Your website bounce rate is one of the quality metrics which needs constant monitoring. It reflects the rate at which your website visitors leave your page after visiting the landing page.
Usually, it gives an indication of how useful your page has been in providing the answers sought by users. We try to understand users’ behavior through it and find solutions in order to decrease it. But is a high bounce rate always a bad thing? What should we check in order to give the best user experience to our visitors and decrease website bounce rate?
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1. Website speed
Web users are particularly very concerned about website speed. They do not want to spend much time loading a web page and will easily turn to an alternative if your page takes much time to load. So, if you really care about your visitors then you have to provide them with a fast loading website. And when we say that it needs to load fast, we mean in no more than 2-3 seconds.
After that time, you begin to lose your visitors which is translated into lost leads & transactions. Website speed is something to take seriously not only for user experience but because Google itself has also started taking speed seriously as a ranking factor.
There are a few things you need to do to speed up your website especially if you run any of the content management systems lie WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Simple Machine Forum.
Firstly, ensure that you implement a caching system on your website. Caching is one way to speed up your website extensively and achieve results. Secondly, run a website audit and check how your website performs with the results. Note that with most content management systems, like Joomla and WordPress, you can effectively improve the seed with some caching plugins. So all you need to do is address your security and install an effective caching plugin and you should be good to go.
2. Apply Lazy load technique
If your website loads a lot of content and especially with images, you can simply halt a full web page load until the user scrolls down to the page. So, you will use the lazy load technique to delay loading an entire page when the user hasn’t scrolled down to the rest of your content yet?
Lazy Load designing technique acts as a smart listener where every time you ask (scroll-down) to read more then and only then content is being loaded. This way both your website loads fast and you can manage to provide a fast pacing page with a lot of content. This has been a certified way to improve your website speed.
3. Poor design
As in real life, here the rule is the same: First impression matters. So believe it or not, your visitors will judge you, your professionalism, your authority and the security of your website according to your design. A modern and clear design with easy navigation through its menu and strong/solid user experience certainly impacts the above judgments positively and could convert your visitors from guests to leads and/or customers.
4. Helpful 404 page
Nobody likes broken links but having 404 pages is a normal part of websites. Links could change, categories could be renamed, links could be deleted and just an unforeseen circumstance could create a 404 page. In many cases, technical problems are also appearing that you may simply not be aware of.
We have found a good 404 page to be very helpful in this area and implementing a more responsive and compelling 404 page has made us not lose visitors who stumble on a page we have removed or moved to a different folder. For instance, if you have been following our blog, you will find that we have overhauled our blog page and this has caused a lot of 404s. But we have also implemented a polite 404 page that tells visitors where to redirect to.
So for all the above reasons, you should consider having an informative and helpful 404 not found page. Try having:
? A search box where the user can easily retry to find what he was looking for
? Links to major sections in your website, like the homepage, your blog & your contact page.
? Internal links to your best performing content like your offers page, your top selling categories and your best performing blog posts.
5. Be concerned about your website mobile-friendliness
The days when users were only surfing the web from their desktop have passed. Mobile share is currently counting more than 50% of all global web pages served. Recently, a study by Shareholic revealed that in 2017, search pulled more traffic than social. Google has also confirmed an increasing traffic from mobile users that desktop users and Google has also placed some premium on mobile friendliness and showing that websites that are not mobile friendly could lose ranks.
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6. Match search query intent with landing page message
You need to keep the marketing chain strong! Which are its links?
• Advertise for the right keywords
• Use those keywords in your advertising texts
• Send users to a relevant landing page. Show them what they initially wanted to find by typing their search query.
7. Build visually appealing landing pages
Even if your marketing chain is strong, your landing page has to be visually appealing meaning that all the information the user needs must be served in a nice and clear way.
You don’t need to hide your content behind ads or popups. Content is king and your website’s visitors came to see the content!
8. Target the right keywords by avoiding low value traffic
Although Google has indicated that keywords are no longer used in ranking websites, the role of keywords is yet to truly diminish as content and keywords in content remain one way to get Google to understand clearly, the purpose and focus of our website. Understanding how your website rank does help Google to be able to rank your website properly, using the right category and your business area.
To properly get the right keywords for your site, Adwords can be a very useful tool in order to bring more traffic to your website. But always keep in mind that the broader the keywords you are targeting the less interested your visitors will be for your service/product.
9. Compelling Call To Action
Your Call to Action (CTA) is where you call your visitor to take an action. Is the message of your button strong enough? If you got tired of seeing the “Read More” button again and again as you explore the web, try to make the difference and test something more compelling, like: “Order Now”, “Explore More”, “Get your Subscription”, “Make your Order”.
10. Keep pop-ups low in your priority list
Where you can, avoid pop-ups. Pop-up functionality is annoying from nature. It’s something that you didn’t choose to open, you didn’t know that it existed and that it will appear in front of you by hiding everything else. What is more, in an effort to minimize the appearance of intrusive pop ups Google will add in its ranking factors rules for penalizing content which is not easily accessible.
11. Avoid adverts everywhere
After putting up amazing content, you could gain enormous traffic and are tempted to place ads in your website to earn revenue. So, you built a website, you increased your traffic through awesome content and now it’s time to profit from your huge daily traffic! You start by adding some ads at some key positions in your website, then in an effort to increase your profit you added more ads and out of the blue your website started losing traffic day by day by becoming
12. Understand the full meaning of bounce rate
What is the best scenario?
A. A Landing page with 100 visits, 100% bounce rate and 100 leads? Or
B. A Landing page with 100 visits, 85% bounce rate and 10 leads?
I would choose A because it fulfilled its purpose: users came to my landing page, submitted their contact details and I got 100 leads out of 100 visitors!
The point made here is that a very high bounce rate is not necessarily bad. If your landing page is reaching its goal then the mission is accomplished.
13. Run a/b tests in your website
You should always a/b test your website. Even the smaller change in a button’s color or position could result in an increase of conversion rate. And of course, unless you test a marketing message, you never know if it’s stronger or weaker than other messages or messages of your competitors.
Be always on the move by implementing small and distinct changes. Keep changes one at a time in order to be sure what change helped (or not) and how much.
14. Polish your best performing content, improve your worst performing content
You should always consider revising your most visited content, by adding new tips, tricks and techniques based on the latest trends. Let your visitors know that the awesome piece of content you created is so great as its freshness is.
Improving your best performing content can help mitigate the effect of bounces which will be coming from your low performing content. You will also need to improve the quality of your low performing content to ensure that bounce on those ages are reduced. Using analytics to understand the performance of your pages can be helpful in improving the quality of your content.
15. Learn from Google
Google is the king of search engines, so in order to have a well-established website, you should consider keeping in touch with the latest Google algorithmic changes and updates.
16. Avoid wall of text
There is no need for writing a wall of text without any formation. Use bullets, numbering, paragraphs, segment your writing into smaller sentences and have along with your main heading other subheadings for better segmentation are some great features which will greatly improve your page’s readability.
17. Easy consuming content
Make your content relevant and easy to consume. If you do all the hard work by building a strong marketing chain where your landing page meets visitor’s search intent, but your content is way too hard to consume in a short span of time, this could be a reason to expect a high bounce rate. Users need to consume your content fast or at least to find a well segmented content in order to pick what they want to read.
18. Use graphic and video content
If a picture is worth 1000 words, then what is one video worth? If you have a great piece of content, what is better to keep users’ attention than a visual which will explain your content? Give your visitors easy ways to visualize your information. Will it be a dynamic graph, an astonishing image or an explanatory video? The more ways you give your readers to visualize your data, the more satisfied they will be and the less likely they will bounce off your page.
19. Improve your writing style
Your writing style must have a start, a body and an end/summary. In every section of your content, your visitors need to know where they are, what they will learn and how they will benefit from what they are currently reading.
20. Build Τrust
Ensure that your website converts the trust needed to make users confident in the content they consume and to believe in your website. Building authority around your website and/or your persona is not an easy process. You need to slowly build your audience with relevant users, follow a methodical strategy and always have the users’ needs and their experience in your website as your first priority.