A website’s bounce rate signifies the amount of people who land on the site and then immediately leave. If you noticed a high bounce rate when checking your website’s analytics data, you may be wondering why. After all, you put so much time and effort into your site, the last thing you want is for people to exit the moment they arrive.
There are several reasons your site may have a high bounce rate, and it’s important to look at each element separately so that you can root out the problem, and solve it for longer viewing sessions and higher conversions.
Reasons Your Bounce Rate Might Be High
- Your site may not be targeted to the needs of your web visitors. Maybe they Googled Surf Boards and your company provides surfing lessons only. That right there is a good reason to leave immediately upon landing.
- Your graphics are horrid. Your colors may not mesh very well, and your website’s images may be too small or large, or they may be altogether irrelevant.
- Your website might be too hard to navigate. When your navigation leaves a lot to be desired, your web visitors aren’t going to put up with it for very long. Instead, they will leave for a website that is easy to navigate.
- Your website might take eons to load. You might have annoying popup ads, or you might have a video that auto-plays immediately upon loading. Rather than look for the stop button, most visitors are just going to leave, probably never to return.
If your website’s bounce rate is overly high, it’s nothing to worry about. Below are the prime ways to lower your bounce rate, regardless of your industry or site goals, straight from our search engine optimization experts.
Key SEO Techniques for Lowering Your Bounce Rate
Leave a Linking Trail: You can keep visitors on your site by providing them with an internal linking trail that leads through the various pages of your site. For instance, your page about Auto Repair might have an internal link that leads to your “Tire Replacement” page, and so on. These links allow visitors to learn more, and the longer they remain on your site, the greater the chances they will convert.
Open External Links in a New Window: Have your external links open in a new window, as this keeps visitors on your site for a longer period. If the links open in the same window, you will kick your visitors off your site, and your bounce rate will rise instead of fall.
Make Your Content Readable: Be mindful that people are going to visit your website on varying sized screens. Some will be on laptops and desktops and some on tablets and smartphones. Make sure the fonts you use, color schemes, and formatting are designed to make reading easy. If visitors have to strain and struggle to consume your content, they will bounce rather than stick around and waste their time.
Multi-Media Controls: Self-loading content, like those auto-play videos mentioned earlier, only serve to turn visitors off. Instead of populating your website with self-loading media, give your visitors a choice. Let them choose whether or not to listen or view, and always put the controls in their hands.
Format for Skimmers: Most people are going to skim your content, that’s just a fact. Format for these readers by using bolded subheaders and short paragraphs, bullet points, and numbers. When you are finished publishing your new content to your site, read it with a skimmer’s intent and see if you can glean the most important information. If not, revise until skimming gives you most of what you need.
Check for Errors: Visitors to your site will likely leave if they find a typo or grammatical error. Likewise, if there are factual errors, your reputation will suffer, and visitors will leave for websites that care about providing a factual and error-free web experience.
Quick-Loading Website: When visitors land on your website, they expect the page to load instantaneously. That means 5-seconds or less. You can find out how fast (or slowly) your website loads by running a speed test, like the one provided at https://gtmetrix.com/. When the test is finished, you will learn your site speed and the reasons why it loads the way it does. If your site loads too sluggishly, you will have the information to make it right, which can lower your bounce rate.
Make Your Website Responsive: Your website is known as responsive when it tailors itself to any sized screen. Whether it’s a desktop or smartphone, the visitor should have a seamless web experience. If you have two sites, one for desktop and one for mobile, or you have no mobile site at all, you could run into a host a host of problems and you risk alienating your mobile using target base. Instead, make sure your site is responsive so that you give the same experience to everyone, regardless of the device they’re using.
Get Rid of Annoying Pop-Ups and Ads: People can’t stand pop-up ads. They are pesky and get in the way of an otherwise relaxing web viewing experience. Ads that appear on the screen out of nowhere are intrusive. Don’t use them if you want your visitors to stay on your site just a little bit longer.
No Pagination: Another annoying phenomenon is when websites force visitors to click through pages. Instead, allow visitors to scroll through your content. If a particular page is getting too long, consider making them separate pages that you can get to through internal linking. Your visitors will thank you by staying and reading more of the content you publish.
Easy Navigation: It should be simple to find information on your website. If visitors have to search for a long time or click through too many pages to locate the necessary content, most aren’t going to stick around. They’re going to bounce for a site that’s a little easier to search for and find stuff. While you’re at it, provide a search box. If you can help visitors find the information they need in a few clicks, that’s ideal.
Clear Calls-to-Action: Some people like to be told what to do. Don’t assume that your visitors know to click this link or fill out this form. By leaving clear calls-to-action on every page, you can keep visitors on your site, lower your bounce rate, and encourage more conversions.
Include a Most Popular Content Section: Your website’s visitors may appreciate a section on your website that showcases your most popular blog posts or those that received the most comments. You’ll increase the views on those posts, your bounce rate will decrease, and you’ll have more of an opportunity to show your visitors why you’re the thought-leader in your industry.
Conduct a Broken Link Check: People reading through your site will get mighty miffed if they stumble on a link that doesn’t go anywhere. That right there is another prime way to ruin your reputation and send visitors bouncing. Instead, use a site like https://www.deadlinkchecker.com/ and replace those broken links with ones that keep visitors right where they are, on your site where they belong.
Update Your Outdated Content: Those old blog posts don’t have to languish on your site. Instead, consider updating them with new information, stats, and research, and republish them with an editor’s note. Google loves fresh content, so you’ll get an SEO boost, your bounce rate will decrease, and you’ll improve your reputation as a content producer who cares about visitor satisfaction.
Multi-Browser Content: For best results, your site should be viewed equally well on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, as well as every other browser visitors are likely to use. This requires adhering to web design standards, using proper fonts, and the right image sizes. A website that’s viewed on every browser the same will provide a more memorable web experience. Then, watch your bounce rate decrease.
The above checklist should help you lower your bounce rate if it seems elevated. However, keep in mind that the reasons for your site’s high bounce rate may be us unique as your website itself. You’ll need to do a system-wide analysis; and if you do make changes, makes sure you give them time to take effect before committing to any others.
A High Bounce Rate Isn’t Always Bad
It is important to note that a high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily mean that you are providing your visitors with a poor web viewing experience. It could be that your website is so well designed and your content so good that people are finding everything they need in a single glance, such as your address, phone number, or the buy button. Therefore, check your bounce rate against your conversion rates, for example, to get a clearer picture of how your website truly performs.
Does your site’s bounce rate leave a lot to be desired? Contact the small business search engine optimization experts at Millionairium (888) 951-2773 and give your visitors what they want for a lower bounce rate, more conversions, and a higher ROI.
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