The bounce rate is one of the quality metrics which needs constant monitoring. We try to understand users’ behavior through it and find out solutions in order to decrease it. But is high bounce rate always a bad thing? What should we check in order to give the best user experience to our visitors?
Below you will find 20 ways on how to reduce bounce rate, segmented into 3 categories:
1. Technical actions
2. Marketing tips and
3. Writing techniques.
1. Website speed
If you really care about your visitors then you have to provide them with a fast loading website. And when we say that it needs to load fast, we mean in no more than 3 seconds. After that time, you begin to lose your visitors which is translated into lost leads & transactions.
So, you don’t only need to keep your visitors happy but also the leading search engine, Google which has forged its ranking factors around website speed too. Check the speed of your website by submitting it to PageSpeed Insights.
2. Lazy load technique
Does your website need to load a lot of content? Why should you load it if the user hasn’t scrolled down to the rest of your content yet? Lazy Load designing technique acts as a smart listener where every time you ask (scroll-down) to read more then and only then content is being loaded. This way both your website loads fast and you can manage to provide a fast pacing page with a lot of content.
3. Poor design
As in real life, here the rule is the same: First impression matters. So believe it or not, your visitors will judge you, your professionalism, your authority and the security of your website according to your design. A modern and clear design with easy navigation through its menu and strong/solid user experience certainly impacts the above judgements positively and could convert your visitors from guests to leads and/or customers.
4. Helpful 404 page
Nobody likes broken links, but there are moments that something might have gone wrong. In many cases, technical problems are also appearing that we aren’t even aware of.
So for all the above reasons, you should consider having an informative and helpful 404 not found page. Try having:
● A search box where the user can easily retry to find what he was looking for
● Links to major sections in your website, like the homepage, your blog & your contact page.
● Internal links to your best performing content like your offers page, your top selling categories and your best performing blog posts.
5. Make your website mobile-friendly
The days when users were only surfing the web from their desktop have passed. Mobile share is currently counting more than 30% of all global web pages served.
So, having a mobile friendly website (either it is through a responsive design or a specific mobile version) is more than crucial for the user’s experience.
Check your website’s status by taking the Mobile-Friendly Test by Google.
1. Match search query intent with landing page message
You need to keep the marketing chain strong! Which are its links?
1.1. Advertise for the right keywords
1.2. Use those keywords in your advertising texts
1.3. Send users to a relevant landing page. Show them what they initially wanted to find by typing their search query.
By following these steps you make sure that you are sending the right traffic to the most relevant landing page where users will find your content useful and will not instantly bounce from your website.
2. Visually appealing landing pages
Even if your marketing chain is strong, your landing page has to be visually appealing meaning that all the information the user needs must be served in a nice and clear way.
You don’t need to hide your content behind ads or popups. Content is king and your website’s visitors came to see the king!
Always try running an a/b test in your main advertising landing page by making small tweaks. After gathering a sufficient amount of visits, determine the winning version based on your conversion rate.
3. Target the right keywords by avoiding low value traffic
Adwords can be a very useful tool in order to bring more traffic in your website. But always keep in mind that the broader the keywords you are targeting the less interested your visitors will be for your service/product.
A broad search query like “Paris sightseeing” stands at the beginning of your conversion path (awareness). On the other hand, a query like “5 star hotels in Paris” stands at the decision stage where user is most likely to convert.
4. Compelling CTA
Your Call to Action (CTA) is where you call your visitor to take an action. Is the message of your button strong enough? If you got tired of seeing the “Read More” button again and again as you explore the web, try make the difference and test something more compelling, like: “Order Now”, “Explore More”, “Get your Subscription”, “Make your Order”.
5. Keep pop-ups low in your priority list
Pop-up functionality is annoying from nature. It’s something that you didn’t choose to open, you didn’t know that existed and that it will appear in front of you by hiding everything else. What is more, in an effort to minimize the appearance of intrusive popups Google will add in its ranking factors rules for penalizing content which is not easily accessible.
Many pop-ups are implemented so badly that you can barely manage to find the x button. Some of them don’t even have a close button and you have to figure out a way to escape.
So, instead of installing a popup without any rule or condition of when and how it appears, try applying your popups when users try to leave your page or have already stayed for a while in your page. And of course, always give them a clear path in order to close it.
6. Ads, ads everywhere
So, you built a website, you increased your traffic through awesome content and now it’s time to profit from your huge daily traffic! You started by adding some ads at some key positions in your website, then in an effort to increase your profit you added more ads and out of the blue your website started losing traffic day by day by becoming something like 90% ads and 10% useful content.
What went wrong? You disappointed your visitors by tearing down the reason they started visiting your website: your fresh new content full of information and without irrelevant ads.
So, always consider finding the right balance between content and ads. Users want to focus on the information they need to read and that’s the reason they came to your website. Distracting this reason will only result in higher bounce rates.
7. Understand the full meaning of bounce rate
What is the best scenario?
A. A Landing page with 100 visits, 100% bounce rate and 100 leads? Or
B. A Landing page with 100 visits, 85% bounce rate and 10 leads?
I would choose A because it fulfilled its purpose: users came to my landing page, submitted their contact details and I got 100 leads out of 100 visitors!
What I want to demonstrate with the above example is that a very high bounce rate is not necessary bad. If your landing page is reaching its goal then mission is accomplished.
8. Run a/b tests in your website
You should always a/b test your website. Even the smaller change in a button’s color or position could result in an increase of conversion rate. And of course, unless you test a marketing message, you never know if it’s stronger or weaker than other messages or messages of your competitors.
Be always on the move by implementing small and distinct changes. Keep changes one at a time in order to be sure what change helped (or not) and how much.
9. Polish your diamond content, improve your worst performing
You should always consider revising your most visited content, by adding new tips, tricks and techniques based on the latest trends. Let your visitors know that the awesome piece of content you created is so great as its freshness is.
On the other hand, it might be worth improving your worst performing articles or posts. Try to keep your article updates, add some internal linking or even thing of rebuilding your article. All these will help you improve your content and reduce its bounce rate.
10. Learn from Google
Google is the king of search engines, so in order to have a well-established website, you should consider taking its webmaster academy course.
1. Avoid wall of text
Unless you want to stop white walkers, there is no need for writing a wall of text without any formation.
Use bullets, numbering, paragraphs, segment your writing into smaller sentences and having along with your main heading other subheadings for better segmentation are some great features which will greatly improve your page’s readability.
2. Easy consuming content
So you did all the hard work by building a strong marketing chain where your landing page meets visitor’s search intent, but your content is way too hard to consume in a short span of time. This is another reason to expect a high bounce rate. Users need to consume your content fast or at least to find a well segmented content in order to pick what they want to read.
3. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then what is one video worth?
If you have a great piece of content, what is best to keep users’ attention than a visual which will explain your content? Give your visitors easy ways to visualize your information. Will it be a dynamic graph, an astonishing image or an explanatory video? The more ways you give your readers to visualize your data, the more satisfied they will be and the less likely they will bounce off your page.
4. Improve your writing style
Your writing style must have a start, a body and an end/summary. In every section of your content, your visitors need to know where they are, what will they learn and how will they benefit from what they are currently reading.
Try catching users’ attention by giving them something to wait for, tell them what they will gain if they keep reading, remind them that an even better idea is coming up in a next line.
5. Building Τrust
Last but not least, building authority around your website and/or your persona is not an easy process. You need to slowly build your audience with relevant users, follow a methodical strategy and always have the users’ needs and their experience in your website as your first priority.
This way you will build your loyal followers who are looking forward for your next blog post and love your content because they can further learn and expand their knowledge base through your information.