Tag Archives: bounce rate

Analytics 101: Turning Data into Insights

Whether you’re running a company website or a personal blog, it’s important to find out how the content you create is performing, and how you can improve upon it. Tools such as Google Analytics and 1&1 SiteAnalytics are easy to “set and forget,” and can be incredibly useful for turning large amounts of data into actionable insights.

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Category: Products | Tips
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Ensuring Website Images Load Effectively and Correctly

People are often visiting your website from many distant places and using various technologies. Different devices, browsers, and screen sizes are likely to display your website inconsistently making the appearance and functionality poor. As a business owner, it is important to ensure that your website (the virtual face of your company) always looks its best.

When visitors arrive at your website, data is downloaded. That data needs to transfer quickly – 3 seconds or less –or you risk losing up to 40% of your potential customers. One way to reduce loading time is to decrease the size of your site. However, that is nearly impossible for most businesses because everything on your website is essential to showcasing your products and services. So, what do you do when your site is full of important, dynamic content?

First, check that your website is converted for mobile viewing. It is estimated that 68% of the American population will be using smartphones by 2017. Not all content viewable from desktop is possible to display on mobile and the multitude of screen sizes can result in a distorted appearance. Also, loading content on a mobile device typically takes longer than a desktop computer because of the way the data is transferred. It is important for your website to adjust to various different screen sizes and resolutions. There are various services available to easily adapt your site to a mobile version. For example, the 1&1 Mobile Website Builder allows automatic conversion of an existing website or the creation of a mobile website from scratch, with the ability to manually customize and adjust afterward as needed.

A great solution for improving the availability and performance of your website is using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).  A CDN is a network of servers located in multiple data centers around the world. By caching the content of your website on multiple servers, a CDN enables your site to load faster by connecting your visitors to the server that is closest to their location and thus limiting latency.

1&1’s CDN powered by CloudFlare uses a technology called Mirage to ensure that the images on your website look their best. Mirage works by automatically detecting screen size, device type, and connection speed. By adjusting to these specifications, Mirage is able to present your images at their optimal screen resolution for the viewer – thereby significantly accelerating loading times. For example, a smaller image can be viewed on a smaller screen without the viewer noticing any difference in graphic quality. This feature is included for free with the 1&1 Unlimited and Performance web hosting packages and Managed Servers. For even faster loading times, 1&1 CDN Plus powered by CloudFlare offers a premium image optimization technology called Polish™, hourly statistics and other features for an additional fee.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/pashaignatov

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Category: Tips
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Best Organization for Website Navigation

User experience is important to consider when building a website. A confusing website can damage your online success, because your customers could end up buying from your competitors if they have a more organized website. Keep your visitors happy, and anticipate their needs before they arrive to your website. One of the best areas you can improve the user experience of your business site is the navigation.

A website navigation refers to how a user progresses from page to page, finding information that is relevant to them. The easier it is for a user to move from Page A to Page B, the less likely it is that they will get frustrated and leave the website altogether. In this article we will go over some ways that can make navigation easy for your visitors.

Provide categories.

Typically, the best place to include your navigation menu is at the top of the page, and it should remain consistent across the whole website. Break your site’s information down into specific categories that are intuitive to a general visitor of your website.

Allow search.

For users that are still unable to decide where to go based on the categories you determined for your menu, you should allow search functionality to the navigation as well. This lets your visitors directly input the information they’re looking for, and it will take them to the appropriate page.

Link the home page on every page of the site.

As a user navigates through the website, there may be a time where they want to get back to the original homepage quickly and easily. You should provide a link in your navigation menu that can always get them back to where they started. Typically this is the largest link in a navigation menu.

Clearly label menus.

Even the most seamless navigation menu can become confusing if the links are not clearly labeled. Try to use terms for which a user would most likely be searching. Labels such as “Products”, “Services”, and “Contact us” are good examples of navigation links that give a clear indicator of where they lead.

If you have any other suggestions on a helpful navigation for website visitors, feel free to leave them in a comment below!

Photo Credit: © ileezhun – Fotolia.com

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Category: Tips
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Pay Close Attention to Your Bounce Rate

Any business owner, whether large or small, should be using an analytics program to properly measure the success of their website. These tools can show you important data about your visitors, such as how many have come to your website, how long they have stayed, how they were referred to your website, and more. Even more important than how you get this information about your site is how you interpret the data and how it guides your future actions. There are certain areas of analytics that can be interpreted the wrong way or misunderstood, however, so in this article we will try to explain one of the most important elements with your analytics evaluation.

Pay close attention to your bounce rate.

Sometimes it is easier to visualize analytics by imagining your website as a physical store. Obviously, the longer a customer spends in your store the more likely they are to purchase something. This is mostly true for your website, but make sure that they aren’t spending a long time on the site because they are having difficulty finding something. If a poor navigation structure is acting as an obstacle in converting a sale, it is a problem in the long run. In the physical store, you would ask them if they needed help to alleviate this problem, but the website needs to be more informative.

On the other hand, if someone only stops by the store for a few seconds and then leaves, it means you weren’t offering them what they were looking for – at least not quickly enough. Since you have already taken care of the users who are spending more time on your site, it makes sense for the next step to be to determine what is making other customers leave so fast. The frequency in which customers leave your site is called the Bounce Rate. There can be many reasons for a high bounce rate, and figuring out exactly how to improve it (offering more information on the site, providing a wider range of products, etc.) will lead to more sales in the future.

In the long run, getting 1,000 visits to your website sounds great, but with an excessively high bounce rate, for example 50%, you really only attract 500 visitors. The best way to find out what is driving people away is to examine the data and see what brought them to the site to begin with. It is possible that your website is not optimized correctly for search. In other words, there are keywords bringing traffic to your website, but your website does not adequately illustrate those keywords in the products you sell.

The bounce rate is one of the most important aspects to consider when reviewing your website analytics, if you want to improve conversion.

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/olm26250

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Category: Tips
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