Getting people to visit your website is one important segment of an online marketing strategy. Another one would be converting them into regular readers and recurrent customers of your business. But what’s in the middle of this may be the hardest part of all, and that’s getting visitors to stick around for long enough to get to know your offering and give you a chance of conversion.
Having a high bounce rate is a sure sign you need to revise your current approach and marketing strategy. Losing visitors before they even know what you have to offer is both frustrating and costly. You’ve invested precious time and money into building your website, producing content, optimizing SEO, and maybe even paid for ads to draw these people in, and you don’t want all this to be in vain.
What is Bounce Rate?
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as: “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entering page without interacting with the page or website).”
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website without visiting any other page.
They landed on your site looking for certain information but couldn’t find it, so they either got back to a previous page, typed in another URL, clicked to check an external link within your page, or simply closed the tab or window.
What is a good bounce rate?
Bounce rates differ based on the type of website, the industry it covers, and the type of page it’s calculated for. In most cases, a high bounce rate means you’re not attracting the right audience, or your site and business fail to answer their search needs.
Still, this isn’t always true, as there are websites which are so good and fast at solving people’s information problems, offering specific and succinct answers, that their users don’t need to look for more, just to come back often. For them, this quality metric isn’t that relevant.
According to KISSmetrics’ data and infographic, the average bounce rate of retail websites is between 20% and 40%, lead generation sites have bounce rates from 30% to 50%, self-service websites and portals 10% to 30%, content websites between 40% and 60%, and the standard for simple landing pages with one call-to-action is between 70% and 90%.
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How Do You Calculate Your Bounce Rate?
(The number of single-page visits / The total entries to a page) * 100 = Bounce rate %
For example, if 10,000 people visited your website last month, and 6,000 of them left after viewing just one page, your site’s bounce rate is 60%.
This may be result of a poor web design and navigation, unrelated content, unreasonable use of animations, video and pop-up ads and other distractions.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
To reduce your bounce rate and improve visitors’ retention you need to make sure the users’ experience on your site is positive, engaging and fulfilling. The first impression is often crucial, and businesses should reel in visitors and hook their attention so they’ll more likely convert into actual customers.
Following is a few techniques that’s worth thinking of and try out to improve this key performance indicator, and keep people browsing and engaging deeper within your content. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
1. Stick to content relevant to your niche.
You’d probably bounce off a page immediately if you’ve clicked the link in search results and found out the site has nothing to do with what you’re looking for. Don’t let this happen with your web content.
Being inconsistent and irrelevant to your industry and audience may kill your business’ credibility among readers.
2. Speed up your website.
Nothing affects bounce rate quite as heavy as a web page that takes 10 seconds to load. People today neither have the time, nor the patience to wait that long for information.
Page speed is a confirmed ranking factor by Google, and it also lends directly to your website’s SEO performance, users’ experience, followers reach and conversion rates. Slow pages are often result of having too many needless plugins and widgets, not optimized images and multimedia, bad hosting or CSS coding.
3. Provide clean and accessible navigation.
Don’t leave it to your visitors to find a way to navigate your website. It’ll only frustrate them; and that’s not how you want your readers to feel, right? Be helpful, – provide navigation that’s clear, intuitive, and easily accessible.
Also don’t distract them with flashy web designs and automatic playing audios and videos. Avoid using drop-down menus or provide alternatives for easier use on touchscreen devices, and add a search functionality or a site map to help visitors easily find what they need if there’s lots of content on your website.
4. Chunk your paragraphs into digestible shorter segments.
No matter the quality of an article or its topic, seeing a huge wall of text will scare off just any reader.
Make your content easy to consume, – group ideas and text into segments and paragraphs, use well-formatted lists, headings and sub-headings, and include charts, illustrations, and graphics to add more meaning to your words. This will invite people to stick around and not move on to something that looks easier to read.
5. Improve design, readability and user-experience.
Poor design and readability equals poor user- experience (UX), and they directly influence the visitors perception of the quality of your business and service.
Adjust your design, typography, and used fonts, to meet the expectations of your target audience and keep them browsing through your pages. Smaller font is hard to read; make sure yours is between 13 and 15.
6. Open external links in new tabs or windows
External links to other resources provide readers with additional valuable information on the topics you cover, but they also create exit points for people to leave your website. That’s why it’s important to have them open in new tabs or windows, leaving your page still there in case your readers decide to come back and search deeper.
7. Interlink with relevant older posts as well
The goal is to keep visitors browsing through your website and content. Internal links to other valuable content on your site will not only improve your bounce rates, but boost your search rankings as well.
Just make sure the posts are interesting and relevant to the content actually presented on the page.
8. Add popular blog posts
You create the posts on your company blog so people would read them, right? Well, make them visible, – showcase the latest, most popular, most discussed and most socially-shared articles on a prominent position. Even if people don’t like the content they’ve landed on, they can always find something more interesting or useful to click and read.
The Top 10 plugin is a great tool that adds a “most popular” list feature to your widget directoy.
9. Offer related content within the category or tag
Providing visitors with more content to read and/or watch on your website is a sure way to keep them engaged for longer, hence improve your bounce rates. Related content has even greater attracting power when it’s targeted within the same category or tag.
Related thumbnails plugins like YARPP, Shareaholic and Yuzo Related Posts are great tools you can use to automate the process of suggesting relevant content on your pages.
These are the most important ways to engage your visitors and keep them interested in your content, which again will help to lower your website bounce rate. If you keep these few tips in mind when you setup your website, you will likely see great results within short time.
Please feel free to share your thoughts of this post in the comment field below, and don’t forget to share it with whoever might find this information helpful!