When you walk into a department store for the first time I’m willing to bet you immediately look for signs telling you where everything is.
If you see them you’ll go deeper into the store to find what you’re looking for. If you don’t, you’ll either ask someone or turn round and leave.
It’s no different online.
You know your website like the back of your hand, but your visitors don’t. For them it’s their first time there.
And if you don’t make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for they’ll be off in a click.
I reviewed an eCommerce site recently because they were getting a very high bounce rate on the home page.
They had put a lot of thought into the customer journey (how the selling process would take place), so they knew the process intimately. And it was a good process.
But they’d missed the fact that site visitors did not know it. They needed to be told.
It’s not complicated – it just requires that you look at your site through your visitors’ eyes.
Welcome them to the site, tell them what the site’s about, give them a benefit of doing business with you and tell them what to do next.
None of that existed on the site I reviewed, so it wasn’t surprising visitors were clicking away without going any deeper into the site.
Your visitors are in a hurry. They don’t have time to work out how they should use your site. Tell them, and they’re much more likely to stick around and buy from you.