4 years back it was forecasted that this hot new profession would become the sexiest job of the 20th Century. In fact, big data and data security rank among the costliest tech keywords for AdWords in the US.
Glassdoor, the US-based recruiting marketplace, estimates that the average salary for data scientists in India is Rs.650,000 (~$9800). In the US, people with the “Data Scientist” title in the Bay Area make an average of $126,000.
Now that’s an awesome money. So the question is, what do the data scientists do?
Well, they crunch, aka process, large quantity of data in order to unearth hidden patterns in them, which in turn will help find solutions to meet business challenges.
For a small business, analyzing website data such as that provided by Google Analytics uncovers the main issues that need attention for bettering performance.
That is NOT desirable, but should that be the case what would you do to boost your website profile?
This is what this article is about. It’s about understanding the psyche of the visitors, and what make them stick to or leave your website.
In other words, the efforts should be such that –
And that, if you ask me, primarily depends on 2 crucial factors.
Quality has to be seen and understood (to be believed)
A couple of weeks back I went to meet a friend who was a year senior in the college. He and his father have written a book on a difficult mathematical problem and he wanted me to create a website and do ‘things’ so that the book/website ranks on the first page of Google’s search results. My friend is a geologist and is also good in advanced mathematics but very few people outside his immediate circle knew about his latter quality.
I told him to forget ranking in Google because as things now stand you must have a good volume of (what I call) qualitative and quantitative reputation on the web to be in the reckoning for top search ranking. My friend clearly doesn’t have this, so for him it will be several months (if not years) of hard work to come into reckoning.
New website owners often miss this point. The reputation is a big factor in the eyes of Google. Concepts like in-depth articles, social signals, Author Rank, etc. are important in the eyes of Google.
It keeps updating the algorithm, and every time the new technology looks for a whole host of indicators to turn in search results that are relevant for the users.
For a lay person the common denominator for all these is simply this:
Visitors leave if they find little to do (next)
Note I said visitor needs to feel it is worth spending time in a website. There could be many ways to engage visitors and the minimum of that is great content.
But great contents to the neglect of other factors may not work well. What are these other factors?
Let’s take a look at some expert advice.
According to Taylor Clark of Social Media Today –
It is very important that your visitors know almost immediately
(1) what your website is about,
(2) how it can benefit them, and also
(3) about who you are.
Taylor also suggests using a Facebook recommendations widget since it is a giant social media network with over a billion active users.
Crazy Egg’s Sharon Hall –
Lists pop-up as the number one irritator that scares away visitors.
But pop-up being such a wonderful marketing tool do you abandon it totally?
Among his other tips to stop people’s early departure Sharon suggests the following:
- Create a decent looking website. Poor choice of colors or lack of harmonious feel create uncertainty in visitors’ minds.
- It should be easy for the visitors to navigate in the website. Besides, as Taylor also suggested, users should be able to determine what you do and what you offer within a few seconds of reaching any page on your site.
- Website abandonment increases if it is slow to load. Load time beyond 4 seconds sees an exponential increase in people leaving a website.
- Include video (and audio) in the landing pages since they phenomenally increase engagement with the visitors.
- Any website that is serious about retaining visitors should consider using responsive design without delay.
Finally, let me turn to this post on 6 growth hacks by Lars Lofgren. A couple of tips that should get you working are:
- Putting out social proof here, there, everywhere. Examples are testimonials, logos of big companies, customer statistics, and case studies. Include them on homepage, signup page, thankyou page, about-us page, and of course landing pages.
- Make barebones home page. As the writer says:
Cut it (homepage) down to the essential elements. This includes one headline to describe your value proposition and a call to action. Everything else is secondary.
That’s a big bunch of tips…though not difficult to follow.
However too many tips – even if helpful – may seem overwhelming. So let me pull out the most important ones – 4 of them in my opinion – you need to focus on:
- The topmost priority is to create good contents – useful, helpful, and easily understandable. Just texts won’t suffice. You must be adept in creating and using graphics, video, audio, and presentations as the case may be.
- Let the homepage have the bare minimum to get the visitor take a call by doing what you want him to.
- Your about-us page should reflect NOT what you are, but your value proposition to the visitors.
- Include social proofs wherever possible.
Lastly, I cannot but mention one vital point.
It’s about what you’d do after collecting visitors’ emails. Yes, you’ll be sending a free gift – an e-book, a small course, etc. But what after that?
This I’ll discuss in another article.
In the meantime, write your comments below about this article, or any other inputs you want to share.