We all want to keep users on our sites for as long as possible; to engage them with our content, intrigue them with our brand and incentivise them to find out more.
The easiest way to do this is to focus on decreasing your website’s bounce rate.
What is bounce rate & why is it important?
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that leave your site after only viewing one page.
You may ask, ‘How does this affect my SEO? Surely if people are visiting my website, that’s good enough, right?’ But bounce rate does have an indirect impact on how your site performs in search.
A high bounce rate can be an indicator of other SEO factors performing poorly. These include:
- Content isn’t engaging enough/ there is a mismatch between content and keywords
- Poor UX (user experience) design
- The website is not optimised for mobile
- Slow page loading speed
Not only does a high bounce rate impact SEO, but it can also kill your conversions. If most of your website users are leaving after a single page visit, you don’t have a chance to generate leads.
How can I find out my bounce rate?
Your bounce rate can be found in Google Analytics. Take a look at the different ways you can find your bounce rate below:
- To find out which pages have a high/low bounce rate, head to Behaviour > All Pages > Bounce Rate
- To find out what type of traffic has the lowest bounce rate, look at Acquisition > Channels > Bounce Rate
- To see the impact of bounce rate on your AdWords campaign, go to Acquisition > AdWords > Campaigns > Bounce Rate
- To see which mediums and referral traffic have the lowest bounce rate, check Acquisition > Source/Medium > Bounce Rate
What is a good bounce rate?
An ideal bounce rate is anywhere between 20-50%. However, if your bounce rate is below 20%, it’s likely that this is a result of a Google Analytics glitch.
Having a high bounce rate isn’t always unusual for certain pages. For instance, you may find that blogs typically have a higher bounce rate as people tend to read an article and then move on quite quickly.
Now that you have a better understanding of bounce rate, let’s run through 11 ways you can reduce it. In doing so, you’ll keep people on your site for longer, improve your SEO and boost your conversions.
1. Appeal to the right audience
First and foremost, you want to be sure that you are attracting the kind of users you want. If you’re attracting users that have no interest in your business, they are sure to bounce straight away.
Utilise keyword optimisation to attract your ideal audience to your site. The more relevant someone is, the more likely they are to stick around and see what your business has to say. If your site is suffering from a high bounce rate, revisit your home page or key landing pages and think about altering your keywords.
2. Optimise your links
Incorporating hyperlinks throughout your content is a great way to keep visitors on your site for longer. However, the best practices for using links differ depending on whether you are using inbound (links to other pages on your site) or outbound (links to different websites) links.
Inbound links: Make sure any internal links open in the same window. If an internal link opens in a new tab, Google will still count that as someone leaving your site.
Outbound links: Open any outbound links in a new tab. This means that the visitor will still have your website open whilst they check out the link, therefore not affecting your bounce rate.
3. Improve your site’s UX
A great user experience (UX) should be one of the top priorities for your website. Text-heavy content, poorly considered branding choices and bad navigation are sure to put anyone off your website as soon as they lay eyes on it.
Your site needs to be engaging and full of easily-digestible content. Navigation, in particular, is hugely important; visitors should be able to navigate seamlessly through the site. Whatever they are looking for, it must be easy to find.
Our top tips for effective UX are:
- Stick to a simple, on-brand colour scheme
- Make sure that all text is large enough to read
- CTAs and buttons need to be eye-catching and clear
- Dropdown lists need to be simple to follow
- Format the website for ease-of-use
4. Create high-quality content
It’s essential that your website content is adding value to your audience. Engaging them, intriguing them and informing them. Make sure the content you are producing is always written with your audience in mind.
You want your content to be easy to read whilst offering enough information. For example, the ideal word count for a blog post is between 1,500 and 2,000 words. Any less, you may not be adding enough value. Any more, you may put people off reading the post. Moz’s study ‘Content, Shares, and Links: Insights from Analyzing 1 Million Articles’ showed that content that is 1,000-2,000 words tends to get the most shares.
And of course, you also need to make sure your content is grammatically correct. Frequent spelling mistakes are sure to make people bounce. We recommend installing Grammarly as a way to sense-check your work.
High-quality content doesn’t just refer to words. You need to make sure that any images you use are clear, eye-catching and relevant. There are many websites you can source free, high-quality images from such as Unsplash.
5. Cut down on pop-ups
Sometimes, pop-ups can have a positive impact on your bounce rate if you can encourage website visitors to make a download or sign up to your mailing list. But there’s a fine line. Too many pop-ups could have the opposite effect.
Try to limit your pop-ups to one or two; never have multiple pop-ups on the same page.
6. Increase your site’s speed
There’s nothing more annoying than a website that seems to take an eternity to load. You only have a couple of seconds to make a first impression. Even a delay of a second or two is enough to lose the attention of some visitors.
According to Crazy Egg, one second of delay time can result in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in conversions.
7. Incorporate video content
Video is the most engaging content format and embedded videos help retain visitors for longer.
Wordstream states that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. Add mixed media such as music, text, clips, or animations to make your video content as entertaining as possible.
8. Optimise your CTAs
Writing strong CTAs (calls to action) is essential for keeping people on your site. By encouraging users to read your blog post, download your ebook or check out your case studies, you succeed in intriguing them with your content.
Your CTAs need to be honest. Make sure the action you are trying to get the user to perform is exactly what it says on the tin. For instance, don’t have your CTA read ‘download now’ only for your audience to click through and land on a blog post.
It’s important that you consider the placement of your CTAs. They should be placed throughout your website in a strategically, getting your audience’s attention in an appropriate way.
9. Utilise your site’s footer
Placing related content in your site’s footer is a great way to catch the attention of your users.
For example, on each blog post, you could show 3 related posts in the footer with a featured image for each. This will be helpful to your audience if they would like to learn more about a particular subject.
People always appreciate effort. If you link to multiple posts that you have written around a specific area, it will be evident to your audience that you spend time constructing useful information for their benefit. Only link to a maximum of three posts; if there are too many then users may not make a decision.
You could also use this space to highlight your case studies. If you are a business that offers products or services, users are bound to be interested in your previous work.
10. Optimise your site for mobile
Each year, the number of website users primarily using their mobiles for browsing the internet increases. It is essential that your website is optimised for mobile. If someone lands on a confusing, cluttered page, they won’t give your website the time of day.
Due to the complexities that can pop up with mobile optimisation, it may be necessary for your business to outsource the work if it is outside of your technical knowledge or abilities.
11. Offer Live Chat
Not only can a live chat option reduce your bounce rate, it can also help generate leads. You can use it to help visitors find what they’re looking for and encourage them to click around your website.
Live chat is also a great way to build trust with potential clients or sales prospects, offering them one-to-one guidance and support.
We hope you’ve now got a good understanding on how to reduce your bounce rate.
Author bio: Amber Jones-Eddy is the Content Marketing Executive at J&R, a content marketing agency that helps small businesses to think bigger. J&R provide bespoke services in content creation, social media management and SEO. You can often find Amber blogging, editing copy, taking briefs and creating social content.