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.
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6 Steps for Creating a Secure Website
There are currently over two billion websites on the internet, and it is estimated that thirty thousand of those are hacked every day.
An unsafe website impacts everyone. Not only can it be hugely detrimental to your company, but it will make your users and customers vulnerable. An unsecured website will make their data and personal information easily accessible to cybercriminals.
The reality of an unsafe website is hugely daunting. But, you can take clear and relatively inexpensive steps to elevate your website quickly and allow your users to browse with the utmost confidence.
Choose a Safe, Secure Web Hosting Company
For anyone looking to create an online presence through a website, choosing the right web hosting company is integral to their success.
To choose the best company to work with, you will need first to determine the level of support you require. Hosting levels can broadly be separated into three distinct categories.
Shared hosting is great for small to medium businesses. It allows multiple websites to utilise the same server, making this option much more affordable. However, once your company begins to grow, you may notice some severe performance issues.
When your business requires a little extra, consider upgrading to a VPS. A virtual private server provides a happy middle ground, simulating a dedicated server’s experience whilst sharing the hardware costs with other businesses.
Once your company begins experiencing large volumes of traffic and processing a substantial number of financial transactions; a private server will likely be required. This option provides you with complete control over your website and allows you to implement customisations that meet your business’s demands. The most robust option, which comes with the most substantial price tag.
Alternatively, hosting in the cloud may be a more suitable environment for your business.
An SSL is a secure sockets layer.
It sends a message that your website is safe, enabling your customers to browse and shop on your website securely.
For E-commerce sites, an SSL certificate is essential. It is entirely unethical to allow users to input their bank details without assuring that their information will be kept private. Additionally, it can be logistically impossible to accept many bank accounts without an SSL in place.
An SSL certificate cements your identity on the internet and gives your users peace of mind. It protects users data and allows people to enjoy your site with confidence. Additionally, search engines have made clear it is a crucial factor considered when ranking websites.
Create a Backup System
A website backup is essentially an identical copy of your website data, which might include content, media, and databases.
Suppose your website becomes compromised and is hacked, having a backup means that you can be back online in no time.
Backups need to be regular as if the worst does happen; you need the most up to date version of your site. Consider investigating automatic backups which will ensure you have regular copies of your site.
Many web hosting services offer backups as part of their service. However, the storage on these can be limited, so may only be useful for part of your site.
Alternatively, you may choose to invest in a specific backup service, which sits independently of your website hosting. Finally, various plugins are available across many content management services that can help back up your site.
Whether you have one, or one thousand people who access and update your website; strong passwords are essential.
Stay away from your birthday, your dog’s name, or worse, 123456.
First and foremost, do not store passwords in your browser. Although it makes life infinitely more simple, it is just another way for hackers to attempt to steal your information.
The most robust passwords are long yet memorable. Choose something that is over eight characters, using a combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols. Try to use a phrase unique to you, such as a nickname or term that only you would know.
Do not write your passwords down, and do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
Avoid Excessive Plugins
Content management systems, such as WordPress, offer a vast array of plugins for your website. Some of these can add extra functionality to your site, whereas others simply increase aesthetics.
Whilst all plugins purchased from WordPress will be vetted independently, every addition to your website presents a chance for hackers to access your site. Keep potential risks to an absolute minimum by carefully and strategically adding plugins to your website.
WordPress comes with a set of security measures in place by default and offers a range of plugins to increase your website’s security, click here to see what those plugins are.
Thorough SEO is essential for a website that gets noticed. However, once the traffic starts rolling in, it is vital that you closely monitor it.
It is estimated that close to half of all internet traffic is bots. Whilst some bots are harmless, others can be catastrophic for your business and your customers.
For example, web scraping bots will crawl your website, copying the entire contents identically. This can then fool users into believing their site is legitimate, enabling them to trick visitors into handing over their personal information.
If you have a WAF (Web Application Firewall) installed, monitoring for ‘bad’ traffic will be less of an issue. Without one, however, you need to ensure that manual monitoring is conducted regularly.
You will need to select a tool to monitor your website. Google Analytics is generally the favourite and provides a comprehensive overview of your site, providing you with information regarding the viewers’ location, how long they spend on your site, and their behaviour once on the site.
What to look out for:
- Excessively high or low session duration
- Bots tend to click through the pages on your website at a rapid pace. If you notice a vast number of visits with a tremendously high or low session duration, bots are likely present.
- Abnormally high page views
- A sudden boost in pageviews way above your general average is a clear indication that the users on your website are not genuine.
- Spike in traffic from an unusual location
- A sudden massive influx of users from a particular area is a good indication that you are suffering from bot traffic. This is particularly relevant if they come from a country where the mother tongue is not your website’s native language.