Reduce Bounce Rate

Does your website have a wicked high bounce rate? Do you want to reduce your bounce rate? Well, consider yourself lucky, because you’re in the right place! This article outlines 12 proven methods to reduce your bounce rate and increase your conversions.

A high bounce rate is one of the most common conversion killers. If the majority of your users abandon your site on the first page, then your chances of converting them are next to zero.

Let’s take a look at what a bounce rate is and how you can go about decreasing it.

What is a Bounce Rate?

Your bounce rate is the percentage of users who enter your website and leave without visiting a second page. A high bounce rate isn’t a good thing. It indicates that you were not able to convince visitors to stay and act on your call-to-action (CTA).

A visitor can bounce from your site in any one of a number of ways:

  • by clicking on a link to an external page
  • clicking the back button to leave your site
  • closing the open tab/window
  • typing in a new URL
  • experiencing a session time out (this is caused by a web hosting error)

You’re likely thinking that’s just normal user behavior, right? Well, yes, to a point. However, there is such a thing as a good bounce rate and a bad bounce rate.

Let’s take a look at some average bounce rates according to industry benchmarks, and determine what’s a good bounce rate.

Average Bounce Rate by Industry & What’s a Good Bounce Rate

You’re likely wondering what a good bounce rate looks like. Well, the general rule of thumb is as follows:

  • 80%+ is very bad (MUST reduce this bounce rate!)
  • 70-80% is poor (You should consider reducing this bounce rate)
  • 50 – 70% is average (eh, not too shabby)
  • 30 – 50% is excellent (nice work – however, there’s always room for improvement!)
  • 30% or below is likely a tracking error due to duplicate analytics code, incorrect implementation of events tracking, third-party addons such as live chat plugins).

The above metrics are a good starting point. However, bounce rates vary across industries and the type of content you have on your site.

Types of Bounce Rates

If your site has a higher than average bounce rate, then it could be caused by one of the many reasons, such as:

  • Slow load time
  • Poor navigation
  • Bad design
  • Poor usability
  • Ineffective call-to-actions

Let’s take a look at how to reduce your bounce rate.

How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

In order to reduce your bounce rate, it is essential to identify and fix the problems with your landing page(s). This post will walk you through some of the more common pitfalls of higher bounce rates and how to fix them.

Before you start, it’s a wise idea to identify your top pages with high bounce rates. You can do this via Google Analytics and clicking on Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages.

Google Analytics Bounce Rate

Knowing your top pages helps you identify the problem areas and fix them.

12 Tips that Will Reduce Your Bounce Rate

1.) Provide a Better Overall User Experience

The Neilsen Norman Group, a highly respected usability research consulting firm, defines user experience as follows:

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products

User experience is the user’s overall feeling while interacting with your website. Positive user experience is when a user finds a website not only easy to use, but also pleasing.

Creating a usable website that looks great on all platforms and devices is the first step in the right direction. Take note of how your users behave and what elements influence their decisions.

This article will provide tips that fall under the user experience umbrella. Remember, it is the overall feeling that a user experiences when using your website. That means that everything is part of the user experience.

2.) Optimize Your Call of Action Placement

The majority of users decide if they like a website in the first few seconds. This often occurs with just a glimpse at the visible area without scrolling. It is important to note that this area differs between devices (eg desktop, tablet, mobile, etc.).

You can now optimize this area once you know what your user first sees on each type of device. The initial experience should immediately describe what you’re selling and there should be a painfully visible CTA.

Make your CTA clear and honest. Misleading users will leave a bad taste in the user’s mouth. This is typically the top reason for a high bounce rate and low conversions.

3.) Improve Your Site’s Page Load Speed to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

As mentioned earlier, users make up their mind about a website in the first few seconds. You don’t want to waste their time and show them a blank screen while your page loads.

You can use tools such as Pingdom and Google Page Speed. Both tools provide you with valuable data that will help you optimize every landing page on your site.

Pingdom Website Speed Test

 

A one-second delay can cost you 7% of sales, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

In order to speed up your site, you should optimize your images, use a content delivery network (CDN), add better caching, and consider switching over to a faster hosting provider. One of the easiest ways to keep your site speed is to use a CDN.

4.) A/B Testing & Targeted Landing Pages

One possible explanation for high bounce rates is that your headlines or CTAs aren’t working as planned. This is why it is important to A/B test. Use different content strategies on each page and run A/B split tests to see how each performs.

You can also design different landing pages, targeting different audiences, regions, keywords, etc.

If you’re serving an international audience, then you can detect a user’s location and show them a localized landing page. Showing users content in their native language, currency, and cultural background drastically improves user experience.

5.) Use Videos to Engage Your Audience and Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Videos are highly engaging and grab the attention of users more than plain text or even images. You can use a fullscreen video player as a background, or add it next to your CTA.

Videos are powerful. You can use animations, music, audio, narration, colors, and so many other forms of persuasion tools.

You can create an effective video presentation with a small budget by hiring a freelancer.

6.) Use High-Quality Images to Captivate User Attention

Images are another effective tool you can use to decrease your bounce rate. Many websites use high-quality images as fullscreen backgrounds because they have proven to be very effective. Companies like Google w that were famous for their plain white background and minimalistic layouts are now using high-quality images on their landing pages.

Google Landing Page

You can purchase professional photographs from a number of stock photography websites. I’m personally a fan of Adobe Stock even though it comes with a hefty price tag. On the flip side, there are a number of websites that offer royalty-free images as well, such as Pixabay and Unsplash.

You can use these high-quality images as fullscreen backgrounds, parallax backgrounds, background slides, or as in-line images next to your CTAs.

7.) Let Your Customers Speak on Your Behalf

Many sites feature a tiny slider that features a quote from one customer at a time. While this is effective to a certain degree, you can greatly improve upon it.

You can improve upon the basic quote slider by converting your testimonials into customer success stories. These success stories feature actual storytelling elements like audio, video, and illustrations to showcase your clients. People love success stories and they would most certainly want to read more!

8.) Plan a Steady Content Strategy to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Many marketing experts recommend that you experiment with different content strategies. However, there is also something to be said about a consistent content plan. This may leave you wondering, “how can these two be achieved at the same time?”

Believe it, or not, but both approaches can co-exist together in harmony. In fact, many successful websites have had them in place since the 90s. You need to make a content plan that allows you to use different content strategies at the same time.

Check out BuzzFeed for example. Their content strategy includes a growing list of social content platforms, mediums, and formats. From GIFs to slideshows, SnapChat to YouTube. If they think that their users would find something engaging, they use it.

BuzzFeed Content Strategy

Even though you may not run a business like BuzzFeed, your goal is exactly the same. You want users to stay on your website!

If you need some inspiration to create content on your website, here are 73 types of blog posts that are proven to work for some great ideas!

9.) Make Your Site Readable

The majority of content on most websites is in text format. It is unfortunate that this important part of any website’s user experience is often the most neglected one. Even in this list, it appeared at number 9.

However, it is one of the most important and crucial elements that could shape your site’s visual appeal.

You need to make sure that the text on your website is easily readable on all devices. It shouldn’t be too small or else users will have to squint or zoom in to read it. Use font sizes that are large enough on smaller screens.

Typography or readability is not just limited to choosing the font size and color. You also need to make sure that the text on your website looks beautiful. There should be enough line spacing, padding, and margins to make the text look clean and beautiful.

Another important point to consider is the language and style you choose to use on your website. Use easy-to-understand language in a normal conversational tone.

10.) Show Your Credibility

Consumers are wicked smart these days. This means that they conduct a careful examination of an offer before they make up their minds. After the initial assessment of your product, consumers look around to see how reliable your claims according to other sources. Few easily trust a new business with their money or information. A new user doesn’t know how good your business is and what kind of reputation you have earned. This is why it is essential that you proudly display all reviews of your product or services via a third-party source.

Showcase your awards, endorsements, certifications, quality scores, and industry affiliations. Make your website secure and clearly display safety seals. This builds user trust so they’re comfortable handing out their credit card and personal information.

11.) Target Abandoning Users

No matter how hard you try, users may still want to leave your website. It’s not always your fault. Sometimes something came up in their world and they simply must leave. You have two choices here: simply let them go, OR convert them into a subscriber. This is an ideal time to use the classic popup right when they’re about to leave your site. Some plugins allow you to track when a user is about to leave your site and show them a targeted message at the precise moment they’re about to x-out of the window/tab. This is a highly effective technique with a proven track record.

Most websites simply ask for a user’s email address. This allows them to stay in contact with the user by sending them relevant offers and eventually converting them into paying customers.

You can also show a last-minute deal with an exit-intent popup. Combining an exit offer with a subscription form gives your visitors the chance to stay in touch.

12.) Target Engaged Users

Many times your engaged users can also bounce without taking any action. This is common for visitors viewing blog posts and other resources. It’s totally normal for a visitor to view your article, get what they wanted, and then leave.

However, this doesn’t help your conversion rate. In this case, pique your visitor’s interest with an awe-inspiring offer.

For instance, if a user lands on a blog post about digital marketing terms, then your offer needs to involve a way for the user to learn about said terms instead of increasing inbound traffic.

About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter at United Wholesale Mortgage by day and a digital marketer by night. In addition to his role as an underwriter and his digital marketing hustles, he is also in the process of completing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.