Stop the bounce, today
So you’re happy with your website traffic. Your existing internet marketing strategy seems to be raking in visitors and yet you have no increase in page views or customer acquisition. What’s going on? Well, one look into your Google Analytics will likely show that the bounce rate for these high traffic pages averages above 70%. So even though thousands of visitors have arrived on various pages of your site, something, or a lack of something, is making them leave as quickly as they came. This is one of the most common problems for website managers yet very few know how to fix it. Today I will address a few easy to follow steps to reduce your bounce rate so that visitors go deeper into your website, allowing you the opportunity to turn them into customers.
5 Ways to Lower the Bounce Rate on Your Website
1. Optimize Pages for the Content that is Actually on the Page
Little irks a searcher more than entering a query that delivers them a link to a page that they follow, only to find that the content they were looking for is nowhere to be found. While Google is doing its part via the Google Hummingbird algorithm to ensure that content delivery matches the query, webmasters hoping to keep visitors arriving at their site, on their site, are best served by doing the same. Instead of tirelessly adding the same title tags (with a little textual variation to keep from “over-optimizing”) to every page of your website in an effort to rank for a primary keyword target, be true to the content on each page by ensuring that the title tags, titles, and headings all reflect it. If you are building links (legitimately) and have any sort of control over the anchor text, be sure that those anchors reflect the content of the pages being delivered in the link. A user should not have to dig through 5 pages of your website to find the answer for the query they made. If that answer is not on the page that the SERP delivered, then the user will bounce to a competitor’s site that does have it readily available.
2. Pop-Ups Make People Bounce, Stop Delivering Them
Thought that cute little pop-up to capture customer information or social media pop-up plug-in to get more Facebook Likes was a good idea? Sorry, but anything that obstructs the view (no matter how fleeting) of a user from viewing your webpage will have them packing their bags. Sure the Lightbox versions can be far more effective than traditional ones but it still serves as a roadblock to content. No pop-ups folks, not at all.
3. Mobile Optimize to Capture On-the-Go Searchers
Mobile bounce rates in Google Analytics tend to dwarf the norm because even in a day where we are approaching over 50% of all traffic from mobile devices, so few sites are optimized for smartphones and tablets. We have all been there. Whether we were visiting a pizzeria website from our Android to order for delivery or attempting to book a hotel/flight on our iPad we have abandoned the attempt out of frustration of not being able to navigate the site properly and find the information we’re looking for. Ensure that your website is built with responsive design (to accommodate all mobile devices) in order to prevent potential customers from leaving your domain.
4. Remove Content that Slows Loading Time
That high-resolution header image or instant play video on your webpage that looks amazing once it’s locked and loaded may never fall in front of the eyes of users. Sure it can be tempting to pack a page full of engaging media-rich content, but if said content is not reduced in file size and weight to accommodate most browsers then the slow load time will have visitors leaving fast. Be sure that the media used to complement the content on your site is formatted and sized accordingly.
5. Provide Clear Navigation
The webpage users were delivered may function fine enough to keep them on that page but chances are you want them visiting other pages of your website where the magic happens (sign-ups, purchases, etc…). The primary thing that keeps users from doing so is your site navigation. If your navigation menu is not highly visible, where it’s expected to be (near the top of the page of course), and labelled in a logically categorized manner that lets users know what to expect when clicking each, then they won’t go beyond the page they arrived at.
There are many more tactics to be used to keep visitors on your website but the above five address some of the most common errors that website managers make when developing web pages. By editing/optimizing your website accordingly you will see a noticeable improvement in your bounce rate.