very 'black hat' and a twisted way to earn a few bucks by getting surveys filled out. However it wasn't all bad because it lead to stricter search engine algorithms which in turn lead to the need for transparent, real and valuable content.
When a visitor gets to your site they should immediately feel like they are in the right place. If they have reached your site by accident they should know that they are not where they thought and feel free to leave. This is why we don't see bounce rates of zero percent, some people will find your site that are not interested in your content and that's okay. A bounce rate of 20% is acceptable.
More Tips for Keeping Visitors
- Don't aggravate them with difficult navigation, make it simple and easy to find
- Have consistent design, there's nothing worse than wondering if your on the same website from page to page
- Make sure your page loads quickly, slow loading pages increase bounce rate
- Keep Flash and Animation limited
- Keep outgoing links neat and use sparingly because they will send your traffic somewhere else
Your business blog design can work for or against your and your goals. Your visitors are interested in your product or brand so keep the attention on that OR on some valuable content you wish to share. Your design should be simple and allow your content to speak for itself.
You only get a few seconds for a positive first impression so make sure your site loads quickly and gives readers what they want and expect.
Photo credit: adactio / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
bluefountainmedia / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)