A website can be an interesting place to be, depending on how you look at it. You could liken it to a specialized store for example: people come in hoping to get something, they either see it or they don’t, then they check out with a mind to return…or to never step foot into that mall again.
The amount of time people spend within the store is all up to the store owner, how he sets the store to look like, the experience he offers to visitors who step in, and whether the visitor is the right type who needs what the store offers.
The best stores—or you could say, the well thought-out stores are designed to give that “wow” moment and keep visitors there for longer as they check out different things which they originally didn’t come in to see.
The poorly thought-out stores are the exact opposite. They scare visitors away with poor experiences and barely manage to entice visitors to look at anything other than what they came in for. You know the type, every neighborhood has them.
Okay, so back to your website.
What Is Bounce Rate?
In your quest to make your website the lean, mean marketing machine that you need it to be you may have come across the term bounce rate more than once. If you’re not already aware, you’re website’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who enter and exit on the same page, without any clicks to other pages on your site.
Liken it to having customers who don’t check out anything other than what they came to find in your “store” and then vow never to return once they leave.
A high bounce rate will lead to lower rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and an overall lower ROI for your website, and that’s why you have to get it down to manageable levels.
Here are 10 ways to reduce bounce rate:
1. Optimize Page Load Time
The longer it takes for your page to load, then higher your bounce rate will be. And it doesn’t just end there: Google gets worried about slow-loading pages—you could slide down the rankings as a result.
As a reference, 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
2. Properly Format Your Page Content for Easy Reading
The less work a visitor has to do in order to get what they want, the better. Nobody wants to load a page only to be greeted by a great wall of text the size of the Great Wall of China.
Accordingly, in your content make appropriate use of:
- Bulleted lists
Your visitors will appreciate it, and will be more likely to stick around longer.
3. Avoid Popups—They Disrupt User Experience
If you’re like most people, then you hate popups…so why would you annoy your readers with them? While they can be useful when used well, more often than not popups create a bad user experience for your visitors, making them more likely to leave and never come back.
Google also rolled out an update in 2017 that takes action against disruptive popups that block users from their desired content. It will become more strictly enforced now in 2018.
4. Create Highly Relevant Content
People will bounce off your website (and onto a competitor’s) if they don’t find what they are looking for on your website. This is important: all the optimization and tweaking in the world will not help your bounce rate if you’re not giving your visitors the information they are looking for.
5. Attract the Right Visitors
When the right message gets to the right audience, magic happens; your website becomes sticky, keeping visitors longer to devour your content. So, use the right channels to distribute your content so you eventually get in touch with the right audience.
6. Be Smart about Internal Linking
Internal links can be a great way to lead visitors to other quality pieces of content found on your website, thereby reducing your bounce rate…just don’t go overboard with it. A page that has a link embedded in every sentence looks sleazy and downright ugly.
7. Make Your Site Easy to Search
The easier it is for users to search for what they are looking for, the more likely they are to stick around your website. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this small insight.
8. Make Your Website Responsive
How does your website look on mobile screens? Mobile browsing outstripped desktop browsing long ago and if your website doesn’t look pretty on mobile screens, many of your visitors may hit the back button before even reading your content.
9. Make Your Website Navigation Easy
With the sheer number of websites offering the exact same thing you’re offering, user experience will be a decided factor at the end of the day. Grumble however you like, but pampering your visitors and putting everything within their reach on a silver platter is the surest way to garner loyalty and reduce bounce rate.
10. Show Credibility and Build Trust
Credibility is priceless in the online community. What people say about you goes a long way to predict how much they trust you. When people trust you, they are more likely to follow you and do business with you. They are also more likely to stick around your website longer, eager to consume information you dish out.
And those are 10 ways by which you could reduce your bounce rate in Google Analytics. In the end, creating great content and promising a satisfying user experience will make your website sticky and keep visitors around longer, as they explore all the goodies on display in your website.
Give us a call today to review your website and make sure you are not pushing potential customers away to a competitor!