So, what does your homepage look like?
Do you have an image slider, a single image, or do you have a grid of images on your homepage?
No worries, I will wait while you take a look and remind yourself.
In the meantime, let’s talk about how your website, despite being hosted on the world wide interwebs, is not so different then any store on Main Street in your town.
The brick and mortar stores have windows, and in those windows they set up displays, advertise sales, have mannequins wearing clothes and hats, or any other myriad of creative techniques in order to get the passer-by to stop, come on in, and shop.
The website homepage is no different. You want the same actions taken by passers-by, which in this case means “browse around and hit a few pages”.
More on this in a moment.
For now, let’s get into the sexy numbers that always make these case study posts so fun to write…
Bounce Rate lowered from 35% down to 7%.
That’s amazing, incredible, down that much, great job…. wait…. what’s bounce rate again?
If you are not already familiar, the “Bounce Rate” of a website is the percentage of visitors that immediately leave the site, or “bounce”, upon landing on it.
The way I like to think about it is this – in our brick and mortar example, it’s the foot traffic that walks by your shop, looks at the window display, and keeps on walking.
They visit no other pages. They simply click the back button or close the window. They aren’t hanging around long enough to possibly get on that email list or like your Facebook page, and certainly won’t be pulling out a credit card.
From the standpoint of an art seller, a high bounce rate can be devastating, so it requires some serious attention.
Needless to say, you want the lowest bounce rate possible. In order to maximize sales, you need to maximize the number of people who actually make it into your categories of art and start shopping – maximize the number of folks that come in to your shop.
So what are some potential things that might effect bounce rate?
During April 2016, we ran a case study with Madaras Gallery out of Tucson, Arizona in order to help them optimize their site and lower their bounce rate. We released two coaching videos for them, that are publicly available for viewing on this blog:
- Site Optimization Lesson 1 – Your Home Page Should Be A Gallery of Subject Matter Categories
- Site Optimization Lesson 2 – Navigation Bar Design and the Buyer’s Mindset
Between April 22nd-25th, Madaras implemented all of our advice. Here’s what happened:
The bounce rate decreased from an average of 35% down to an average of 7%. Folks, that’s a 400% improvement!
Just by making these changes, in a matter of 72 hours, they increased the number of visitors that start the shopping process by 400%. Think about the long term impact of this for a second. Imagine how these simple site optimizations will impact Madaras’ sales next month and for years to come.
When we first spoke to the folks at Madaras Gallery after they had launched their Art Storefronts website, optimizing their home page and their navigation wasn’t even on the priority list in terms of site optimization. If you are an artist, photographer, or art gallery owner, chances are, you’ve been in the same position.
When is the last time you looked at your website’s bounce rate?
Given the significance of the data we have shown you here, we recommend reviewing your bounce rate ASAP.
Not sure how? No problem, here’s how to do it in 1 minute.
If you are an ASF customer, just go to your stats section, choose a time period and you’ll see the bounce rate right there.
If you’re not an ASF customer, complete the following steps:
- Login to your Google Analytics account and view your data
- Click on the “Acquisition” section to expand it.
- Within the Acquisition section, select the “All Traffic” option.
- Then, select “Source/Medium”.
- Review the “Bounce Rate” column in the data table.
Armed with this data and the recommendations provided in the two videos above, you may now be able to spend just an hour, today, implementing a few changes to your homepage that will completely change the performance of your site for years to come.
What can you learn from this?
1. Optimizing your homepage and navigation are the most critical elements that affect your bounce rate.
2. Get rid of the big photo, or the big photo slideshows on your home page (covered in video #1). We will say this again and again.
In terms of a free and easy way to drastically improve your website. We really like this technique. It just makes sense. You are providing more opportunities to speak to your potential shoppers.
3. Know where to find your bounce rate data, and check it often. Note where you’re at before you make changes to your site, and refer back to your bounce rate periodically after making a change.