What do Spin Doctors do? They Rock!!! No, no, no, I am not talking about the band. I’m talking about those sales gods that can turn a losing prospect into their best customer. How do they fix a website? They turn the bad parts of a websites into its best attribute.
A Widget Won’t Fix Your Site
A common habit among new webmasters is to think of something or add something to their site that will just make it way better. They go on adding chat boxes, Twitter badges, counters of all sorts, and flicker streams. Some of that stuff might be of real interest to your viewers, but none of them fix your site.
There is Something That Stinks On Your Site!
I know none of you want to hear this, but there is something that stinks on your website or blog, and that statement even includes Google or my site. How do I know? Because every site has one. Mine might be a little stinkier than yours, but just like me, you have a page or site function that simply does not perform as well as it could.
The stinker could be in your layout, or in a single page. Whatever the case, you need to seek it out, and then spin doctor it. Make that worst feature or page one of your sites best.
There are several ways to find the stinky parts of a website, and a common one is finding out what the bounce rate is for a particular page or site. High bounce, equals stinky. Visitors are literally running away from the page.
High exit ratio is another thing to watch for. The page itself may not be that bad, but visitors leaving your site means visitors are done or bored. Obviously a thank you page from an order would not be that bad of a thing for an exit page.
Low page views per visitors can be another problem area, and this could be a difficult one to identify what is causing the stink. If you are not breaking 1.5 views per visitor I’m betting their is a site wide issue, and it’s not just boring content. If possible, it is with Google Analytics, see what the average is for your native language. It may just be a language barrier.
Average time on site is another good identifier, especially with blogs. With a blog, you may be experiencing a high bounce, especially with return visitors, but think about what they are doing. They are reading the new post you just made, not the old stuff they already read. They came, they got what they wanted, the left. It’s a compliment. So you clue hear is, how long did they stay. If it was for thirty seconds, I don’t think they read your post or any website content for that matter. This site currently experiences about seven to ten minutes per visitor from the United States. Global traffic makes that number go way down.
Your Best Fix is Your Worst Attribute
After identifying your real stinker it’s time to tackle that problem head on. It’s time to spin doctor stinky to: decreased bounce, lower exits, increase page views, and increased time on site. Yes, all of those things stand to get better with one simple fix, and it could be a site wide experience.
What do I pay attention to most? The bounce ratio. I don’t want new visitors checking out my site, and leaving a few seconds later. I want them to explore a little, find a few cool tips, and then hopefully bookmark for a future return. So I identify the pages with the highest bounce ratio. I don’t bother with the pages that had 10 page views in the past month. I look for the driving forces that bring visitors here like popular posts, my toolbar, and my usability analysis. I fix one page at a time knowing it’s that stinker that could be making my site more popular.
A little extra note here. If you home page has the worst bounce rate it might be time to re-evaluate the sites layout, and possibly even conduct some live usability tests with actual test subjects.
Ever turn a stinker into a golden egg? Let us know by commenting below!