Does it seem like visitors are coming to your site and leaving immediately after? In techy terms, that’s called bounce rate. The reasons for a high bounce rate can vary from industry to industry based on user intention when conducting a search. For real estate, users are searching for specific information (listings, home valuation, agents, brokerage name, etc.) based on query type and geographic location.
If you’re a brokerage owner, there are a few fundamental elements that will make your visitors abandon search or bounce from your website instantly. That’s why it’s vital to understand your audience and user intention. It will help you track why visitors are bouncing from your website.
REAL Trends compiled a list of the top five reasons for a high bounce rate on a brokerage website. Plus, we’ll offer some tips to help you improve.
Have you searched the internet and found a website that looks like it was built in the 1990s? Old design and outdated graphics are a huge turn off for website visitors and one of the leading reasons for high bounce rate. If your website is outdated and not aesthetically pleasing, it’s time to get a website facelift or fix a few elements.
Some top indicators of outdated design can include old iconography, multiple color palettes, simple typography, stock photography, dry hyperlinks and, most importantly, a confusing design that doesn’t tell who you are and what you do. A great place to start is by performing a design audit of your website to see how your branding and design elements stack up.
One of the other leading reasons for a high bounce rate is your website’s readability and legibility, specifically on your home page. Readability is about the complexity of the words you use and how your content is structured, including the typography you choose. For example, using big blocks of text that should be broken down into nuggets of easily readable information.
Readability reasons for a high bounce rate are composed of several different elements. Test your website readability by asking peers to look at your home page. Ask them if they would continue searching or not. If not, ask them specifically what made them turn away. Or run your website through a quick analysis tool to see the readability score and how it can be improved.
When people visit your site, they should know who you are, what you do, and why they should care within the first three seconds. They should also be able find your contact information easily. Branding plays a vital role and is the third reason for a high bounce rate. If your website doesn’t not get your messaging across above the fold, then you’re likely losing out on traffic and repeat visitors.
When someone lands on your home page, they’re presented with a navigation menu and a hero background section (directly below menu). This is where you need to position your brand as the leader in your market and let it be known who you are. Create a Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that features what makes you different, company history, slogan, cultural values, accomplishments or a form of recognition. Give your visitor a reason to stick around and trust that your brokerage will provide their ideal experience.
Nothing is more frustrating than arriving on a website and waiting 10 to 15 seconds for the page to load. Often times, visitors will bounce for this simple reason. If your website takes more than 3 to 5 seconds to load, it’s time to use some different optimization strategies, even if it means a loading time that’s a second or two quicker than before.
Test your website speed and see what needs to be improved using some of the free tools available on the internet. The first tool, Pingdom Website Speed, will allow you to plug in your URL and get insight into ways to improve your page. If you’re looking for more technical data, check out the GTmetrix analysis tool. GTmetrix not only analyzes your website and provides feedback/recommendations, but it also provides specific, actionable optimization opportunities. For example, GTmetrix will tell you which images need to be compressed (downsized). It will also indicate how you can combine different file types across your website to increase overall website speed.
Too much blank space or whitespace on a website is unattractive and makes the visitor think you simply don’t care about your website. Whitespace is creates inconsistency for the visitor and can throw off the entire layout of a page. We see this a lot on a website’s footer. Say you have a three-column footer that only has two columns filled, the integrity of the user experience is in jeopardy because you haven’t placed anything in the third column.
From a user standpoint, this makes them question why someone did not take the time to make this right. Reasons for high bounce rate will obviously vary, but this is one that can be quickly spotted and fixed in a timely manner.
Now that we’ve identified some of the top reasons for a high bounce rate, it’s time to take action to identify whether or not you need to improve your website. Analyze your own website data using Google Analytics. The analytics will tell you directly in the “Overview” section what your overall bounce rate is. Then, you can analyze your bounce rate from page to page and identify individual issues. A good rule of thumb in terms of measuring bounce rate is to look at your bounce rate percentage. The lower your bounce rate; the better. Here are some guidelines:
We will provide you with benchmarking metrics and insight on the functionality of you and your competitor’s website.
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