Bounce rate is a term that gets thrown around a lot among SEO specialists. It’s important to look at this issue subjectively, as each website is different and should be approached in the most suitable way according to circumstance.
High bounce rates can indicate many things, but these things usually fall into two categories:
- You’ve got the wrong kind of traffic coming to your page, or
- You’ve got the right kind of traffic coming to your page.
Number 2 may sound strange, but if you think about it, if a user comes to your site and finds exactly what they were looking for, why would they stay a second longer?
Of course, there are instances where it is important to get your visitors to stick around, click around the site and peruse content. In these instances, anything you can do to increase time on the site will directly link to your site’s success.
First, though, it is important to understand exactly what bounce rate is. It is not exit rate. Bounce rate measures the amount of people who bounced off a single page within your site, whereas exit rate measures the percentage of people who left your site from that page.
So, why is it important to reduce your bounce rate? Because it will equate to more engaged visitors and a higher chance of conversion for your business.
Check out this handy list of 20 things that you could do to reduce your bounce rate!
1. Avoid Pop-Ups.
They are annoying and disruptive for the user.
2. Use Intuitive Navigation for Important Items.
Provide your users with clear, obvious paths to get the content they are looking for. Heat-maps are a great tool for figuring out where users are trying to click.
3. Use good fundamental design technique.
Readers respond well to attractive graphical content and readability. Design has become very important to the everyday user.
4. Make sure your content loads quickly.
Nothing affects bounce rate like having a page that takes too long to load.
5. Make sure your website is mobile-useable.
Being mobile-friendly is ideal, but being mobile-useable is critical. Websites are still effective as long as they can be accessed from a browser on a mobile device. As well as this, make sure the language used is simple enough to be understood by users on-the-go.
6. Design Information Around Your Priorities.
Are your target content points clearly presented on your pages? Can users immediately get a sense of what they can expect to find or do on your page? Websites tend to gain conversions either by a short, direct sales path, or a longer process of qualifying users through a collection of pages. Are you effectively managing the expectations of your visitors?
7. Use Segments.
Grouping information into sections or categories increases readability by directing the reader, and also makes it easier to digest large amounts of information.
8. Optimise Your Pages for Intent.
Ensure that based on the keywords visitors are using to get to your pages, you are giving them an experience that addresses their expectations.
9. Be Mindful of Ad Placement.
If possible, avoid the standard ad units. Web users have developed ‘ad blindness’, and Google has started penalising pages that have too many ad units above the fold.
10. Lazy-Load Third Party Content.
Lazy-loading is a design pattern for deferring the loading of objects until they are needed. This is done both for speed and user experience, and can be used for whichever components it is necessary for.
11. Remember Colour Contrast.
Readers need contrast. Colours can make a dull story into an exciting one, and vice versa. Colours can also be used to draw the reader’s eye towards important information.
12. Make Your Message Obvious.
You only have a few seconds to keep the attention of a new visitor, so don’t make them guess. Place your site’s tagline or purpose in plain text in an obvious place, like the header.
13. Cut Out Distractions.
Don’t include videos or audio that auto-play, or unnecessary intrusions.
14. Offer Related Content Based on Personas.
Use intuitive navigation to offer related content, to increase page-views and reader interest. It’s a powerful tool to keep visitors on your site.
15. Leverage Internal Search Functions.
It’s important to offer internal search functions on your site, and to regularly review internal search analytics. Users are now so used to search functions that it is an easy behavioural pattern to accommodate. You can then use these analytics to discover what matters most to your audience.
16. Prominently Display Your Search Box.
Don’t make users search for your search box.
17. Open External Links in New Windows.
A simple concept that many people overlook. If you must link to a resource from your site, make sure you have it open in a new window instead of redirecting the user off your site.
18. Offer a Helpful 404 Page.
Nobody wants their users to find a 404 page when accessing their site, but these things happen. The best thing you can do is turn a negative experience into a positive one by adding a search box, a link to the homepage, a good design and maybe a bit of humour.
19. Keep Your Site Readable.
This point is made in specific relation to your site’s Flesch-Kincaid score, which measures the level of difficulty for comprehension of your content. Use this very helpful index calculator to determine your results.
20. Split Up Long Posts.
People have short attention spans in current times. When they see long text posts, they are instantly reminded of experience like high school English classes. Split text into separate posts, or add pagination to break the text up.