One of the most common conversion killers is a high bounce rate. Why? Because if the majority of your users are abandoning your website on the first page, you don’t have a chance to convert them into customers or subscribers.
What (exactly) is a Bounce Rate?
To understand what a bounce is, think of it this way:
You walk into a store, then immediately turn around and walk back out. You don’t check out any of the products or talk to the clerk – you just leave.
That’s a bounce.
The same is true for your website. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without taking any action – like clicking on a link, making a purchase, or filling out a form.
You want people to explore your website – and a high bounce rate means that isn’t happening!
Is a High Bounce Rate Bad for SEO?
While bounce rate isn’t a ranking signal for Google, Google Analytics automatically calculates the bounce rate for your website and all your pages. And there is a lot of evidence that Google uses engagement signals to know when its users are engaged and satisfied with the websites they visit.
So, what’s important to measure is how engaged and satisfied visitors are with your site and pages. If they aren’t bouncing, then it means you’re giving them what they’re searching for and making them happy, and they spend more time on your site and visit more pages – and these factors affect your SEO.
Now the goal becomes – how do I increase engagement and satisfaction? When you achieve that, you will automatically reduce your bounce rate. Let’s look at 7 tips that will help you accomplish both objectives.
7 Tips to Increase Engagement and Reduce Bounce Rate:
1. Improve Page Speed
Your site’s loading speed is more important than ever – if a page doesn’t load in 2 seconds or less, users will bounce and go to your competitor’s site!
Google pushes slow-performing websites deep down in search rankings. And since loading speed is critical to user experience, Google uses it as one of the top-ranking signals.
So, check your site speed using free tools like Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix. You should optimize your site speed even if you have a low bounce rate since it’s an essential factor in user experience.
2. Add Internal Links
Add internal links to your content, especially in blog posts and articles, to keep people moving through your site. Internal links allow you to reference other content on your site in a more specific and effective way than a call to action.
For example, when we write a new post and refer to a topic that we've already covered in a previous blog, we'll link it. This provides a relevant reason and an easy way for readers to learn more about that specific topic. Find the natural opportunities to reference other pages of your website within your content. Just be strategic about where and how you add links.
3. Create Clear Calls to Action
Every page on your site needs a clear and convincing call-to-action. Whether it’s your home page, landing page, or product page, you want visitors to know what to do next.
It may seem obvious, but statistics show that 70% of small business websites lack a call-to-action. And that’s a huge reason they have high bounce rates. So, to reduce your bounce rate and boost conversions, you need a clear CTA that’s easy to spot in 3 seconds or less.
4. Simplify Site Search and Navigation
Make sure your site’s navigation system is streamlined and logical – and that it will effectively lead the user to what they’re searching for.
Your site search feature should be clearly visible and easy to use, so when a visitor accidentally lands on a wrong page, they can quickly find the content or product they’re looking for.
4. Improve Readability
Is your content readable? Is it clear and approachable? This key detail makes a huge difference. You can separate readability factors into two broad categories: the copy itself and how the copy looks.
Engage people with your writing, hook them early, and draw them into your content. The inverted pyramid style of writing is a strategic way to grab readers’ attention and provide the most important information first. Also, avoid meaningless and technical jargon. Use correct grammar and keep sentences and paragraphs on the short side.
Visually, organize your content with numbers, bullet points, headings, and subheadings. Give the reader plenty of white space and choose an appropriate font type and size, so the content is easy to read.
5. Optimize for Mobile
Over half of web traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices – and these numbers are growing.
So, if Google Analytics shows a high bounce rate coming from mobile device users, this could be a sign that your site isn’t mobile-friendly. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to determine the problem.
6. Include Media
Add eye-catching images, videos, and various media. Why? Because pages with a mixture of text, images, and video tend to do better than pages with just one of those things. So, source the kind of imagery that will capture the reader’s attention – exciting, emotional, intriguing, or informative.
7. Avoid Ads
There are several reasons to avoid an ad-heavy site. Ads cause visual clutter, slow down page load speed, and lead to a bad user experience.
If you can’t avoid ads, then keep them out of the way and don’t let them overwhelm the content.
And if you’re an e-commerce site, be careful with popups, announcement bars, splash pages, and live chat. Always provide a way for visitors to close the popup quickly if they want to – and once it’s closed, keep it closed. It’s not a good idea to follow users around the site with live chat offers if they’ve already opted to hide the chat window. They’ll quickly bounce if they get annoyed.
Bounce rate can tell you a lot about user experience and your digital marketing. Too many bounces can interfere with your conversions and affect your SEO. By improving speed, content, design, and site functionality, you can also reduce your bounce rate.
If you need help identifying and correcting what may be causing your high bounce rate, contact Impact Group Marketing today. Our experienced website development team knows how to attract visitors and keep them on your site – and ensure that it’s set up for top search engine placement.