The 7 Best Ways to Reduce Your Website Bounce Rate
As a business owner, your website has specific goals for the visitors that find it. It’s important that those visitors are finding the website for the right reasons, and that they’re finding what they’re looking for. This is the basic premise of a positive user experience.
Bounce rate at its core is when a user visits a website and leaves without traveling to other pages on that site. Understanding whether their experience was positive or not is a bit more complex however. If someone finds your website on Google and comes to a page expecting to learn about a particular topic, and finds nothing they were expecting and leaves, this is a bad user experience and potentially bad for your brand name. If however this person comes looking for a definition or to see a diagram for example, sees it, learns what they need and then leaves, this is a good experience.
So how can you tell if site visitors are finding what they need, and potentially becoming customers later on? The following are things to look for and put into place to ensure your business continues to flourish online.
1. Page Load Time
This is a major reason many people leave websites in a hurry for a negative reason – when your website doesn’t load fast enough. This is even more important when someone is searching on their phone. Check your Google Analytics to compare average load time of each page to the bounce rate and see if there’s a correlation.
2. Site Design & Navigation
Once a person gets to your website, it must be easy to figure out and navigate. It should also be attractive and be updated with today’s trending design elements. Most people want the information they’re absorbing to be as up-to-date as possible, so the site must look new. As well, the look of the site can affect the user’s judgement of whether you can be trusted as an expert or not.
The majority of people use their phones to search the web now, so design with mobile in mind. Ensure you’re using a responsive layout to make mobile browsing as efficient as possible, and test it yourself.
3. Content & Keywords
Content spans from written words to videos and photos. Write for the audience you want to be visiting your website. Ensure the content you’re providing is relevant and valuable to them, and keep paragraphs short, sweet, and fluff-free. Include keywords and phrases that the audience is looking for. Include quality (but compressed) photos and videos that explain your content in a visual way for those users who prefer this type of learning.
4. Call to Action
Don’t forget your calls to action. Many people need to be told directly what you want them to do, otherwise they may never get there. You’ve already provided lots of free extra value with your content, so tell them why you’ve provided that content – what you need them to do to convert into a paying customer or at least get onto your email list. Every call to action should be visible and clear within a few seconds of visiting a page, and each page should only have one call to action ideally, maybe one minor one to accompany.
If you want to show ads on your site, especially if it’s an extra revenue source for you, you don’t want these ads to be distracting or take away from your own CTAs. Ensure they’re placed properly and are not obnoxious! It’s also advisable to stay clear of pop-ups as these can be very annoying to most users.
5. Site Search
Include an option for site search. If users can quickly jump to what they’re looking for without having to search around for it on a big website, they’re less likely to bounce.
6. Internal Links
Make sure every page on your site links to another relevant page on the site to keep people moving in a logical sequence. The more they read and enjoy your content, the more likely your brand name will stick with them, and the more likely they will become a customer!
7. Prove Your Expertise
If any business is going to be trusted, besides having an authoritative voice and nice-looking website, it’s even better to have real proof of your expertise displayed on the website. If you don’t have certifications to show off, customer testimonials are as good as gold. Not only should these be displayed throughout the site, but customers themselves should also be writing them on your Google My Business profile and business Facebook page.
Once you’ve taken these things into account, analyze your Google Analytics to see if your efforts have made a difference. Start with things like: bounce rate, average time spent on specific pages, pages viewed per session, most and least frequently visited pages. Soon enough your website will be more useful to your potential clients!