Bounce rate has always been an important metric for any business, and if you’ve been neglecting it, this is the year you need to make it a priority. A key component of conversion optimization is to reduce bounce rate by better engaging website visitors.
Competition is more plentiful, sales are harder to make, and if Google ever finds a way to accurately work them into their search algorithm, you could be in trouble.
The first thing you’ll want to do is fully understand what a bounce rate is before you can work to reduce it. Simply put, your bounce rate is the number of visitors that land on your website, visit just one page, then leave. If you have 100 visitors to your site, and 75 of them viewed just one page and then left, then your bounce rate is 75%.
Ideally you want a visitor to land on a page, and then if your website is doing its job they’ll continue on and explore more, make a purchase, download something, or just generally interact longer.
Reducing your bounce rate isn’t too difficult. It has been well studied and tested so there are numerous things you can do to improve your stats. Here are 7 ways to reduce your bounce rate in 2018.
Decrease Your Page Loading Speed
The last tip is a little more advanced, but a very important one. If your page takes too long to load, users will just leave. It only takes a couple of seconds for a user to give up.
Ideally you want to get your page load time under two seconds. You can do this by removing unnecessary plugins from your content management system (CMS), optimizing images, using a static cache for your web content, and utilizing minify plugins to condense code on your site.
Get your 2018 off to a great start by reducing your bounce rate and increasing conversions. Don’t worry if any of these tips seem a bit difficult. Get in touch and we can help you every step of the way.
Stop Annoying Visitors
Nobody wants to hang around at a party where there’s a constant fire alarm going off, no matter how good the DJ is. If you’re annoying people, they will leave even if you have the best content in the world.
If you have pop-up ads, constant distractions, or annoying autoplay video advertisements in the sidebar, those will drive visitors away. Reduce annoying distractions that could drive people away unless they are specifically designed to achieve an exit goal like signing up for a newsletter, or fulfilling a call-to-action.
Make Your Content Easy to Read
Hard to read content includes poor font choices, text size, colour, layout and more. What’s going to be right for you really depends on your content and audience, but there are some tried and true methods that work well.
- Use headers. You’ll note in this article that each point has a large easy to read header that makes the article easy to skim.
- Use short paragraphs. Again, it’s about being able to easily digest information.
- Use bold and italics to emphasize where needed. Like we’ve done here.
- Don’t disrupt the flow. Don’t cram your content full of ads that change the flow of the article. It’s ok to have ads, but if a user has to jump around the page to avoid them, they’ll just leave.
Update Your Older Content
One of the easiest ways to reduce your bounce rate is to simply update old content. If a user lands on your page about the best smartphone camera and your article is from 2014, it’s going to disappoint pretty quickly.
A user is likely looking for the most relevant information, and if you don’t have it, they’ll leave. It really is that simple. Update your articles or use relevant titles like “best smartphone cameras of 2014” so users know what they’re in for.
Increase Links and Calls To Action
If you want visitors to go on to view a second or third page on your site, you need to offer them somewhere to go. This could be in the form of a strong call to action to purchase, sign-up, or learn more. Or it could be as simple as a recommended list of related articles in the middle and at the end of your posts.
If you don’t want visitors to leave, give them an incentive to stick around by offering more information that’s relevant. They came to your site for a reason, just give them more of that reason.
Check For Broken Links
Broken links will instantly kill your bounce rate. Users can’t visit a second page if the link is broken! This happens quite a bit as backend software is updated, permalink structures change, faulty redirects, dynamic link errors, and so on. Or it could be just simple human error.
There are hundreds of free programs that will do this for you. Just do a web search for “broken link check” and you’ll find one that works for you.
Make Your 404 Page Work Harder
No matter how hard you try to control broken links and redirects, users will inevitably hit a page that doesn’t exist at the address they went to. If you don’t want them to bounce, make your 404 page useful.
Your 404 page should direct users to a way to find what they’re looking for. It could direct them to a search function, a category page, or related articles.