Chapter 12: Causing Noise By Doing Nothing
Imagine never changing the oil in your car. It'll run for a long time before finally breaking down. As you reach the point of breakdown, you'll get less and less performance out of the vehicle. Cars need maintenance, and changing the oil is necessary to keep a car running properly. When you do nothing, decay sets in and eventually breaks the machine.
Websites are exactly the same way, only when you do nothing to maintain your website, you begin to create noise in your sales and marketing pipeline. You may be doing a great job attracting people to your website, but without an up-to-date understanding of how visitors interact with your site, you're not doing your best to listen to their needs. That's noise. With today's metrics technologies, we can almost eliminate bounce rates with the right strategies. That means your message is getting through to more visitors, improving the chances of contact.
Dog Star Media's answer for eliminating that noise is our Rising Star program. In Rising Star, we analyze the site, A/B test pages and add elements that improve engagement and conversion, all based on what we see by analyzing user experience. It works. In a recent evaluation of Dog Star Media's Rising Star program, clients' websites in the program averaged the following improvements in user experience over the summer:
- Bounce Rate: Reduced by 90 percent
- Pages Per Session: Increased by 86 percent
- Page Views: Increased by 64 percent
In just under three months, user experience and engagement was greatly increased on all Rising Star clients' sites, including reducing most bounce rates to less than 10 percent. A bounce happens when someone comes to your site and immediately bounces off after visiting one page. A good user experience is characterized by several page views and time spent on the site.
Seeing the dramatic effect that Rising Star has on websites inspires some consideration on opinions about user experience that affect your marketing success. Here are common issues associated with user experience that are eliminated by maintaining your site with a program like Rising Star:
"We're just not attracting the right traffic." With improved metrics, we hear this assertion less, but if you are not paying close attention, it is possible to blame a lack of conversion on aiming at the wrong targets with your marketing. However, in today's age of highly targeted distribution (the way we do it in our Content Social Media and Content SEO programs), a high bounce rate is likely not caused by missing the audience target. Much more likely, a high bounce rate is a result of the website not engaging visitors effectively. The massive reductions in bounce rate in our Rising Star clients is evidence that making targeted site changes to increase engagement drastically improves the user experience. So now, you can legitimately ask yourself: "If my bounce rate is not down around 10 percent, what's not engaging about my site?" It means you need to focus on improving engagement on the site.
In television ratings, market share is the percentage of users who watch a given program at a certain time. Market share in this instance has to do with the amount of time a shopper spends researching before a purchase. You can gain an advantage over other competitors or even eliminate some by keeping visitors on your site longer. Yes, longer visits are analogous with conversions, but the longer a visitor stays, the less time they will spend shopping competitors.
You have to think of your website as a work in progress. Your design may be fantastic. Your content may be on point. But the only way to tell if it is engaging visitors is to use metrics. If you are not trying to eliminate the friction, your site performance is decaying. Lack of attention is causing noise and undermining your marketing efforts if this is the case.
If you are ready to take this big step to improve the conversion in you marketing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about it.