Success often leaves footprints. If you want to achieve higher success rates in your business, you can attempt to copy the strategies that similar businesses are using to achieve their apparent success.
As a retail jeweler, you would have to closely examine what your local competitors are doing, particularly if you feel they are more successful than you are. You could study their websites and marketing, but many times the success of a store also depends on the customer service provided by all the staff.
One of the benefits we offer to our own jewelry customers is the insights we gain by analyzing the data we collect from our primary research. I share some of the same data in these Daily Golden Nuggets, but many times I can't share all of the tiny details.
Tuning your website home page for customer retention is a frequently debated topic among website professionals and online marketers. Although some home page techniques are favored over others, the truth is that you just don't know without testing everything for yourself.
Studying home page metrics can be useless during the holiday season because so many people are forcibly browsing jewelry websites because they need to, not because the website is well designed.
So over the last 30 days, since December 25th, I started tracking home page metrics for all the retail jewelry sites I manage. During that period 67.16% of all people arriving on a jewelry site were landing on the home page first. The average bounce rate for the home page was 50.66%.
Your own website home page probably captures most of your organic traffic as well, and that's because Google shows your home page based on the overall content of your website. Your home page then acts as the doorway to the rest of your site. Apparently 50.66% of visitors decided not to step through that doorway.
During my study, I wanted to measure current similarities between successful sites with low bounce rates compared to those with high bounce rates. Some of the results here might seem familiar, but you should never assume that what I'm showing here will be the same 12 months from now. Technology plays an important role in website bounce rates.
Lower than 25% Bounce Rate
In my entire study, only one retail jeweler had lower than a 25% bounce rate. Their home page had a completely different layout than all the others with attractive designer logos at the top of the page with clearly understood calls to action. They also had a slider showing photos of their store, in what turned out to be a fast virtual tour through their store. The bottom of their home page had a few sentences to welcome the visitor.
This layout really worked for them.
25%-39% Bounce Rate
13% of my test subjects had less than a 40% bounce rate. Every one of them had a clear call to action on their home page.
Those calls to action included:
* Click to watch a video
* Designer logos or information with clear invitation to click
* The use of "click here"
The uses of different invitations to click are what improved their bounce rates. They also had a mixture of large home page sliders, product icons, and large blocks of text. The only consistent footprint to their lower bounce rate is the clear calls to action.
40%-49% Bounce Rate
All of the retail jewelers with the bounce rate between 40%-49% had a large slider on their home page; most of them also had large blocks of text with more than 200 words.
Other than the home page slider and the text, they all had something different on their home page. Some had a store photo, while other had designer logos, a bunch with product photos, and a few with videos.
The home pages of some of these sites started to look a little cluttered, but their below average bounce rate came from the easy to identify calls to action. Many of them didn't specifically say "click here" or use other click invitation phrases, but rather, they gave the visitor easy choices of what to click on from their home page.
Greater an 50% Bounce Rate
Here's where things really started to fall apart for usability. 88.5% of the websites in this group had home page text that wasn't interesting to read. It was boring within the first few words.
40% of them had a home page slider that didn't offer the visitor any value. Some were boring, and some didn't allow the visitor to click to internal pages.
34% of them had dark background websites with light text. I have to mention that there were only two websites with a 40% or lower bounce rate that had black backgrounds. The text on those two sites was pure white, making them easy to read. The 34% of sites with dark background I mention here all used a non-white text color, making it more difficult to read against the dark background.
If you must use a dark background, make sure your text has the highest contract and readability possible.
17% of the sites for a 50% or higher bounce rate were horribly cluttered. Home pages can get very cluttered very fast, and it works against you.
In this entire group of sites, only 11% had a call to action on their home page. Those calls to action were either not easy to find, or there was only one of them among the clutter.
Before you try to investigate what your competitor is doing to discover the footprints left by their success, take a good look at your home page to evaluate your calls to action. Above every other design element, it's the clear call to action that gets people to click further into your site. The deeper they go, the more chance you have to convert them into a customer.