The term ‘bounce rate’ is a metric most marketers dread. It refers to the specific percentage of your website visitors that come on to your site but decide to leave without viewing a second web page.
Basically, the lower the rate, the better your website is performing in moving people through your site. And, comparatively, the higher the rate, the more your web visitors are clicking straight off your site.
Fortunately, finding and measuring your bounce rate is pretty easy. Simply look at any web analytics tool. However, if you notice your bounce rates are particularly high, it likely means your marketing and website efforts are being delivered in vain.
Therefore, reducing your bounce rate should be seen as a fundamental pillar of your website’s performance and to improve conversion rate.
Follow these 10 steps to reduce your site’s bounce rate:
1- Fix Broken Links
Let’s face it, nobody likes 404 errors, search engines
included. If your site visitor clicks on a broken link, it looks unprofessional
and amateur. The good news is there are a number of tools readily available to
fix that. Use a broken link checker such as Dr. Link Check
to find dead links and fix them.
2- Optimize Your Call to Action (CTA)
Adding a killer CTA that convinces people to act (and stay
on your site) is essential for reducing bounce rates. You want your visitors to
know what you expect them to do as a next step, and having a clear path through
your website is essential. If your visitors don’t understand what action you
want them to take next, they’ll leave. Attention-time is short, so make sure
your CTA is clear, bold and catchy.
Don’t make the mistake of burying your CTA in the page, be
as descriptive as you can (rather than a generic, ‘read now’), add a button to
highlight it, and make sure the CTA relates to the content.
3- Improve Page Load Time
As more and more web traffic is coming from mobile devices,
fast page loading times is becoming a make or break factor in landing page
performance. According to a Google study, 53% of mobile users abandon
websites that take more than three seconds to load. Your visitors expect your
pages to load within 2 seconds or less. Anything slower
quickly increases the chances of them abandoning your site.
to test your page load time and implement the recommendations, or Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for practical
recommendations on how to improve your website’s load speed. As a general rule,
make sure you use compressed images, limit the amount of multimedia content on
your website, make sure your host can handle large amounts of traffic, disable
unused plugins, and keep your database clean.
4- Keep Your Content Fresh
Nobody wants to read a 5-year-old blog post with outdated information. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to update your website every day, or even week. But you do need to make sure the content is still relevant. Additionally, regularly updating your content will boost your SEO performance as search engines will continually crawl your site.
5- Avoid Pop-Ups and Distracting Ads
While some businesses love pop-ups and ads to try and
convert leads, most are hugely annoying and drive visitors away. When designing
your website, think of the user experience in mind. They don’t want to come on
to your site and be hit immediately with a huge advert. It’s a turn-off. In
some instance, less is more. Focus on quality instead and get rid of
6- Improve Readability
This is a big one as it essentially means your site will be
easier to scan and read. Make sure you format your content correctly
(especially for mobile devices). Think about using headers, suitable images,
bulleted lists, short paragraphs, keywords and video. Additionally, highlight
key information so it’s nice and easy to skim. Over 50% of online traffic is from mobile phones
and tablets, so your site needs to be readable on mobile.
7- Make Your Pages Mobile-Friendly
As with the above, mobile devices are driving traffic. Focus
on how your website pages render and display on a variety of displays. If your
site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’ll not only lose visitors and see high
bounce rates, but you’ll lose search rankings too (Google now ranks mobile over desktop). Think about
responsive design, your text can be read on a smaller screen and your pages
8- Display Credibility
Think about it. The more brand trust you have, the longer your visitors will stay and consume your content. To display credibility, include reviews, endorsements from clients, awards, certifications, and so on. This will send trust signals to your visitors and encourage them to look at other pages.
9- Improve Meta Descriptions for SERPs
This is an ongoing task that needs to be regularly updated.
Firstly, make sure every page on your site has a meta description. Secondly,
make sure they are optimized to show up in search results, match the content
and are not misleading. If someone clicks through thinking they are going to
find something they are not, they’ll click straight off. And that means they
will be a bounce. Meta descriptions aren’t just about attracting visitors.
10- Add Helpful Internal Links
Helpful links help direct your traffic to related content
within your website. That’s important as then the visitor is more likely to
move on to a new page, rather than leave. Therefore, visitors will follow the
internal links and stay on your site longer. Just make sure the links are
relevant otherwise they’ll be ignored.
So to finish, here are the key steps to take to reduce those
ever-important bounce rates:
and fix any broken links
catchy and relevant CTAs
sure your site loads quickly
update content to keep it relevant
rid of annoying distractions
your site is easy to read
on being mobile-friendly
off your credibility
relevant, optimized meta descriptions
internal links to add value
If you are suffering from these fails, your website and
business will suffer as visitors leave you for the competition. So think again
if you aren’t taking bounce rates seriously.