How to prevent your UX bounce rate from bouncing as high as Michael Jordan’s vertical leap.


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The game of basketball witnesses a lot more bounce of the ball than most sports. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to relate with this post, just keep your attention bouncing steadily, as this post gets more interesting.

In this beloved game of basketball, bouncing the ball is crucial to either winning or losing a game. I watched a game a while ago between Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunders. The star of this game was Kyrie Irving. One of the best pointguards  in the game. You might be thinking that a pointguard is one that points at a guard or something similar.

A pointguard in the game of basketball, is like a playmaker, one that drives the team’s offense. Going back to this game, Kyrie drove his team offensively and maintained composture whilst doing this. He totalled 35points in this particular game.

A common characteristics of most pointguards are: skill, vision, composture, charisma, stamina and rythm. Pointguards like Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Russel Westbrook and a host of others have a good bounce to the ball. The height at which they bounce the ball is very low- about 1.3 feet above ground level. This is because the higher the bounce of the ball, the more possibility your opponents have, to make a steal and grab more points.

This is synonymous to websites, the higher your bouncerate(the number of visitors leaving your website after visiting just the homepage), the more possibilty it is, that your competition could grab their attention and complete the sale.

Secondly, vertical leap refers to how high one could jump from a standing position. Michael Jordan had one of the best vertical leaps of about 48 inch(4 feet) from a standing position. Keep these points warm for a while, maybe leave them in the microwave, the cooking has just begun.

Companies have to continually strive to design their websites akin to that of a basketball pointguard or playmaker. Full of charisma, control, low bounce and rhythm. If that bouncerate leaps to about 4 feet- synonymous to that of Michael Jordan’s vertical leap, then the UX team have to go back to the drawing board. We would now look at few important points that could facilitate low bounce rate.

The power of the word free: Humans are somewhat or at most points, innately selfish. People spend more time on sites, that would produce something beneficial to them at low or no cost. The benefit could range from- financial, emotional, material or any substantial reward.

I could relate with this, a lot, due to my e-shopping tendencies. I patronise and spend more time on ecommerce sites, that provide a free shipping service. I am a big lover of Lacoste footwear and normally buy them from a UK retailer called Schuh. The main reason I do this, is because of free shipping and returns. During the Christmas sale, I stumbled upon the Lacoste official site, out of sheer curiosity and a good way to pass time. On the homepage, my eyes sprung to life, the moment I saw, a caption that says, ‘for free shipping, use code….’ I spent about twelve more minutes and ended up making an impulse buy.

Regardless of your industry, product or service; there is always something free you could offer. This could be free shipping, promo codes,ebook, webinar, whitepaper, podcast or survenir.

A tag line that tags along:The power of taglines on websites cannot be overemphasized. The best of taglines are those that make your visitors feel empowered, inspired and valued. Example of companies with great taglines are: Nike- just do it, Vodafone- power to you and burger king- have it your way. Your website tag line should make your visitors feel welcome and great, about stopping by your website.

Content that is fresh: Updating the contents of your websites like news sections, blogs, case studies and general content, shows you take your business seriously. Nothing puts most visitors off, like a website full of stale or old content. During my research, it was alarming to see how many consulting firms fail to update their contents regularly. This is a massive turn off for a potential client, who is interested in contemporary and dynamic solutions, to today’s corporate challenges.

Backlinks are only an invitation to a  party: Could you ever recall, when you were invited for a party, from a different part of town? If you answer yes to this, then you have an understanding as to what backlinks are. These are incoming hyperlinks from one website to another. It helps build traffic but not necessarily reducing bouncerate.

I have been invited to parties in the past, that were so boring that I had to leave early (high bouncerate). How you engage with backlined visitors via tagline, content layouts, graphics and value proposition is key. 

More captions and fewer sentences on the homepage: Within a glance your visitors should be able to tell what products or service you offer. Captions are powerful, as they leave one thinking and anticipating, “what more could be on the website?” Too many long sentences, on the homepage is a bit confusing and less appealing. Leave the long sentences on the resource section. Capture and captivate their imaginations with captions.

Mobile optimized: A look in the train on your way to or back from work,     features a popular trend- most folks using their smart phones. I recently used the elance freelance website and it bacame clear to me, that there are a couple of things, I could not carryout on their mobile site. This was a bit disheartening as a user. According to kissmetrics, “25% (1in 4) of mobile users expect to access the web from their device at least once a day. Secondly, for online-only retailers, a mobile site can increase consumer engagement by as much as 85%.” I would like to add, that this entire post was written and published from my smartphone.

Credibility has a gluing effect: Visitors are more bound to stay on your site if there are signs of credibility. You might be wondering on what the best ways are to exhibit credibility- and the first things that comes to mind, is award. This does not have to be a grammy or a golden globe. On your homepage, do highlight awards your business or company has won, even a little award from your high street or county trading association.

During my research on CX firms, the ones with awards,testimonials and a mention of some of their clients, had a lower bounce rate. If you have worked with just one big brand and a couple of small brands, do make sure the big brand client is the first on the: ‘some of our clients section.’ This should be very visible on the homepage. Testimonials are very important for keeping visitors browsing through your content. Can you imagine ever browsing through an ebay store, when the seller has a 50% positive feedback rate? Personally, the first thing I checkout from an amazon or ebay seller is their positive review percentage. Make sure you don’t sell yourself short with very few testimonials!

Remember, like a pointguard, keeping the bouncerate much lower (lower than Michael Jordan’s vertical leap), is key to customer engagement and profitability. The above tips and many more could be instrumental to achieving this feat. Good Luck!

Dateme Tamuno
Dateme Tamuno (Tubotamuno) is currently working as part of the SEO and PPC delivery team for UK based digital agency, Cariad Marketing. He has also completed a book on user-generated content marketing.


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