Imagine the exceptional party host, one that learns of attendees’ favorite foods, drinks, and forms of entertainment. That’s a classy host, one who was likely raised by good hosts or observed the accommodating ways of others. A superior web hosting service is like a mom or dad ‘raising’ their child the right way, to respect others especially when hosting in one’s own ‘house.’ Your site makes scores of obvious and subtle impressions, ultimately affecting the ambiance and subsequent actions of visitors. Consider the following site-related pleasantries that augment the ambiance of your site and improve experience for visitors.
Team Conversion vs. Team Clicks
Imagine hosting an on-site gathering, offering free beer and sandwiches in exchange for some ‘socializing.’ Because you succeeded in doing such a good job of spreading local awareness, a number of potential clients show up, drink, eat and converse as planned. This is a big win! Right? Not yet. Did visitors read a sign for ‘FREE BEER AND FOOD,’ yet glazing over ‘and the potential to start your next marketing project,’ in smaller font? Securing attention is the easy part: Get Tiger Woods to advertise your watch, a Hollywood starlet to push your skin cream, etc.
Kate is an extreme beauty; so, it’s not a surprise women would want the same level of attention, but does that angelic expression have more to do with genetics than skin cream? SKII doesn’t want you to ask such a question. You’ve succeeded in attracting attention, yet unless those attending convert to clients, or (in the least) disseminate brand messages and ads, it was only a gathering of people eating your food and drinking your beer. You’ve got them to ‘click ‘on your event, but unless services tantalizing like sandwiches and suds, it becomes a lost cause.
Consider a few reasons SER clicks are high but on-site conversions low:
- There is a discrepancy between meta descriptions and titles versus on-page content
- You’re using click bait (It’s a trap!)
- There are zero immediate signals of trust or authority on the site
- The site/page took too long to load
The first three are not immediate fixes but fundamental issues with business philosophy. However, technically speaking, owners can use online tools to test the speed of site and pages.
Imagine getting a grand invitation, excitedly arriving and knocking on the door to find the hosts taking minutes to answer the door. That’s likely to create an awkward and confusing first impression.
Once Upon a Bounce Rate and Dwell Time
Now, consider attendants moved beyond the door and begin to mingle. Embarrassingly, there are not enough places for people to sit, hardly enough food for all, and the bartender is serving low-tier whiskey! How long are visitors going to linger? A while ago, Dr. Pete wrote upon metrics that matter. He mentions dwell time, how long a visitor stays on a site after a click-through, as well as conversions, the ultimate goal. Dwell time is a bit tricky; if the site provides quick facts or a tool (calculator), a visitor may land on the page, get what they need, and bounce. However, most SMB sites are not quick fact pages and tools, so how long visitors stay on a page (and the site overall) is associated to online optimization and traditional salesmanship. Google gives little official evidence of incorporating dwell time with served results, yet regarding authorship, it seems experimentation is visible.
It’s important to analyze analytics; but rather than specific numbers, consider what on-page behavior insights are elucidated by parsing numbers according to the variety of your site and the nature of each page. It’s not just about analytics but the right analytics for your business structure.
Silent Responsive Design
There’s a difference between throwing a party at the Howard Johnson Inn in Jersey City versus a grand ballroom in downtown New York City. While attendants may silently judge the ambiance, don’t think for a second they’re not noticing the details. Do you even have a responsive design, bro? Well, only 3% of enterprise sites are ‘fast and furiously’ effective, and only 15% of sites are ‘fully’ responsive, needing no modifications for mobile device viewing. If you have responsive design incorporated, ensure you’re testing how pictures and media elements appear to visitors. A poor design or huge difference from desktop to mobile design is destined to disappoint site visitors. This is another tool for testing responsive design:
Consistency is paramount regarding receptions of visitors and building trust and authority. Once they’re in the door, they’re observations are on high alert.
Back (Button) Off
Sometimes, we get a big-time special guest at our party or rent one of those huge blowup contraptions kids (big and little alike) can bounce within, attracting huge crowds. The result may be too much attention than you initially expected, a ‘good thing’ in most cases, but… Some memes are amusing but this is not the message you want to present to browsers:
This is similar:
Consecutively popular sites are likely to have a resolution in place, yet informed web hosts direct webmaster attention to an available cache tool that provides valuable information; the particular plug-in addresses files in 3 ways: mod rewrites, PHP, and legacy caching. Speak with your hosting service or in-house developer about arranging static pages as not to pull information from the database. Such decisions are good for a startup or a small site that is guest posting elsewhere (like Moz.com) and could get a huge spike in traffic. (Additional tools give added information related to web caches.) When in Rome, Domain as They Do Small sentiments are big such as colors and font on envelope, calligraphy on party invitations, etc. Your subtle gestures can either attract, distract, or confuse visitors. For example, top-level domains are abundant; especially given that “highly-respectable” businesspeople have been buying and sitting on .com domains for years (#sarcasm). Here’s a list of TLDs webmasters choose for additional strategy, but don’t get too creative! Consider what happened to Overstock.com:
Be careful how you represent your brand in relation to geographic locations in addition to ensuring you’re not confusing visitors. (Was that party in St. Petersburg, Florida or Russia?)
Reviewing Web Hosting Insights
- You don’t want people (just) to show, but have an exceptional time. Ensure you’re optimizing for conversions, not clicks alone.
- Improving upon the above sentiment, you want the party to be a hit from beginning to end. So, mind your visitors’ dwell times and bounce rates.
- You’ll want all elements of the party to intrigue and not leave a sour impression. Pay attention to fine details and technical aspects related to on-page elements.
- Too much attention is a great problem to have, but you don’t want your visitors waiting outside or worse, not finding their way inside. If you’re expecting a lot of visitors, ensure you have enough technical ‘space’ for all of them.
- Lastly, serving French appetizers or esoteric pastries may initially appear chic, but don’t alienate or confuse visitors. Top-level domains are crucial for branding; make sure you’re on the same page with visitors and brand advocates.