6 Proven Hacks to Drastically Decrease Your Website’s Bounce Rate
If your website is attracting thousands of visitors a month but your conversions don’t reflect that, you probably have a bounce rate problem.
Imagine you’re on your phone or computer, and you’re trying to visit a website, but it’s taking forever to load. How long will you wait around to make it work before choosing another website to find the information you need? Most of us will only give a page a few seconds—three or less—to load before we “bounce” away.
Now, what if you went to that same website, it loaded quickly, but the layout and content were so convoluted that you could barely find what you’re looking for? How much effort are you willing to spend to find the product, service, or content you need? In this day and age of instant gratification, if what you want is not front and center you’ll go elsewhere to get what you need.
These and other similar situations are what cause high bounce rates. According to Kissmetrics, the average bounce rate is 40.5% but can vary drastically by industry and website—dropping as low as 10% and reaching as high as 90%. The reality is that any customer who “bounces” away from your website is a wasted opportunity. Getting them to your page is the most difficult part; it should be easy to keep them.
To ensure that you’re getting the most out of every website visitor, we’ve compiled six easy ways to decrease your bounce rate:
Improve Your Site’s User Experience
User experience (UX) is one of the most important elements, because it encompasses how your customers feel about their experience on your website:
- Was it easy to navigate?
- Did they get the information they needed?
- Were they able to follow along with the process?
There are a few keys to improving your site’s UX:
Create clear visual hierarchy and clear CTAs
Don’t make your users guess where they should click next or what they should do. Make sure your website is laid out in a simple-to-use way that displays a clear visual hierarchy—including menus, headers, and images—as well as well-defined calls to action.
For example, on your homepage, don’t complicate things with a carousel of slider images that constantly change and ask a different response from your visitor. Instead, use a single hero image and one clear message or value proposition, so that your visitor knows what you offer and how it can help them from the second they lay eyes on it.
A great example of this can be seen on Mint’s website:
As soon as you land on their homepage, you know that they offer personal finance management assistance. And, you know what’s expected of you — to sign up for free.
Personalize your content
Visitors don’t want to spend time on a website that isn’t catered toward their wants and needs. Moz.com recently did a study on personalizing a website based off of where a visitor was coming from or when they were visiting. They made 26 unique homepages so each visitor had an experience that was customized to them.
The results? They saw a 1.5% increase in engagement, 113% increase in conversions to Solutions page, and a whopping 117% increase in conversions on their “Test it Out” CTA to start the account creation process.
Personalization is so effective that it immediately helps you identify with your audience and provide them something of value. This will not only decrease your bounce rate, but increase your conversions because your visitors will only be presented with the most relevant and tailored information for them.
Improve your site’s readability
Finally, you want to make your website as easy to read and navigate as possible. Don’t make your customers work for it. Instead:
- Avoid long run-on paragraphs
- Break up text into readable chunks with concise and to the point copywriting
- Use subheadings, compelling images, and white space to make reading more enjoyable
This Web Page FX tool can test your site’s readability and give you suggestions on how to improve.
It’s simple really. 87% of American consumers trust online reviews. So, take advantage of this chance to increase your conversion rate by including testimonials on relevant pages throughout your site.
When you use testimonials, you immediately affect how your customers feel about you, building a feeling of authenticity and instilling trust. This is invaluable when it comes to bounce rates.
Oftentimes, the reason someone will leave a website is because they’re not convinced it is legitimate. Displaying testimonials using a platform such as Spectoos, which includes actual social media profile links and pictures, will help you keep your visitors glued to the page, and trusting that your testimonials are authentic.
Target the Right Keywords
Targeted keywords will help you attract the right type of visitors to your site — visitors that will actually be interested in your content and what you have to offer.
One major reason for a high bounce rate is the wrong type of customer finding your site. For example, let’s say you’re a dog groomer but somehow you have dog daycare as one of your keywords. Those visitors aren’t going to stick around long on your website because you don’t offer what they want.
Keywords are vital for your SEO as well as your bounce rate. They should be chosen and used carefully. A good tool to get you started is the Keyword Tool.
This tool will help you figure out what keywords your audience is looking for, so you know what keywords to target in your SEO campaigns.
Speed Up Page Load Time
As we mentioned in the opening paragraphs, page load time is vital to your bounce rate success or failure. Every second counts. After four seconds, your bounce rate will increase to 25% and will continue to increase from there. So, your best chance of decreasing your bounce rate is to decrease your page load time.
First, you should use Pingdom to determine your site speed.
From there, analyze where you can modify your website to optimize your load time. For example:
- If you use a lot of images, make sure the size is under 100kb while maintaining quality.
- Optimize your caches to avoid unnecessary server requests.
- Use CSS3 and HTML5 for a lightweight website with quick loading.
Video content is becoming more popular and engaging than text. A video can immediately hook your visitor’s attention, keeping them on your website for longer and decreasing your bounce rate.
The reality is that people have short attention spans (less than 10 seconds), and most people are more willing to watch a video for that length of time than read text. So, where you can, exchange your text for videos.
For example, on your homepage, let’s say you have a paragraph about your product or service. Switch out that paragraph for a short 20-30 second video showing how your product or service works. In this way, you “show don’t tell” — a key to advertising that keeps your visitors more entertained.
One company who does this well is Personali.
Instead of going into detail about what their company offers, they let the video do the talking and explain their concept in a much easier-to-understand way.
Use Landing Pages
Your homepage isn’t always the best place to send people. Too often, we think people need to start at the beginning, but when you go shopping, you don’t always walk into the middle of the mall to start browsing. Oftentimes, you go directly to the entrance nearest the store you want. It’s the same for your website.
If your visitors are searching for something specific, don’t send them to the homepage and make them navigate back to what they were looking for. This makes it too easy for them to leave. Instead, send your visitors directly to the service, product, or landing page that they need. The more specific, the better.
For example, if you offer twenty different products, don’t put them all on a single page. That’s too much information for your visitor to sort through. Instead, make a landing page for each product so that your visitor can easily arrive on the page with the product/service they are looking for, without having to click too many times. This will give you the best chance for a conversion instead of a “bounce.”
Getting people to your website should be the most difficult part of your marketing process. Keep them on your site by following our six tips to decrease your bounce rate.