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How to reduce the Bounce Rate

In another article we talked about what is Bounce Rate, today we are going to see how to reduce the Bounce Rate.

As site owner you should be checking from time to time the Analytics of your website. In them, you can see different reports of the behavior of your visitors. You can see where do they come from, how many visits you have, the pages that they are seeing, and many other statistics. One of the most important is the bounce rate.

The bounce rate is a metric that indicates the percentage of people who land on one of your web pages and then leave without clicking anywhere else on your website. When a visitor leaves our site immediately, this is telling us several things. The two most important reasons for this behavior are…

– The visitor didn’t find what he or she was looking for
– The page was not user-friendly

Sometimes the visitors indeed want to read our content, they are interested, but the appearance of our websites make them to leave and get another source of information, in other words, another provider. In this way, we simply lose a customer, and maybe forever. Why? Because chances are that when a visitor leaves a website immediately, he will not return anymore to visit it. That’s normal on the Internet.

If site entrance pages are not relevant to your visitors, then you cannot expect any conversion, sales or leads. You have to note that most of the time, people does not enter to our website via the Home Page. They normally land on our site via an article or another page that is about a service, a product, and ad or a promotion.

Our main purpose is to retain our visitors as much as we can, because the longer they stay in our websites, the more chances we have for them to take action. Those actions can be: read more of our good content, clicking on a link, subscribe to our lists, purchase some of our products or services, etc.

General Statistics on Bounce Rates

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. Anything over 70 percent is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, events, etc.

Before worrying too much about your high percentage of bounce rates, I want you to check the following general statistics for the different kind or activities on a website. Not all the numbers are bad as we might think. It’s better to analyze them compared to the market that we work on. Take a look at the next infographic. I designed it based on the excellent work of HubSpot.

• Service websites

Service websites refer to sites where users can accomplish something (financial management, portal logins, etc.). They tend to have low bounce rates around 10% to 30%, because when people show up here they usually know exactly what they want.

• E-Commerce/Retail sites

E-Commerce websites are companies that have online stores, anything form Best Buy to Amazon. Their average bounce rate is around 33.9% these days, although there’s a lot of variance here depending on how efficient the site is (Alibaba does very poorly, Amazon does very well, etc.).

• Lead Generation sites

This is an important one for B2B companies – sites that sell specific services and service packages. These tend to see a bounce rate between 30% and 50%, higher than retail sites, which indicates a greater need to make sure visitors stay around within the first few seconds.

• Content/News

These sites see a 40% to 60% bounce rate. It’s a bit higher because these sites get a high page ranking across search engines, but don’t necessarily have the information that users want.

• Landing Pages

Landing pages with one call to action tend to have a higher bounce rate, from 70% to 90%. This may be due to people rifling through different sites very quickly, or just due to a large amount of old sites and landing pages with horrible SEO.

• Blogs

The reason of blogs is to provide content. So it’s the nature of the content. Remember that a bounce means the visitor only viewed one page on the site, and they can linger on that one page for any amount of time. If you come to a website that’s a service, there are probably several pages you’ll need to view to use the service or learn more about it.

When you come to a blog, usually it’s to read one particular post. Once you’ve read it, you’re likely going to leave. Unless you read a second article in the blog, you’ll be considered a bounce. If your blog bounce rates are lower than the average, which means your blog is effectively engaging readers instead of just mildly entertaining them.

Now that we saw all the information above, let’s see how to reduce the bounce rate…

   Do this to improve your Bounce Rate   

1- Attract the Right Visitors

Choose the right keywords to match your content — not just to attract the most number of visitors. Create multiple landing pages with unique content and keywords for your different buyer personas. Remember, people is not looking for you on the Internet. They are looking for solutions to their problems, and those problems are transferred to keywords that you work on your pages and content. So what search engines see are those keywords and therefore your website if it’s relevant.

2- Speed-up your website

• Use Cache services in a correct way.
• If you are going to include a video, try not setting it to load automatically.
• Set external links to open in new browser windows/tabs.
• Don’t let ads distract from your content: Place static ads to sides, and avoid pop-ups and self-loading multimedia ads.

3- Enhance Usability

Make your text readable through sensible organization and the use of larger fonts, bulleted lists, white space, good color contrast, and large headlines.

Remember that not everybody can read small fonts. And despite that the user can press Ctrl-Plus or Ctrl-Minus to make the content bigger in the browser, they will appreciate that you take the time to set an adequate font size. Break large amounts of text with relevant and beautiful images or graphics. Use well-organized, responsive layouts that allow for quick and easy navigation on all platforms and browsers.

4- Encourage engagement.

Try to end your posts with a call to action to try to get people to comment your articles or do the action that you want as next step.

5- Use internal links with a reasonable frequency

Make sure to include at least one internal link in every article you write. When it’s very relevant, I even put another one. Aside from helping you with the bounce rate, it’s a good SEO practice.

6- Make your external links open in a new window or tab.

One frequent cause of bounces is a user clicking on a link they expect to open in a new tab, only to find it take over their current window. Often times, they won’t come back, and you’re left with a bounce. Plus, it helps keep them around through your content.

7- Provide Quality Content

When you give what your visitor wants, chances are that he stays longer on your website. And if aside from that he sees other useful information, he can read it, or bookmark it to come later. But if the user doesn’t find what he wants, he will go probably forever.

So, follow these ruless…

– Always provide more options to continue browsing
– Have an obvious main message.
– Use clear headers and subheads.
– Tailor content to intended visitors.
– Use stylish copy and images.
– Make your content error-free.
– Include a clear call-to-action and obvious links to next steps.
– Use your Blog in a smart way
– Create good and fresh content in a regular basis

8- A good design

Work on your design. There is no question about it. What is the first reason for a person be attracted by another one? The appearance; and after it, goes the other factors. So the way you design your website has a significant impact on your visitors. Make it attractive, engaging, beautiful and responsive.

Some of the main reasons people leave a website from the visual perspective are:

– Poor web design
– Use of poor contrast
– Poor navigation
– Not using a responsive layout. This makes it hard to read on different devices.
– Using too many ads
– Using too much text. It’s not that you cannot use, but do it in a smart way
– Poor formatting (not using bold, italics, underline, etc.)
– Little to no spacing between lines and paragraphs
– Lack of headings and sub-headings. Your main headline must highlight the whole benefit of your article
– Landing page that takes too long to load
– Audio or Video contents which auto play as soon as the page loads. This is very annoying for visitors. Avoid at all cost.

CONCLUSION

The Bounce Rate is a super important metric. We must keep an eye on this all the time as it is one of the main indicators that tell us that we have problems in our website.

It's a Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant, owner and founder of LFStudio. He is also author and entrepreneur. He helps small businesses to get clients online, generate income and grow.

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