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When numbers lie: The hidden danger of growing web site traffic

by Claudie Clot, CEO of advancis.com

Understanding why visitors leave your site upon reaching it

The most important step in solving the problem is determining whether the visitors who left your site were new visitors or repeat visitors. A detailed web site statistics report should give you an idea of the nature of the traffic. From that point, you simply need to identify the most likely scenario(s) and use the corresponding solution(s).


First-time visitors
Visitors do not need your products or services, and therefore leave the site.   Revise your promotional strategy to make sure you attract the right prospects. This entails taking a hard look at the site description on search engines and web directories.
Visitors need your products or services but do not really understand what you have to offer.  

Clarify your message on the page to facilitate comprehension. Be concise and straight-forward when describing your offerings.

A "products" or "services" link may not be enough to fully capture the nature and breadth of your offerings.

Visitors cannot find the products and services they need.   Redesign your entry page to include highly-visible links to product and service pages.
Visitors need your products but cannot access the information.   Make sure your entry page does not require any special plug-in or takes too long to load.
Visitors responded to a promotional message (email, banner...) but reached a page that did not mention anything about the promotion.  

Direct visitors who respond to your promotions to intermediary pages that serve as transitions to the main pages of the site.

In other words, include the URL to the intermediary pages in your banners, emails, etc... rather than the URL of the Home page.

Repeat visitors
Visitors value your site and need the products and services you offer but leave after they reach the point of entry.  

Inform visitors of site updates directly on the entry page. Make sure they realize that new information has been added to the site.

Use a section of the Home page as a bulletin board where you can post recent additions and changes to the site.

Source: Online Advantage 1.0 (Click here for details)-

Identifying the problem
Understanding why visitors leave your site upon reaching it
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