Your website’s bounce rate is the number of people who land on a page and leave without clicking on anything else.
There is a difference between bounce rate and exit rate. Bounce rate measures the percentage of people who leave your website after visiting only one page.
Exit rate is the percentage of people who leave your website from a certain page. They may have left after reading couple other pages. That page may have been the last in a chain of visits. So a high exit rate isn’t as troubling as high bounce rate.
A high bounce rate might indicate that the page is confusing visitors. But it doesn’t mean you have to change the design of the page right away. There are some small but important steps you can take that may lower your bounce rate.
Here are 7 things you can do to reduce bounce rate.
1. Make sure your site is mobile friendly
It’s become a cliche to say this. But there is still a shocking amount of website that doesn’t provide a mobile-ready experience. Your website is probably already responsive. Make sure it is user-friendly and interactive.
Videos have become very big in recent years. A lot of sites have long videos on their page. They require a significant amount of data. So it slows the user experience and most visitors leave. If your site has lots of videos, try to eliminate them completely. Or try to create a short and concise version for mobile.
Similarly, check if there is any other thing on your webpage that is slowing down the user experience. If found, remove them from your page.
2. Avoid disruptive pop-ups
Most pop-ups are not only annoying, they may also bring Google’s search penalties. If you can make people interested in your content, you won’t need intrusive pop-up to convert.
But that doesn’t mean you have to abandon pop-ups completely. You can use non-intrusive well-crafted pop-ups that add context to the page. Just don’t use one that disrupts the user experience.
3. Improve content readability
If your content lack readability, visitors will leave. So make sure your content is readable and legible. Stay away from large chunks of texts. They scare casual readers. Opt for short paragraphs.
Format your articles properly. Break up your articles and write like you speak. Use big and bold subheadings and bullet points to make it easier to scan. Add lots of visuals – charts, images, screenshots – to soften the writing.
4. Use keywords carefully
If you mislead your visitors, they will leave instantly. So make sure you aren’t misleading visitors unintentionally. Choose carefully what keywords you are trying to rank for. The keyword has to align with the actual content of the page.
Try to ask questions in your article to keep the readers’ attention.
5. Include compelling call-to-actions
After a visitor read your content, you don’t want them to exit. You want them to read another piece or think about buying a product. So you need to include a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA).
A/B test your CTA to get the best result. When you are optimizing your CTA, keep in mind that every elements matter. Changing a single word or colour of the text can make a big difference.
If you add compelling CTAs, it will improve usability and visitors will stay at your site. Every second they spend more on your site, the more likely it is that they will convert.
6. Speed up your site
Visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. If it takes more than 3 seconds to load, the majority will close the tab and move on. So the slower your site’s page load speed, the higher your bounce rate will be.
Search engines also value page speed. If your site’s speed is slow, it’ll drop in rankings. So a slow site can seriously damage your business.
You can use Pingdom Speed test tool to measure your site speed. It will also show you what you can do to improve your site speed. You can also use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get suggestions on how to improve site speed.
7. Set external links to open in new tabs
This basically means, making sure every time visitors of your site click a link to an external page, the link opens in a new tab. If external links on your site open in the same tab, visitors will have to click the back button to come back to your site. This may create a back button fatigue for users and they may never return.
If you are using WordPress, simply click the “Open link in a new tab” when you are adding URL in the WordPress editor. You can also install the WP external links plugin to automatically set all of your external links to open in a new tab or window.
There are lots of vanity metrics people measure in their marketing campaign. But bounce rate isn’t one of them. So investigate your sites bounce rate properly and try to reduce it if it’s high.
Also keep in mind that without high-quality content on your site, you can’t reduce bounce rate much. So map out a strategy and regularly create content.
Have you seen any other optimizations that reduce bounce rate considerably? Let me know in the comment.