Is your website content (f)ailing?

More than half of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a website. This can be symptomatic of poor website usability, or poor website content.

If you are getting low website engagement, either through short time on site, poor conversion rate or a high bounce rate, it might be time to give your website content a health check.

Here’s the diagnosis.

Is your web content ailing? How to treat the symptoms of poor performing content.

Symptom: High bounce rate.

Generally speaking, a website ‘bounce’ means users enter the site on a page and exit from the same page without browsing any further.

Treatment: A high bounce rate can be symptomatic of a number of issues. To ensure your site content is not the reason, consider the three main content-related causes:

  1. Poor content quality – poor content = high bounce rate. Keep content simple, always focus on the audience needs and aim for the trifecta: quality, authenticity and value.
  2. Content fails to meet visitor expectations – are you using click-bait as a marketing tactic? If yes, then stop. If no, take a look at where your traffic is originating from (search, social media etc) to try to understand what users are after and why your content is not meeting this need.
  3. Visitors are unsure what to do next – make sure you have a clear course of action defined. Do you want visitors to continue to read related content, subscribe to a newsletter, make a purchase or contact you? If you understand what your page goal is, you can ensure your content and calls-to-action reflect this.

Symptom: Low number of page views

Visitors are only visiting one or two pages on your site before exiting.

Treatment: Look at how you are encouraging visitors to delve deeper into your site. Try to cross-sell related content or showcase other content pieces visitors may find valuable.

Symptom: Short average time on page

Visitors are only spending a few seconds on a page.

Treatment: Short average time on page can mean visitors are either just scanning your content without really reading it or they were turned off after the first few sentences. Either way look at your site readability – is it concise, well-presented and easy to understand? Rewrite pages to optimise readability.

Symptom: Low conversion rate

You’re getting the traffic but not the conversions (downloads, subscribe, form completion, purchase etc.).

Treatment: Review your value proposition and ask ‘is it compelling enough to drive action’? Experiment with how you word your call-to-actions and how you build to them in your body content.  Test and measure to determine what works best with your audience.

Symptom: Visitors aren’t sharing the love

Despite user-friendly social share buttons on your website, visitors are not sharing your website content.

Treatment: As with the above issues, producing high quality, targeted content is the best remedy. Aside from this, there are some other ways to drive content sharing:

  1. Diversify your content –long-form written content such as blog posts and articles are great for search engines but to engage your audience you need to diversify your content types. Experiment with rich media like video or leverage high quality images that evoke an emotional connection.
  2. Invest in visual interesting imagery and avoid generic stock photos where possible. Try infographics, charts or illustrations. Imagery should tell a story or at least support written content.
  3. Craft catchy headlines but don’t mislead readers. Try using humour, mystery or emotion in your headlines.
  4. Simply ask people to share your content and make sure the social share buttons are easy to spot.

Your website is the backbone of your brand. While it can be easy to focus your content efforts on social media and campaigns, your website is where most of your online conversions will take place. If your website content no longer cuts the mustard or you just feel it’s time for a content refresh, contact us for a chat about ways to optimise your site.

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