How to Reduce Bounce Rate
Everyone wants their site to have a low bounce rate. When you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into creating a perfect site, all you want is for customers to love it as much as you do. Unfortunately, many people think their site is working well, but Google Analytics tells a different story. For anyone unsure, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your site after viewing just one page. Essentially, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible as this means that customers are engaging with your site. Not sure where to start? Don’t panic! We’re here to help. In this article, we explore exactly how to reduce bounce rate.
What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
Let’s start by looking at what constitutes a “good” bounce rate. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this, as a “good” bounce rate will depend on various aspects including your industry and business goals. However, as a rule of thumb, a bounce rate between 26 and 40% is great, 41 to 55% is average, 56 to 70% is higher than average and anything over 70% is disappointing. Of course, this number depends on your website and business goals.
Optimise Page Load Time
Many people assume that a high bounce rate is caused by a page’s content. However, this is often untrue. Often, something will cause a user to leave before they’ve had a chance to read the content. Of all the issues a website can have, taking too long to load is one of the worst. If a user can’t see or read your page, it doesn’t matter how great the content is. With 47% of users expecting a page to load in two seconds or less, optimising your page load time is crucial to reduce your bounce rate. This is particularly true for mobile sites. Data suggests that a connection speed delay of just 500 milliseconds can cause frustration in 26% of users and decrease engagement by 8%.
Make Your Content Accessible
Too much text can be intimidating. Users don’t want to click on a page and be greeted with a never-ending paragraph of text. Even if your content is valuable and unique, too much text can still be discouraging to readers. Instead of sticking around to read your page, they’ll find a site with more accessible content. To avoid this, make your content more accessible. Format your pages in a way that is welcoming to visitors as the less “work” a user has to do to get what they want, the more likely they are to stick around and keep your bounce rate low. Instead of overwhelming users with weighty paragraphs, make use of white space and subheadings to make your text more approachable.
Minimise Sidebar Promotions
Websites are a great way to offer relevant content and promotions to your audience, however, some are better than others at this. A key example is blog pages, a site that almost always has something in the sidebar. However, cramming your site with adverts and offers can overwhelm your visitors and cause them to bounce. If you want to include relevant offers in your sidebar, make sure they offer additional value to the reader. For instance, a link to a product you’ve spoken about on the page. For best results, use any kind of sidebar promotion sparingly.
Cross-Reference With Other Data
To understand your bounce rate, remember to cross-reference it with the time spent on your site. Reading your bounce rate data out of context can provide an inaccurate figure. Looking at your bounce rate in the wider context of your site will allow you to see whether the problem lies on a specific page, a type of page, or your site as a whole. If your Time on Site data is high but your blog pages have a high bounce rate, you may need to evaluate your content. On the other hand, if both your bounce rate and Time on Site is low, the problem is more likely to be with your site in general.
Optimise for Relevance
Aside from technical issues like page load times, one of the biggest causes of high bounce rates is irrelevance. Some sites target keywords effectively but serve content that is irrelevant to that query. If a user clicks on your page and can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re almost guaranteed to bounce. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you optimise for relevance. Before trying to rank for a keyword, make sure the content of the page is relevant to that query.
Include Just One Call to Action
To keep your bounce rate low, include a single, clear call to action. Think about what action you want users to take after reading your content, and include just one, clear call to action. The more CTAs you include on the page, the more likely you are to confuse your visitors. The best websites make it quick and easy for users to find what they want.
Make Your Site Easy to Search
For some reason, site search is often an afterthought of many sites. Unfortunately, this results in a huge missed opportunity to provide users with the tools they need to find what they’re looking for. If customers cannot easily search your site, they’ll become frustrated and go elsewhere. Despite how relevant your content is, visitors may be looking for something different. Site search allows users to find what they want, as opposed to what you think they want.
Optimise for Mobile
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of sites that still aren’t optimised for mobile. The number of people using a mobile device to search the web is increasing every year. With this in mind, failing to optimise your site for mobile will almost certainly increase your bounce rate.
So, there you have it – how to reduce bounce rate. If you’re hoping to lower your bounce rate, take note of the tips above and adjust your site accordingly. Remember that certain changes won’t have an immediate effect. For best results, optimise your site and evaluate your progress over the coming months.