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Does Page Load Time Really Affect Bounce Rate?

Few things are more annoying than a slow-loading web page. But when does a user’s aggravation cross over to serious frustration and eventual abandonment? It’s been widely reported that all websites should strive to have a page load time of two seconds or less. However, that’s not always feasible. So, how important is this two-second benchmark? Let’s examine a few ways that page load time affects bounce rate and if it’s something you and your organization should really be concerned with.

Does Page Load Time Really Affect Bounce Rate?

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate refers to the percent of your site visitors who try to visit your web page and then don’t stick around before the page fully loads. This measurement was the precursor to the newer term of “engagement;” it was one of a handful of ways to see if people were engaging with your content. Per Visitor Insights, when a page load takes longer than 2 seconds, more than 35% of site visitors will abandon the site.

Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?

You don’t want to lose over one-third of your site visitors before they even have a chance to see your website. That could translate easily into missed sales, a loss of leads, or just overall disappointment with your brand. However, since 2016, website size has increased by 900kb and the amount of video being used has increased by 300 percent. It’s the ultimate catch 22: these two factors can lead to slow page load time, but in order for your company to be competitive, you’ve got to have a good-looking website displaying the most engaging user experience.

What Can You Do?

If you need more interactive content on your page, even though it may result in slower load times, what can you do to ensure your site visitors stick around? Well, it’s not just load times that matter to engagement. In fact, almost 80 percent of site visitors report they are satisfied with slower websites. That is, as long as the site provides an engaging experience. Website content, messaging, and functionality all work together to create a satisfactory website visit. Make sure your website looks good and reads well, contains no broken links, and that any video content is interesting. The worst user experience is waiting for a video to load only to discover it adds nothing to the user experience.

Speed is important online, but sacrificing quality for speed won’t get you far. When examining your page load time, think about what you want your users to take away from visiting your site. Shoot for the two second load time; but if you don’t quite make it, just make sure your website is worth the wait. For more information on how to make your website better than ever, please contact Energyhill today.

 

Wireframing: Building A Good Site Structure

Wireframing: Building A Good Site Structure

Building a friendly and functional website isn’t as difficult as it used to be. It’s no longer necessary to know how to code or even to understand HTML. However, building a website that’s functional, user-friendly and effective does require one thing: planning. A sitemap complete with wireframes and navigation cues is key to creating a website that users will want to visit again and again. Good web design also makes sites attractive to search engines and can help with indexing. Below we will discuss the key elements of good site design, planning and developing a structure utilizing wireframing.

Plan, Plan, Plan

There’s an old saying that the three keys to real estate are “location, location, location.” Well then, the three keys to a good website are “planning, planning, planning.” One of the first things you should create when designing or redesigning your website is the sitemap. A sitemap is a basic, no-frills document that simply outlines the pages your site will have and how those pages will be arranged; it also serves as the initial navigational concept for your site.

Besides being a road map, a solid sitemap will help you create a coherent user experience, as well as:

  • Highlight your site’s goals
  • Enable you to add content at a later date without requiring a massive redesign
  • Help you to avoid duplicate content and confusion

wireframe sampleGiving Your Site Structure

After you’ve created your sitemap, you’re ready to start conceptualizing each web page. One of the most basic ways to do this is via a wireframe. Wireframes are no frills illustrations that highlight the structure of your web pages. Each wireframe generally contains the following:

  • Templated features such as headers, footers, navigational bars, logos, etc.
  • Placeholders for images and text

Wireframes do NOT include:

  • Actual text or images that will be used on the page
  • Colors or branding elements

A wireframe in its purest form is a pencil sketch of a web page or website. It is the rough outline of what the page(s) will look like and a guide to how the entire site will flow (from page to page).

If you or your organization are thinking about designing or redesigning your website, the start of the year is the perfect time for a fresh look. At Energyhill, we are committed to working with our clients in a collaborative environment that brings out the best in your business.  Let our team of experts use their talents to help you succeed. For more information about website design, wireframes and digital media, please contact Energyhill today.

Is Your Site Ready For The Holidays?

Sure they fall at the same time every year, but the holidays always seem to sneak up on us. For a business, that can be problematic. If you sell primarily to consumers, raising your profile during the holidays could greatly impact your annual sales. Even if you are primarily a B2B vendor, staying in customers’ minds during this time of year is important. Your first weapon to combat the holiday haze is your website. It is typically the first stop for many customers to find out more about you, your products, and your offers. Below are some ways to ensure an increase in website traffic for the holidays.

Is Your Site Ready For The Holidays?

Google Shopping Feeds

Google is the world’s largest search engine and the cornerstone of many business’ marketing plans. You can make their reach work for you by using a trio of services that will put your product images front and center during relevant searches. You will need your shopping feed, Google Merchant’s Center, and your Google Adwords account working in tandem to take advantage of the added exposure of these feeds.

Holiday-Specific SEO

Effective search engine optimization is a marathon, not a sprint; but you can optimize some pages on your site specifically for the holidays. Consider adding a few landing pages specific to your holiday offerings and make sure the SEO on these pages is targeted to holiday shoppers. Also, spend some time clicking around your site to test for things like load time, image quality, and calls-to-action. You don’t want a consumer to have any reason to leave before making a purchase, so be on the lookout for areas that might hinder a conversion. Slow load time is often the key culprit to consumers clicking out of the site, ultimately resulting in less valuable website traffic.

Pay-Per-Click Holiday Campaigns

Similar to shopping feeds, PPC campaigns can put your products in front of consumers who are searching for specific keywords. This gives you a direct line to consumers who are ostensibly looking for your product. Remarketing campaigns are also highly effective during the holidays. Customers who have previously visited your site, but haven’t purchased, will see ads for your products while they’re clicking around the Internet. It’s a good way to stay top of mind.

Make Social Work For You

Lastly, don’t forget about your social media feeds. These channels can pump up your promotional efforts with interesting content and clever community building campaigns. Just make sure that your site is ready to handle the traffic from a social media push.

No matter what tactics you use, the holidays can be a huge opportunity for you and your business, and they can generate website traffic you don’t normally see throughout the year. If you have any questions regarding how to make your site holiday-ready, please contact us at Energyhill today. Happy Holidays!