10 Bounce Rate Tricks – How to Stop Visitors Making a Quick Exit
The Google algorithm is a tricky thing to figure out. While some SEOs will claim to have all the search engine secrets, the fact that there are over 200 ranking metrics creates a considerable amount of uncertainty. Of all the different ranking metrics, backlinking usually dominates most SEO conversations, but one of the most important website factors is actually the bounce rate. The bounce rate of your website is important and often ignored, but it is also one of the easiest factors to get to grips with as it is something you can directly test and tweak.
The bounce rate on your website looks at the percentage of visitors who leave without viewing anymore pages, so this is a vital statistic when trying to figure out if your site is performing well. While people may leave a site for many reasons, there are three broad categories to look at.
Firstly, untargeted traffic can be very detrimental to your overall bounce rate. Poor quality or irrelevant traffic sources will probably lead to large numbers of visitors who don’t stick around. This untargeted traffic could be the result of buying low-cost paid traffic which does not deliver on its promises, but it could also be that a third-party site is linking to you in a misleading manner.
Secondly, you may be resolving a question in a quick and efficient manner. If somebody is looking for a simple fact and receives the answer immediately, the inclination is to click the back button and leave the page. There are plenty of different examples of this, such as dates, times, sports results, exchange rates, and many more. For websites that provide these quick services, bounce rates are expected to be higher than average.
Finally, you could be receiving quality, targeted traffic, but your website is repelling many visitors in some way. It might be the case that your bounce rate is acceptable but could benefit from some improvements, or you might have a very poor bounce rate and need to make a lot of changes. Most websites will be included within this category to some extent, with certain tweaks and changes helping to improve your overall bounce rate.
While it can be difficult to pin down exactly where your website issues lie, the following ten tricks will usually have a positive impact on your web stats.
A page that takes too long to load is almost certain to make visitors leave. You can avoid this issue by using quality web hosting, removing unnecessary plugins or large images that take time to load, and by using a lightweight theme that has been well scripted.
Poorly Formatted Content
Make sure you are encouraging visitors to stick around by formatting content in an inviting manner. Use sub headings, a readable font size, and short paragraphs instead of big blocks of text. Try to add some images or videos to appeal to the more visual people who land on your site.
Accessible to Mobile Devices
Mobile browsing is increasing all the time and you need to be catering to those who find you on their mobile devices. You might need to change to a modern, responsive website for your content to work well on all devices, but this will also help you in the search engines as Google starts to demote sites that are not mobile compatible.
Overly Prominent Ads
Ad placement is a fine art as you want people to view the ads but not be irritated by them. If the ads are extremely prominent above the fold you will likely see an increase in the bounce rates. The only way to know for sure what is optimal is to test different placements.
Site design is becoming increasingly important as it is no longer that difficult or expensive to have a quality site. You may be able to get away with an unattractive site in certain smaller niches, but you will usually get the best results with a clear, professional style. If in doubt, keep your site simple, clear, and readable.
Clear navigation is vital if you want visitors to delve deeper into your site, so if you make it difficult for them you can expect a high bounce rate. Try to make it easy to distinguish the different category options and label them correctly. The larger the site is, the more need you have for effective navigation, and by including a prominent search box you can help your visitors find exactly what they want.
Be Cautious With Popups
Popups aggravate a lot of people, so be cautious if you plan on using them. There might still be a good reason to have a popup, including discount offers or newsletter signups, but it is a good idea to test their effectiveness over a period of time.
Remove Untargeted Traffic Channels
As previously mentioned, untargeted traffic will be problematic for your bounce rate. If you discover a traffic channel that is increasing your bounce rate, aim to remove it or direct it to a more relevant part of your site. While cheap, paid traffic might be an issue, you could find that visitors from your social media accounts quickly leave the site if the content is too complex.
Recommend Similar Content
An effective way to get visitors to view multiple pages is to recommend relevant content. Many people might leave your site because you answered their question or problem, but they would be tempted to look further if you offered some related links. If you find a page is very popular you could create a related article or similar group of products.
Clear Call to Action
A call to action is an instruction to your visitor to take the next step. This might be to add to a shopping cart, sign up to a newsletter, or read another article. If it is unclear what your visitors should do, there is a good chance they will just leave the site. By clearly encouraging them to take the action you want, your bounce rate can see an improvement.