7 Steps to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
A low bounce rate indicates a website that engages readers, encouraging them to explore, rather than turn to the competition.
What is a Bounce Rate?
A single ‘bounce’ is a user who lands on your website, then leaves without looking at any other pages.
So, your ‘bounce rate’ is the percentage of users who click off your website without taking the time to look around.
Bounce Rate Matters
The needs of popular search engines such as Google are constantly changing. However, bounce rate appears to be a common factor considered when ranking websites. Websites that routinely rank on the first page of Google tend to have very low bounce rates.
Perhaps even more significantly, a high bounce rate indicates that readers are leaving your page immediately and are not converting into genuine customers.
Consider the goal of each page. It may be to drive customers to your shop, take them to a service page, or convince them to get in touch. If users are jumping directly from your site, you will not be reaping the rewards in sales.
What Should My Bounce Rate Be?
Unfortunately, this question is completely context-specific. While a bounce rate of 80% is perfectly fine for some companies, this may be disastrous for others.
You should be aware that where the traffic comes from will dramatically impact your bounce rate. Traffic reaching your website from paid advertisements or social media posts tend to have a significantly higher bounce rate.
This is an entirely legitimate reason for a high bounce rate and should not cause concern.
A bounce rate of 50% tends to be a figure many websites aim for, but this should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is always best to focus on improving your own statistics rather than concentrating on what the others are doing.
Be wary of bounce rates that are too low. On the surface, bounce rates of 20% look exceptional. However, these are normally the result of wrongly implemented Google Analytics tools rather than an exceptionally performing website.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
User Experience is Key
Firstly, you must consider whether the content on your website is meeting the needs of your readers.
Think about how useful, interesting, and engaging your site’s substance is, and how it will benefit your ideal visitor. Ensure that your design is modern, your images are slick, and your copy is exciting.
Users want to know that you are experts in the field and want to enjoy using your website. They do not wish to view vast blocks of text, which will immediately make them click away.
Short, snappy sentences work better.
Give the users the information they require, without all the fluff surrounding it. Use infographics and photography to break up the text blocks, but always ensure these graphics are relevant.
Videos are also a great way to engage users, keeping them on your website longer and helping reduce your bounce rate.
Whilst this might sound obvious, a surprising number of websites fail to implement a navigation system that is user friendly.
A concise, helpful menu that gives simple directions is essential for any great website. Users need it to be abundantly clear where they should click to find the information they require. Additionally, having a search bar visible from every page on your site will encourage readers to remain, rather than reverting to their search engine.
Page Load Time
A website that loads quickly is crucial to excellent SEO and hugely benefits your website’s bounce rate.
Users are not willing to wait for buffering pages. The average internet user will click away in less than three seconds. Readers clicking away before the page has even finished loading will be catastrophic for your bounce rate.
Include More Calls to Action
If you are a service-based company, your website’s primary aim is to sell that service to your readers. Therefore, it is likely that you need to drive them to a contact page, or failing that, a newsletter subscription to keep them updated on your business.
Users probably find your website through a helpful blog post you uploaded rather than directly on your home page. Therefore, they might not even be aware of your company and the service you offer.
A call to action on every page will help drive them to another screen, converting them to genuine customers and keeping them on your website for longer.
Use a Logical Internal Linking System
We all know the importance of internal links for your website ranking.
It allows search engines to crawl your website and promote it for the most relevant user queries. However, it can also drastically improve your bounce rate.
Users are much more likely to continue reading when there are intuitive, sensible links included.
This is where the best-researched websites shine above the rest.
Besides specific keyword research, you should conduct a regular, thorough investigation into your general target audience. It may be the case that your website is not reaching a readership that is converting into a genuine market.
Optimised content will reach the best audience, which will keep them on your site, which will in turn reduce your bounce rate.
Consistently Update Your Blog
Regularly updating your blog with fresh, relevant content will hugely help to reduce your bounce rate.
Returning users will steadily begin to outweigh new visitors when readers begin to trust your posts and appreciate the value in the content you are producing. Returning users who come to your site directly are much more likely to browse for longer, helping to bring down the bounce rate.