Recently Nathan wrote about Govt.nz’s high homepage bounce rate. He implemented A/B testing to check our hypothesis that people type ‘NZ government’ into Google and expect to find the Beehive website, not Govt.nz.
He analysed a tsunami of data. Unfortunately, the different layout options, which directed people to the Beehive site, didn't show significant improvement. It looked like the high bounce rate wasn’t caused by layout, but something else.
Where next?The problem of the high bounce rate remained. So, we dug into another source of evidence to help diagnose the problem. We struck gold with our ‘voice of the customer’ feedback. Consistent themes have come out, which hint why the bounce rate could be high.
Feedback has told us that people don’t think Govt.nz looks authoritative. To many, it doesn’t even look like a real government site.
The use of pale blue and the lack of a logo (apart from the all-of-government brand) have meant that people question whether the site is official. It also lacks a ‘New Zealand’ feel. There’s been lots of comment about the photos. The homepage ones come across as bland and generic — like stock photos.