Lowering Bounce Rate and Increasing Conversion Rates
Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors landing on your website who decide to leave without taking any action, without proceeding to another page. When your site has a higher bounce rate, it means you were unable to convince them to stay and do what your Call-To-Action wants such as buy or enroll for your blog. Reducing the bounce rate helps in boosting your site’s conversion rate.
When you have a high bounce rate it indicates that something is not right with your strategy – either you are attracting the wrong visitors or those coming are not getting a good user experience (UX). Things cannot be allowed to stay that way. You need to not only attract the right visitors but also optimize your user experience if you are to reduce or avoid the high bounce rates.
Identifying the problems and fixing them can easily sort the issue of high bounce rates and boost your conversion rates.
Design of the Website
The first culprit if you are getting high bounce rates is likely to be the design of your website. Never underestimate what an attractive, eye-pleasing website can do compared to one that appears cluttered or an eyesore. A website that has been designed well helps in creating trust in the user. When someone lands on your landing page and finds it packed with cheesy stock images or that your site uses Comic Sans font they are unlikely to be impressed.
A good user experience (UX) is when a visitor finds your website not only pleasing but easy to use. UX is the overall feeling experienced by a user as they interact with your site. The solution is to create a website that is user-friendly and one that looks great on all devices and platforms. Carefully monitor how your users behave when on your website and what influences the decisions they take and tweak your site accordingly.
Write Engaging Fresh Content
If your old posts from 10 years ago are still appearing in the search engines, your site visitors may take one look at the posting date, and then make a quick exit. Odds are high that they may not even bother checking the newer content you recently posted.
If those older posts are still attracting traffic consider spicing them up, making them more current. Advances in technology make almost all posts “refreshable” and give you the opportunity of modernizing old content. Fresh content cuts down bounce rates.
To make your content more appealing, consider breaking the text into digestible, meaningful “bites”. Adding graphics makes your content more engaging and easier for the reader to understand. Your text should be easily readable through good organization, use of bulleted lists, larger fonts, good color contrast, etc.
Create Great Call-To-Actions
Similar to how you should consider the needs of the reader when serving them content, you also should consider the specific action that you need them to take after consuming your content offering. After using your catchy headline to attract visitors and building interest with useful content, don’t lose them because you have a weak CTA.
What you need is to avoid an increase in the bounce rate. The goal is to get every visitor buying, or at the very least to think about it. When you have a clear call to action, it means your visitor will quickly know what to do next and where to do it. Remember not to overwhelm visitors with too many CTAs.
Think about the intentions of the users and how your different pages can help them accomplish their purpose. Then, from that create a relevant CTA that helps the users get it done.
Use Targeted Keyword Research
One reason that may be contributing to low engagement rates could be the fact that your visitors are not getting what they are looking for—or what they expected to get—based on the kind of information brought up by a Google search. It’s therefore vital that you use relevant keywords that are applicable to your site.
Choose keywords that match your content and not those that simply attract the highest visitors. If, for example, your site ranks high for a particular keyword, but lacks content related to that keyword topic, a user will quickly bounce off.
Also, keep an eye on your keyword analytics in Google Trends and measure the changes happening over time. When your keywords are current, it helps you keep the site’s landing page and ads relevant which contribute to lowering your bounce rate.
Go After the Right Target Market
Your site needs to attract the right sort of audience and market. Your Google Adwords, keywords, and advertisements should represent your site or brand. Similar to having relevant keywords, you should have relevant content that is used across the whole site if you are to get the right users.
It’s important that you identify your core target audience. From there write niche content specific for that audience. Your targeting must not be too broad lest you attract users who are not in need of what your site offers. Hone in and focus on a particular group of users to avoid high bounce rates.
Write Proper Descriptions
When you write, you form a relationship with your reader. If you write lengthy paragraphs or arrogantly, readers are likely to bounce. Your content should be effective and clearly formatted. From the standpoint of the user, this is crucial because no visitor wants to see disorganized or large chunks of text. If this happens, they are likely to skip over your crucial content.
Investing in your writing skills not only reduces your bounce rate but will also boost click through and conversions rates. When people enjoy what they are reading, they stick around long enough and are likely to take the desired action. Better user experience from well-written descriptions contributes to lower bounce rates.
Create Engaging Landing Pages
A key metric that Google Analytics looks into is your exit page. If you analyze your site data, you’ll probably realize that the majority of those exiting your site do it at the homepage stage. The rate of users exiting at your site homepage is often linked to a high website bounce rate. Any elements on your landing page that distract users can reduce your site’s credibility. This is most likely to cause visitors to look for the nearest exit. Generally, most common problems on the landing page revolve around legibility issues.
One more fact ignored by many is that usually, the more landing pages your site has, the better. However, ensure that they are linked to your home page and that they are also easy to navigate. Good internal linking also provides Google Analytics something to measure, Time on Page. More optimized landing pages usually translate to a lower your bounce rate and, of course, improved conversions as well.
Increasing Page Speed
It only takes a couple of seconds for users to make up their mind about your website. Data indicate that about 47% of users want a site that loads in seconds. You certainly don’t want this limited window to go to waste by showing your visitors a blank page or other irrelevant details. Use tools like Google Page Speed and Pingdom to help you optimize your landing page loading.
It is estimated that a 1-second delay could cost your site 7% of sales, about 11% fewer page views, and an alarming 16% reduction in overall customer satisfaction. If you want to speed up the page loading on your site, add better caching, use a CDN, optimize your images, and perhaps even consider switching your hosting provider to a faster one.
Targeting Abandoning Users
Despite all the efforts you put in, at times a user might still want to leave. That’s not your fault; something could have come up forcing them to leave such as a personal issue. You now have two options: let them go for good or follow them and try to subscribe or convert them. Of course, the second option is better.
Consider giving them an incentive to lure them back. You could think of offering them free shipping, a coupon on their next visit, or access to some exclusive content. Think of providing a guide who educates all your bouncing visitors about how your company can be of value to them. Don’t forget adding your subscription form as that will help capture their email address so that you target them during your email retargeting campaigns.
Use Popups Wisely
Popups can be quite annoying. In fact, they have consistently topped the list of experiences that annoy website users the most. Popups, however, have a useful purpose. They help you to collect email addresses – and if you use these well in your campaigns, they can help you make lots of you money.
If you really desire to build a lasting website that will generate lots of organic visitors, you may need to consider limiting or even totally avoiding using popups. At the very least, make your popups as un-annoying and unobtrusive as possible.
Offer Social Proof
Just because you tell visitors on your site to sign up for your email list or buy something doesn’t mean they will do it. Nowadays, people need to know whether what you say is true. They need some kind of proof. Adding elements of social proof helps in preventing new visitors to your site from leaving.
If for any reason, a visitor is not fully convinced about the credibility of your site and its safety, they will bounce off within the first couple of seconds. An excellent way of helping build site credibility and boost trust with visitors is to include positive reviews. These can cover your products and/or services that you deal with. If you have any special seals, showcase them to boost user trust and decrease bounce rates.
Be Mobile Friendly
With the total number of people accessing the Internet primarily from their mobile devices increasing year after year, you cannot afford to fail in optimizing your site for them. Failing to optimize for mobile would be like practically begging them to bounce and seek products or services elsewhere.
The entire world is now going mobile and so must you. And don’t simply optimize but make it a top priority. Also, when optimizing for mobile, it will no matter how good-looking your site looks if it doesn’t load in seconds.
The important thing is for those landing on your site to convert by sticking around. Lowering your website bounce rate is figuring out why visitors are leaving and then taking steps to fix it.
It’s possible that several components of your website are not working well. For example, the CTAs or headline may be causing visitors to bounce off fast. That’s why you need to carry out A/B tests. On each of your pages, use different strategies and run several A/B split tests to gauge how each of the pages is performing.
You may be surprised to discover that you have high bounce rates simply as a result of something as minor as the color of your CTA button, or even how your landing page guides users through the sales funnel. A/B tests help you identify such weak points.
Make Use of Heatmaps
You may assume that understanding your website is easy but your visitors may disagree. Rather than engage in a guessing game of what visitors do when they land on your site, use heatmaps to get the specific user behaviors. Heatmaps will show you where they spend more time, where they scroll to, and when they click-through.
With the information gathered from heatmaps, it possible to establish the best content placement and layout for your website. Use the heatmaps data to carry out further A/B tests that can help improve your pages. If, for example, your website serves a global audience, you can use heatmaps to detect the location of a user and show him/her a localized landing page.
Additionally, showing users your content in their own language, their currency, and against their cultural background can greatly boost the user experience.
Reducing bounce rate amounts to nothing more than trying to boost the engagement time of visitors on your website. A lower bounce rate is, however, always a contextual issue. Focus more on the purpose of your web page and the steps you can implement to boost the value of your page towards user experience – not simply concentrating on some proxy metric as the final measure of such as bounce rate. The ultimate goal should be conversions.
If you manage to reduce the bounce rate using the above tips, remember you still are at potential risk of increasing it again. If your website wants to avoid that from happening frequently, make sure you have a proper content strategy and planned editorial calendar. A lower bounce rate per se shouldn’t be a goal in itself. It should be a measurement that helps you know if your website is implementing the right conversion rate boosting strategies.