How many times have you heard about a high website bounce rate and just wondered if there’s anything anyone can actually do to improve it?
Nobody wants a website with a high bounce rate, maybe because it says a lot about the site, but the reality is that the bounce rate is real, and so does it hurt a lot of businesses.
Accepting that your website has a high bounce rate is difficult, and a lot of webmasters live in denial, probably because it makes them look bad.
Now, the top questions starring us in the face are:
- Does website bounce rate truly affect rank for relevant keywords in SERP?
- Are there any factors that cause a high bounce rate or is it something that just happens?
- Are their tools that can help me reduce the website bounce rate?
- Is it truly possible to reduce the website bounce rate?
- What are the practical ways to reduce bounce rate?
In this in-depth article, I’ll attempt to break down the specifics for you.
I’ll also show you what smart marketers are doing to boost their website conversion rates and build successful websites that generate search traffic with increased organic conversion on a consistent basis.
So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
What Is Bounce Rate?
The website bounce rate is a measure of the percentage of website visitors who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page within a given timeframe.
For example, if 72 people from a total 100 that visited your website in one month left the homepage of your website almost the next second they got there, and without visiting any other page on your website, then your website bounce rate for that month is 72%.
A high website bounce rate generally indicated one or all of the following:
- Slow website loading speed
- Poor website user experience
- Poor website content
- Non-responsive websites
- Poor font type or size
- Poor site navigation
- Absence of CTA’s
A visitor can bounce from your site by clicking on a link to a different website, clicking the back button to leave your website, closing the open window/tab, typing a new URL, or due to a session time out (caused by web hosting errors).
Generally, search engines, especially Google gets the wrong vibes when a great percentage of your website traffic continues to bounce from your landing pages consistently.
Since the website “reputation” is one of the most important SEO ranking factors, a website with a high bounce rate is on the path of losing position in SERP for relevant keywords.
Easy Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate and Boost Your Website Conversions
Since a high bounce rate is often caused by on-page SEO and technical SEO issues, fixing the causes can be very easy and seamless.
The first thing you want to do before you start is to identify your top pages with the highest bounce rate. You can do this by going to Google Analytics for your website and clicking on Behavior » Site Content » Landing Pages.
Knowing the top pages will help you identify the problem areas and fix them very quickly.
Here are the 14 tips to reduce the bounce rate of your website.
1. Improve your website speed
The first thing you want to do to make your website users enjoy visiting and staying on your website is to improve your website loading speed.
Website loading speed is so important to the user experience that Google named it as a major ranking factor.
Available web research data also support the notion that web pages with lightning speed always low bounce rates than those that load slowly.
Online users generally enjoy websites that load very quickly, simply put.
How to increase the website loading speed
Before you can optimize your speed, you need to first check how your website is performing. To do this, you can use GTMetrix or Google Speed Insight to check your website loading speed at any given time.
Quick ways to increase your loading speed are:
- Minify CSS, HTML, and JS files on your website.
- Reduce image size on your site
- Host your videos on YouTube or on Vimeo and not locally.
- Use CDN to supercharge your website speed
- Choose a good and reliable hosting provider for your website.
2. Have a clear website navigation
The need for a clear and easily accessible website navigations on your website cannot be overemphasized.
Clear website navigation can help in reducing the bounce rate on your site because it allows your users to easily access other pages of your website.
The general theme most website developers use in arranging their website navigations is to have the primary menu somewhere in the header section of your page and secondary menus in the sidebars.
The idea is to place links to the most important pages of your website and CTAs in the header section where it’s conspicuous for users to interact with.
3. Make your web pages responsive
Since more than 2/4 of all online users access the internet via their mobile devices, websites with poor mobile responsiveness tend to have a high bounce rate than other websites with a good mobile version.
Responsive web design is a web design approach that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and screen sizes.
This means that you must design your website in such a way that it gives the same experience on all types of devices.
See additional mobile stats below:
4. Improve your website readability
There is no use of a website that people cannot read.
Over the years, I have seen websites with very small fonts. Another common thing is to have a website with very good readability in PC but poor readability in mobile devices.
A website design practice like this would always lead to an increased bounce rate.
Website readability is so important that Google Search Console considers poor readability as a critical SEO issue that must be fixed quickly in order to avoid any form of Google penalty or delisting.
5. Include a single, clear call to action
A call-to-action is usually a button that triggers users to take a particular action on a web page. One of the best conversion tactics is to strategically place a single, clear CTA on your web page.
This can help users navigate to another page of the website or take a particular action which reduces your bounce rate.
6. Engage your website, visitors, with video content
Video is the best type of content for driving engagements. Videos keep people longer on a page and spicing up your web content with videos can greatly reduce the bounce rate on your site.
7. Target abandoning users
Have you ever experienced a situation whereby something (an irresistible offer) pops up on a website just as you are about to close the page?
Every online user has experienced or would experience this at one point or the other.
What the webmaster is simply trying to do in this case is to guide you to take another action on the website other than exit. This strategy remains one of the potent ways to guide your users to other pages of the site thereby reducing the bounce rate.
8. Improve your website user experience
What is more pleasurable than a website with the right information, clear navigation, beautiful responsiveness, etc?
A website user experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations.
It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project.
Available research also shows that the website UX is proportional to its bounce rate. Websites with good user experience generally keep their visitors longer than those without.
9. Create a content strategy
Ever heard the phrase “content is king”?
That cannot be truer. All digital marketing strategy anchors on content; be it ad copy, storytelling, copywriting, etc. A good content strategy must provide answers to the following questions:
- Who is my customer persona? (target audience)
- What are my customers searching for? (keyword)
- How do I drive customers to take a particular action?
- Where is my audience located?
- Who are my competitors?
- What interests my audience?
Every piece of content that goes live on your website must be anchored on answers to the above questions.
What makes your content strategy effective is not the quality of your website content, but your ability to drive relevant traffic to your website and convert them to paying customers.
10. Avoid popups
What is more distracting on a website than popups? Nothing, I would say.
Did you know that 70% of users say that they find irrelevant popups very annoying?
This will never change – most people will always hate popups. Among site owners and marketers, it’s an intensely debated topic: whether to use popups or to avoid them.
I understand that there are times you may need to have something pop up on your website, the point here is to seldom use popups.
11. Attract the right visitors
A wrong audience targetting strategy is always a recipe for disaster as far as the website bounce rate is concerned.
For instance, website users from Africa will likely not find the information on a website whose target audience is in North America useful no matter how well-written the content was.
Audience targetting does not necessarily have to be very difficult. Getting the right audience to your website also means ranking for the right keywords and optimizing the geolocation data of your website.
12. Always write comprehensive meta descriptions for your page
Although not a ranking factor itself, a meta description has been found to impact CTR and bounce rate.
It is a summary or snippet that allows search engine users to have a brief of your web page before clicking on your link.
A good meta description summarizes an entire website, and your online users know what the web page is about before clicking on it which helps lower the bounce rate of a website.
13. Make your website easy to search
I remember a time I was looking for a wristwatch. I knew I kept it in my drawer (at least I thought) but just could not find it. Well, it turns out that I was already wearing it…lol
We have all experienced those frustrating moments like that. When we know something ought to be somewhere but couldn’t just find the item.
The internet is a fast-paced platform that is surfed hundreds of millions of times daily by billions of people from all over the globe and sometimes people are lost on your website, not being able to find what they are looking for.
The simple way to keep them there is to make your website searchable. Always place your search box in the header area, or somewhere very visible to your online users so that they can easily search for more topics on the site.
14. Use reasonable internal link structure
Internal linking describes the process of linking the different web pages on your site to another. Internal linking goes beyond randomly placing links in your website content.
Good internal link structures first identify the top-ranking pages of your website, then create links to other pages with lower PA – page authority in order to pass on link juice and help them gain more reputation in search engines.
A good internal link structure also guides your website users from your landing page to other internal pages of your website thereby reducing bounce.
The 14 tips to reduce your website bounce rate and boost conversion is a consolidated list and not exhaustive.
Reducing the bounce rate of a website is doable and implementing the about strategies is a good way to start. If you get stuck, there are enough online resources to help point you in the right direction.
Or you can simply ask us to help out.