Create a clear path to purchase and reduce bounce rates

No website wants high bounce rates. If visitors arrive only to quickly head elsewhere it shows something’s wrong, and a lost visitor is a lost purchase and a missed sales opportunity. So why run the risk? A key area you need to address is the path to purchase, because if people can’t find (and buy) what they’re looking for quickly and simply they won’t hang around for long.

The first thing you need to do is sharpen your focus, ensuring any visitor instantly knows who you are and what you’re all about. Your homepage needs to attract attention and offer all pertinent information in a clear and easy-to-see format, and then it’s time to look at the overall layout and design of your site as a whole.

Simplicity is the order of the day, with simple navigation menus and a clear path to purchase being key—information needs to be easily accessible and products easily purchased, because anything too complex will soon turn visitors off. Each page needs to have a clear purpose with the menus being consistent throughout the site, with everything being easy to navigate and as fuss-free as possible so visitors can find what they need without getting frustrated. Make sure your shopping cart software is up to scratch too, because unless you can offer a simple buying process you’ve fallen at the final hurdle.

The only way to really know you’re on the right track is to get someone to test your website out, and by “someone” we mean someone not connected to the site or to web design in general. You could have become so involved in the design process that you won’t be able to see the wood for the trees, and something that looks simple to you might be seriously confusing to your average visitor—you’ll automatically know where everything is but they won’t, so getting someone to test it and point out any areas of improvement should be a core part of the design process.

Creating a clear path to purchase can make all the difference and can be a great way to reduce bounce rates, so make sure to focus on offering clean navigation with a simple layout and quality shopping cart system (testing at every step of the way) and you could soon notice the difference to your sales figures.

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