You’ve crafted a beautiful website as awe-inspiring as a Michelangelo painting and as innovative as a NASA shuttle. If Steve Jobs were alive today, he’d weep at the perfection of the user experience and the flawlessness of the responsive design. In 100 years, history books will be titling this decade as the era of the greatest manufacturing website ever built—yours.
You’ve busted your back to improve your site, and now you’re raking in oodles of traffic. There’s just one problem: everyone is leaving.
For about as long as websites have existed, data analysts have been scratching their heads over bounce rates. Industry professionals have published hundreds of white papers, best practice guides and blog posts in an effort to help companies wrap their minds around bounce rates and keep prospective customers interested through better development and design.
But, when it comes to keeping users engaged with your website, it’s about more than just great usability and visual performance. If you’re not keeping potential leads hooked, maybe it’s time you address your manufacturing content strategy.
Before we delve into how you can decrease your bounce rate, we need to make sure we’re on the same page as to why you should care in the first place.
Your website’s bounce rate indicates the number of viewers who visited to your website, but left before viewing any other pages. It’s the digital equivalent of walking into a store for one item, not liking the display by the front door, and leaving without looking at any other merchandise. In addition to indicating potential leads aren’t happy with your site, a high bounce rate can negatively impact your search engine ranking.
While you’re always going to have a bounce rate, it’s ideal to stay under 70 percent. While blog posts are generally going to err on the higher end of the spectrum, they should not be over 90 percent.
If you owned a company that sold rural farming equipment in the midwest, would you buy ad space in Time Square? Probably not. Why? Because most of the folks hanging out in the middle of a bustling Northeastern metropolis probably aren’t planning to purchase a harvesting tractor in Iowa.
Creating content without direction, and creating content for the wrong persona, is, quite frankly, a total waste of your resources. Each and every piece of content on your site, from the homepage messaging to the latest eBook, should target at least one of your personas. If you’re not making an effort to speak directly to the most influential people in the buying process, you’re just wasting words and driving away potential leads.
Remember, you have about 2.6 seconds to make an impression online. By addressing your personas immediately, you have a better chance of keeping their attention. The more value a user feels they’ll gain from your website, the more likely they are to engage.
For content to be effective, you need to properly research your market, identify the needs of your buyer personas and develop a compelling brand voice. But, even after all of this, some manufacturing brands still find their bounce rates a little lackluster. That’s because, despite a thorough understanding of their buyers, these brands are failing to publish content that resonates.
Defining your sticky content, or content that holds the attention of viewers for longer periods of time, is key to decreasing bounce rates. Take time to dive into your analytics and review the performance of each post. Which topics enjoyed the lowest individual bounce rate, highest CTA clicks and highest number of views?
Make note of which types of blog posts received the most engagement and make efforts to replicate those results. For example, you may find a recent blog post titled “3 Ways Plant Managers Can Increase Team Efficiency” received twice as many views and a 25 percent more CTA clicks as a blog post titled “Why We Have the Best Plant Automation Tools on the Market.” This may tell you your readers are more interested in best practice guides than promotional content.
We’ve all seen those spammy click-bait blog post titles advertised on social media and news sites promising to teach you how to “Lose Your Belly Fat in 1 Week Using This Trick” or “Make 5 Million Dollars Working From Home.” If you’ve been unfortunate enough to click on one of these articles, you probably only made the mistake once.
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as landing on a piece of content hoping to gain something valuable only to be lead down a disappointing rabbit hole. If you’re not following through on the offer promised in your blog title or meta description, you’re not much better than a spam site hocking wrinkle-erasing snake oil.
In the manufacturing industry, your readers are industry professionals seeking a solution to a problem. Well-researched, well-written content that adequately addresses their concerns will inspire trust and ensure continued action.
“There are many causes of a high bounce rate,” says Mashable Associate Editor Elisha Hartwig, “but one of the main causes is not delivering upon the expectations of your users.”
Your bounce rate is an important metric, but it’s not the sole measurement of website success, or the effectiveness of your marketing as a whole. Keep in mind bounce rate measures the number of people who leave your website after viewing only one page. This doesn’t account for people who take another action, such as making a phone call or emailing you outside your contact form.
The key takeaway today is to focus on providing valuable and targeted content, and using previous successes to drive future campaigns. As long as you’re staying within a healthy bounce rate range, and continually working to deliver high quality content, you’re well on your way to attracting and converting new leads.