Did you know that the average user will stay on your website for 15 seconds? Yup, that's it 15 seconds. Basically, for every couple and potential client who reaches out to you through your website, dozens might have "ghosted" you and moved on to another business.
Oxford Languages describes the phenomena of "ghosting" as "the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication." This term generally is referred to within the context of dating, but searching for new clients is kind of like dating in a way! As pros within the weddings and event industry, it's important to court our website visitors and keep them involved so they can reach out, purchase a package, sign up for our email newsletter, etc. So, let's discuss how to keep your website visitors engaged so they can become beloved clients!
A bounce rate is an internet marketing term that shows how often people leave your website after landing on it for the first time. This rate is usually calculated in percentages. These visitors don't view potential packages or click on an "About Us" link. They just simply don't see anything that excites them or fits their needs, so they "ghost". According to the SEO gurus at Yoast, there are three typical reasons why someone might leave your website after a first glance.
The quality of the page is low.
They are searching online by way of their browser or through a wedding portal like AP, clicking onto your site, and finding a lackluster, poorly constructed website that does not meet their ideal aesthetic.
Nothing is inviting to engage with.
This might mean they clicked onto your website hoping to get a phone number or email address to request more information, and it didn't jump out at them. Or if they heard about your services through word of mouth, and when they visit your page looking for a specific package they don't see/can't find an option for that specific product/service.
The purpose of your page is unclear.
Sometimes business names are confusing, and they might have clicked through expecting to find one thing only to see another. Maybe there are too many options and a visitor gets overwhelmed or is underwhelmed by what they find.
The good news is that sometimes a bounce rate can be high because visitors have found the information that they were looking for right away, so they grab and go! Meaning more than likely, they saw your phone number, email address, or other contact info and reached out to you directly. Whatever category you fall into, it is important to make sure your website stays updated, is inclusive, and speaks directly to your ideal customer. Sometimes your aesthetic, or offerings may turn some people away, and that's okay because you might not even want those customers!
Get a Load of This
When analyzing your site's quality, one of the first issues may be that your website doesn't load quickly. According to Matteo Duo of Hubspot," Google research shows that when loading times increase from one to three seconds, the probability of a bounce (the visitor leaving right away) increases by 32 percent." Users are easily frustrated by slow load times, but load times are also important because Google considers this element when ranking websites. We won't get too in the weeds with the technical descriptions, but in that post, Hubspot identifies nine ways to improve loading speed on your site;
Improve Your Site's Loading Speed By:
- A Hosting Solution
- Compress Images
- Reduce Redirects
- Cache Web Pages
- Enable Browser Caching
- Minify Your Code
- Leverage a Content Delivery Network
- Eliminate Plugins
Website design is another contributing factor. Visitors don't read, they scan, and they want to find necessary information fast. Impactful images that showcase your work are just as important as your contact information and About page! Landing pages such as 'About Us', 'Photo Gallery' and 'Blog' are essential.
PRO TIP: Making your "Services" page first on the toolbar, or an easy-to-find button on the front page of your site can push visitors to stay on your page longer and discover more about you.
A FAQ page that lists the most common questions clients ask you about your business is a sure attention-getter as well. Clients, especially couples planning a wedding, want to quickly click and find information they can interact with, whether it's contacting you, reading your brand's story, or getting inspired from a gallery of your previous work.
Stop the Music
Some clients and or couples may click onto your website only to have a video autostart or, hear noticeable background music, causing them to immediately "ghost"! A majority of clients may find them annoying and if there is no noticeable way to stop or mute them, they will just simply leave your site. One of the ways to make sure that your site is as accessible and as appealing as possible is to ensure that there is a way to pause or stop any automation.
If your SEO is working for you, visitors will find links to blog posts, media features, and links to your social media. Don't focus all of your attention on building an attention-grabbing home page and ignore the rest. Give visitors somewhere to go. Toolbars, contact information, exciting content, and images that really showcase your work need to be front and center on every page.
Make your content readable! Accessibility is key. Don't get too technical. Ensure that your site has alternative text for those using technical support to experience your site. It should be written in easy to read text without complex words or industry terms. Act as if your readers don't have a great attention span. Most people are texting, tweeting, and have grown accustomed to short bites- one or two sentences, broken down with sub-headers that make them want to read more.
Sorry, Your Blog Is Dying
Another reason people may leave a website is that they find old, outdated content. Simply said, if you followed a fellow wedding pro on Instagram and there was nothing new posted for weeks, how long would you keep going back? Readers will start to wonder how current your knowledge base is and whether you are up on current trends and offering them the next new thing. Give your website a little TLC. Put time into working with someone to design each page to grab your ideal client and give them a way to interact. While you are updating your site, ensure that your social media is also up to date as well. Make people want to stay in touch and visit your pages each day!