Your Website is Dead (To Me)

One of my favorite shows is The Shark Tank on ABC. In the show, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and business models to investors, hoping for an infusion of money and/or expertise. One of the investors (called sharks) is Kevin O'Leary. Kevin comes across as being purely money driven, and if a deal sounds bad to him, or an entrepreneur declines an offer from him, he typically says "You're dead to me."

In some ways, your website visitors say the same thing to you about your site. In fact, look at your bounce rate and you'll know just how many people thought the same thing. They hit the BACK button or went on to a different site because something didn't seem right. Something on your site didn't answer a question or solve a need that they had, so they moved on.

Luckily, this is something that can be fixed, or at least improved, through testing. In fact, if you aren't testing on a constant basis, your website really is dead.

If you're man (or woman) enough to admit that your website can use some help, you're part of the minority. There's a reason why Google had over 600 algorithm changes last year, there's a reason why your Facebook feed is always changing, and there's a reason why Amazon has gone from many years at a loss to one of the most trusted companies online.

Once you've admitted that you need help, you need to take the steps required to move towards resolution. There are two main parts to fixing this problem

Getting the Right Traffic

People often ask me, "What is a good bounce rate?"  Well, I suppose the answer is zero, however that would never happen.  So my answer is typically "lower than what yours is now".  Its good to always strive to get that number lower, no matter what it is now.

A key to reducing that number is to start working on getting the right traffic to your site.  While many business owners just want more traffic, what they really need is better traffic.

If you'd like, I can get you 10,000 visits to your website before the day is over.  Sure, it may be from India, it may have an average onsite time of around .00002 seconds, but if you want more traffic, I can get it for you.

What good would that do you?  None.  It's the classic square peg in a round hole.

Focusing on getting visitors that want to know more about you or your services is what you really need.

The (Right) Solution

To put it plan and simple, you have to give your visitors something to do. Typically called a Call to Action, this can be in the form of a button, text or other graphic that spurs them to take another step in this new relationship with your brand. And this relationship needs to be handled with care.

You don't ask someone to marry you on the first date.

Your first step should be to create something that's easily consumed - a checklist, whitepaper, or article. Offer that in exchange for their email address. (In the marketing industry, this is called a 'lead magnet'.) Then you can start a conversation around your industry, product or service. Establish your authority in their mind and they'll want that second date.

In fact, here's my call to action for you now:

How to Get Started

My recommendation for getting started with this is to build personas that match your business. Sure, you've heard of 'target market' but have you ever built those out, named them, and used them when writing content?

You should.

Knowing your personas will make everything easier. You'll know their likes, their pain points and their weaknesses. You'll be able to answer their questions (and the questions they didn't know they had) and, as I said earlier, establish yourself as the expert when it comes to whatever it is you're promoting.

Just like doing research on a company before you go to the interview, you will be armed with information about your audience before you even start creating content.

And because of this, your content will resonate with them.  They'll want to do business with you because you're talking to the exact situation they're in.  You'll (of course) offer a solution to their pain.

You'll be the hero in the story.

Then provide the information related to fixing their pains through your lead magnet and subsequent email sequences.

Keep Working on Your Bounce Rate

Even after you do these things, it's still an ongoing mission to keep your bounce rate low.  Sure, the percentages will start to slow, but if you can keep it moving lower by providing better and better content, you'll end up seeing a huge return on the revenue side of your business!

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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