Photograph © Sean Dreilinger
Bounce rate is an important parameter that tells you about the number of people who leave your website without checking out pages on it. Higher bounce rate means user interaction with your site leaves a lot to be desired.
If you manage to reduce the bounce rate on pages with highest traffic that have high conversion rates, it can ensure that your visitors are more engaged. Thus it can lead to more conversions. If your website is seeing high bounce rate then there are certain techniques you can use to improve their interaction in the site.
1. External Links Opening In A New Window Helps
It’s a good idea to link with fellow bloggers and share links that you find inspiring. But you have to remember that the links should open in a new window so that your blog stays open in the background. Your users can then return to your blog rather than having to find it all over again. The idea is to share the traffic with other bloggers not drive your own to them.
2. Browser Compatibility Is Important
Often high bounce rate equates to users’ expectations when they visit your site and the experience they have on it. What happens in many instances is that users click on a page on your site and find information they are not interested in. That’s why they move away from your site, which leads to the higher bounce rate in the first place.
3. Optimise For Intent
The information design of your website should be paid attention to. If your users are basing their search on certain keywords then the pages should offer them information and experience accordingly. This strategy is mostly seen in display advertising and paid search where the bounce rate for advertisers is quite high. It happens because the loop between ad copy and landing page copy and design is not closed.
4. Brand Storytelling Should Be Bettered
When it comes to managing the bounce rate, you have to consider the storytelling of your brand, which makes a big difference to your communication with your users. Since you have to meet the expectations of your users it’s important that they know who you really are, your beliefs and what you can offer them too.
5. Page Load Times Should Be Shortened
When people do their site analysis they often find that an important reason for high bounce rate is long page loading time. If your site speed is low and page takes long to load then you are bound to see higher bounce rates. People’s attention spans are limited and they don’t want to waste their time hoping for your page to load.
6. Sites Optimised For Mobiles Work Better
A large number of users are browsing on their phones and tablets and the trend is only going to grow further. If your site is mobile optimised it will offer your users a better experience, which can prevent them from moving to other mobile friendly sites. Adaptive and responsive web design are two easy means that can be used to make your site mobile friendly. They will ensure that your mobile users have better interaction with your site and it will reduce the bounce rate.
7. Cut Down On Pop-Ups And Advertisements
There are many users who are put off by pop-ups and they tend to switch over to another site when that happens. Hence you should avoid them on your site as much as possible. Things get trickier with advertisements because they are a source of revenue for websites and you can’t do away with them easily. But keeping them to bare minimum wherever they are unavoidable is a good idea.
8. Improve The Quality Of Your Content
Your website might work well on all browsers, the pages load as fast as possible and the design is functional to make the content easily accessible, but there’s one factor that can make all the difference to your bounce rates. At the end of the day your users are coming to your site looking for helpful and relevant information. If the quality of your content is poor they will have no reason to stay on your site.
9. Site Design Is Crucial
People are paying more attention to site design than ever before and you might have already seen a dramatic improvement in overall design across the board. Users have less patience for sites that are badly designed; no two ways about it. They want attractive colours that work well in tandem, and pictures that add to the content. If your site design is not up to the mark then your users will move on to the next site and your bounce rate will be a lot higher.
10. Leverage Internal Search
If search functionality is not offered by your site or you don’t make the most out of internal search analytics, then you are losing out on a lot. You have to understand that online users tend to search quite often and it’s a functionality you can add on your site without much effort. To ensure that your users have a better experience on your site you need to pay attention to navigation, menus and overall site structure.
These are some of the techniques that serve as a good place to start for sites that are keen on reducing their bounce rate. They go a long way in ensuring that users interact with the site more than just the landing pages. Once you have tried these strategies out you will notice the difference to your retention rates.