5 Small Changes That Make Big Difference to Your Bounce Rate
If you are suffering from what your website developer or a SEO company dubs a high bounce rate, you may be aware that a storm might be brewing. But unless you understand what this metric does for your website, you might not know what to do to improve it and why you even have to. Here, we look at why the fact that people leave your website matters and what small changes you might need to make amends.
What is ‘bounce rate’?
Let us look first at what a bounce rate is and how you can monitor it. Essentially, bounce rate is a calculation that gives you an insight into the number of users visiting a website page but having no further interaction with it. So, essentially, people who land on the page and then return to the search results follow an external link without looking around your pages first or do nothing more than reading and running.
Imagine walking into a physical shop, simply turning around at the first item on a hanger, and walking back out. There will be no chatting with the staff, no trying on a garment, and no asking if they have something in your size. If this were a webpage, you would be adding to your bounce rate every time this happens. It is essential to understand what shapes your bounce rate and care about it because it’s doubtful that your product or service stands at the root of this problem. More likely, it’ll be the way you show it off on your website or that you are catering to the wrong audience in the first place.
If you don’t provide a quality web design for all the expecting visitors, they might bounce away again. Without flawless content, speed of access, compelling calls-to-action, they will bounce out again. If customers don’t get what they need, the bounce rate value will clearly show it.
Monitor with Google Analytics
Using Google Analytics to monitor your website makes sense. It takes the number of single-page sessions and divides this by all sessions to get a bounce rate, and amongst other metrics, it will show you yours. Driving traffic to your site is essential, but only if they go on and do as you wish. If they take a quick look at one page and duck out, you should make changes.
Read on for examples of why this metric might be off and gat you can do to fix it. After all, lowering it means you managed to convince your visitors to keep coming back.
What is a reasonable bounce rate?
The answer is - there is no one size fits all rate. It will be high for single-page websites, yet a high bounce rate is terrible for those requiring a sign-up, purchase, or comment. You are never likely to get a figure of no bounce. Still, understanding benchmarks for your industry, website type, and marketing channel will help you know when yours becomes significantly out of line and you are missing out on business.
5 small changes that could make a difference to your bounce rate
Check Google Analytics configuration
To avoid skewing your results, you need to check that you only have one Google Analytics plugin installed within the plugins menu and it is working correctly. Ensuring goals are configured correctly will avoid higher bounce rates for important events you want to track, such as when a visitor spends a certain amount of time on a page, signs up to emails, or makes a purchase. You can set Google Analytics to track multiple crucial events. Still, it will only do so reliably if they are all set up correctly and cannot be affected by non-user prompted actions.
Other plugins can also interfere with Google Analytics activity so ensure that any actions they take, such as automatically opening chat boxes, do not trigger a user interaction count, which will incorrectly reduce the bounce rate number.
Add a call-to-action
Not just on your home page but every page, every landing page, and product page. A call-to-action must make it clear what you want your user to do next. It must be compelling, convincing, and noticeable within the critical 3-second window you must capture your audience. Here are some great examples of calls-to-action that make customers click, which is certainly worth a look if your existing choices aren’t getting it done. Colossal 70% of small business B2B websites lack any call to action. It is a significant reason for many experiencing high bounce rates. Add to that many businesses that have a call-to-actions that are not in the right place on the screen aren’t alluring enough, thus not making it happen. It is clear to see why bounce rates are higher than they need to be. A few simple changes could make all the difference.
When users cannot see what you want them to do next, they will often leave your site and look elsewhere. Again, the easier you make moving forward with your site, the more you encourage users to do so. The next step should be a logical one and be clear about what will happen once they click. It must be prominent, and where your page is long and requires scrolling, don’t be afraid to duplicate it further down. If you provide them with a quote on clicking, your call-to-action should say so. If they are signing up for news, tell them. Use words that best describe what they need to do what they will get for it. Keep each page call-to-action the same, don’t offer choices as this confuses and will often lead to another bounce.
Marketing experts use pop-ups for some time to encourage further action and reduce bounce. Our advice is to use them but be very careful when and how you do so. We prefer only exit-intent pop-ups that encourage. If you want to use them earlier, as appropriately done, they are still an effective lead generation, be careful how much of the screen they block, how easy they are to dismiss, and don’t distract the user too soon.
Exit-intent only pop-ups such as those provided by Optin Monster allow you to collect lead information but non-intrusively and without distracting the user until they are about to leave anyway. You still get lead information but have valuable information that they will have left your site without moving to another page. It can give you a chance to change the page to reduce the number of last-minute sign-ups you get and increase wiling take up earlier in the journey.
You may feel you have a lot to say, but you must avoid the temptation to say it all on one page. Many people skim read now and will avoid long swathes of text. Too much information in large written chunks will see visitors lose interest quickly, and most will bounce without conversion. Content must look appealing and digestible as well as informative. Readability must allow visitors to pull out the essential bits and scan the article in just a few seconds. If this works, they will follow your links to read more or look further on other pages.
Content should include subheadings that inform users what the page is about in different sections of your article. Have concise, to-the-point paragraphs with bullet points for essential highlights or benefits.
People are as likely to buy based on visuals and text, so break up text with graphics that are relevant to your subject. Have a clickable table of contents at the beginning so visitors can quickly see how they can access more specific areas of your site without hunting for the desired section.
Use retargeting ads such as Facebook Pixel or Google Tag Cookies to track interactions with your site by following users anonymously to signal to a retargeting ad provider to display your ads. Retargeting ads will be shown on third-party websites when users visit one of these sites to encourage them to revisit your website and buy from you. Your retargeting ads only reach customers interested in your products and target them on other online places they regularly visit.
Another readability tip is to ask a question at the end that invites users to share and comment. Canvassing opinions for an article, product, or a specific subject is a great way to encourage user interaction and build brand trust and recognition. Many readability plugins can help you decide how well you are doing. You may choose to outsource your content writing to experts to ensure that you have both readability and SEO-friendly content.
Landing pages should include internal links to find out more. Keep the landing page interesting and informative but don’t overdo it. Allow those who want to know more to have a straightforward way to do so and configure the links to open in a new tab, so it is easy to revert when they finish.
Target and focus
It is imperative to focus your keywords on your target audience. You are not aiming for low-quality high traffic volumes. You must attract the right customers to get the engagement you need. If you have a high bounce rate, it is a sure sign that as well as all we have mentioned previously; you could simply be targeting the wrong audience.
Content must include keywords and phrases your target audience is likely to be searching the internet. Search engines are increasingly becoming clever enough to interpret intention, and content that fulfils this is now becoming noticed. Keywords and phrases should sit naturally within your content and answer the search terms that your audience is likely to use. The longer you encourage visitors to read and engage with your pages, the more you build trust as an authority figure providing informative content alongside selling your services or products.
The other reason compelling content around keywords and phrases is because it is more likely to create backlinks to your work by others. Your site authority will increase, and your online reputation can grow organically.
It is also essential to ensure your content is optimized for mobile use as many users now only access the internet on a mobile. With over half of internet traffic conducted on mobiles, they must have the same quality experience as desktop users. Any difficulty they face through hard-to-read or navigate sites will put them off, so check and watch your bounce rate for mobile device users. It is possible to incorporate accelerated mobile page loading and responsive themes to help. If you have international audiences, you should also have a localized version of your site to translate content for multilingual access.
Loading speed and distractions
With users expecting faster and faster response times, it’s essential to watch your average loading speed times. Users expect two seconds or less. More protracted, and they will likely navigate away, add to your bounce rate and probably head off to a competitor with a fast-loading website. Slow loading speeds are also responsible for many lost conversion opportunities. No matter how fantastic your product is, people get bored waiting for the page to load and can change their minds or look to a competitor in the meantime.
Slow loading times are also finding they rank lower in Google search rankings. Google clocks loading speed as one of its measures on what to display. If not caused by any of the factors mentioned, high bounce rates could mean that people are not waiting for pages to load. Even for those with acceptable rates, you want maximum speed to stay that way.
We have mentioned distractions before, and we know that many websites need adverts for revenue. Still, they can seriously disrupt the user experience and increase the number of people navigating away to avoid them, increasing your bounce rates. Autoplay videos or the overbearing use of adverts have led many people to resort to ad blockers and even boycotting a site altogether. We are not counting ads out as usable marketing tools, but if you go with them, be mindful of when, where, and how they pop up.
The importance of keeping on top of your bounce rate and analyzing how it came to be is self-evident. Can you afford to make valued customers turn their heads away from a quality product only because your website fails to communicate your core messages?
Your bounce rate may be low enough to keep you happy but checking out the points we have mentioned above could see it go lower. Through wise use of good plugins and analytics tools, you improve user experience and maximize your content’s impact. As soon as you build something worth revisiting, you are on a steady course to more incredible business achievements and winning the trust of your buyers.