The bounce rate is one of the alarming metrics for a website. It indicates the percentage of visitors who leave the site in a very short time after landing on it. This means one of two things:
- That they didn’t find what they were looking for
- That they found the website confusing and difficult to browse.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective ways to reduce the bounce rate on your website.
Why Is It Important to Keep the Bounce Rate Down?
You are spending a lot of time and effort on SEO strategies to bring more visitors on your website. Thus, you do not want to lose them even before they had the chance to explore the site and learn more about your business and your products or services.
Moreover, a high bounce rate tells Google that your site is not a good fit for the keywords it shows up for. In this case, your page rank will drop, and you will have to work even harder to rank for your keywords.
What Is the Average Bounce Rate?
First of all, you have to understand what a good bounce rate is. Otherwise, you may have unrealistic expectations and work hard to solve a problem that is not actually an issue.
Thus, the average bounce rate for all websites is around 47%. For B2B websites, it is a little higher – around 56%. The explanation for this is that B2B website visitors are exigent corporate buyers, who have a specific list of expectations when they are looking for products and services.
Across devices, average bounce rates are as follows:
- 42% for tablets
- 45% for computers
- 49% for mobile phones.
Thus, you should aim to reduce the bounce rate on your site to 47% or below. If you are not running a B2B business, a 50% bounce rate should be a warning sign that you need to optimise your website.
Solutions to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website
Let us now look at the things you should do to reduce the number of visitors who leave your website within moments.
1. Improve User Experience
User experience indicates how the average visitor interacts with your site. If you want to reduce the bounce rate, you must focus on making your site as easy to use as possible.
- A simple and clean interface
- Clear navigation structure
- Good readability, using large fonts and an adequate typeface
- Having a responsive layout that adapts to the screen size.
2. Make Your Content Easy to Read
When a website visitor opens a website and sees a compact block of text, their thought is “I don’t have time for this”. Take this block of text and break it into small paragraphs. Add some bullet points. Use catchy subtitles that summarise each group of paragraphs.
The visitor will most likely start scrolling, reading the subtitles. And if they contain the type of information they are looking for, they will find the time to read the entire article.
3. Write for Your Audience
One of the easiest ways of not getting high quality traffic is not knowing what your audience wants to know. For example, a busy mom who is looking for healthy recipes for fussy kids is not looking for theories on why kids are fussy eaters.
They simply want to find the recipes you promised in the page title and meta description they found among the Google searches. Thus, the reason for the high bounce rate in this example is a lack of understanding of the target audience.
4. Use High Quality Photos and Videos
Although the content will determine a visitor to subscribe to you and become a lead, the first impression comes from the visual appeal of your web page. One of the simplest ways to reduce the bounce rate on your website is using high resolution photos and clear videos.
You can find great photos on royalty free websites. Even better, you can create your own images. You do not need expensive photo cameras and editing software. Your phone camera and a free or very affordable app will allow you to create great images, like a professional.
5. Keep Your Pages Free from Distractions
Few things are more annoying for users than pop-up windows. They disrupt them from reading an article and are extremely annoying. If you have ads on your site, make sure that they are static and located at the sides of the screen.
The same thing goes for auto-play videos. Some people do not appreciate wasting mobile data on your video if they are not even sure they are interested in your products. Plus, an auto-play video takes away the control from the user. And no one likes feeling that they are not in control of their browsing experience.
6. Create a Good Content Mix on the Page
Some websites are well organised, have quality content, great graphics, but still have a high bounce rate. The problem? They look boring. There’s a header, a menu and then text. Lots of text.
Now, this would discourage anyone except from someone truly determined to read your content. Most of your website visitors are not determined to do anything. They want to find useful information, presented in an attractive and easy to understand manner. Thus, you should break up your text with photos, charts, a video and other visual elements.
However, you must find the right balance between these visual elements and the text if you want to reduce the bounce rate on your site. The page must not look very crowded. Many websites resort to a hero image – a large, visually impactful image that covers most of the screen. In some instances, it is possible to scroll text over the hero image, if you can maintain a good readability.
7. Make Sure that Outbound Links Open in a Different Tab
You may lose a lot of visitors, who were actually interested in your web page, by committing this simple mistake: setting outbound links to open in the same tab. This means that users are effectively taken away from your website and onto the source you are linking to.
Some of them may click or tap on the Back arrow to return to your site. But many will not bother to do so and will start a new Google search. And you have lost a potential lead. To avoid this issue, make sure that every outbound link opens in a new tab.
8. Speed Up Your Site
This is something that you will keep hearing from us: if you want to succeed at SEO, grow your organic traffic and your sales, make sure that your website loads fast. Visitors are no longer wiling to wait for a slow loading page. If they don’t get the page properly displayed on their screen in about 2 seconds, they will leave it.
You can speed up your site by:
- Reducing the size of the media (photos, videos)
- Removing errors from the code
- Removing third party widgets and add-ons.
You may have to hire a developer to analyse your site and improve it, but it is a good investment. A slow site will lose you many potential sales and also have a negative impact on your page rank.