Bounce rate is a key metric in determining whether the content on a company's website is relevant to its target audience. Dan Shewan of WordStream likened accepting a high bounce rate to a little like "accepting that maybe, just maybe, your child isn't the best-looking kid in the schoolyard." This article suggests a few ways you can reduce your website's bounce rate.
1. Optimize your site for speed
The probability of bouncing increases by 32% as page load time jumps from 1 to 3 seconds, a Google study found. Especially on mobile, the first few seconds a user spends on a website matters a great deal. An extra second of loading time can be the difference between 20% more conversions and a higher bounce rate.
2. Use sidebar widgets in moderation
Sidebar widgets can improve the user experience, but overdoing them may overwhelm some users and cause them to leave. Ads or irrelevant updates can be distracting and make for a less enjoyable experience. To have visitors exploring your website, keep sidebar widgets and ads to a minimum, and use them only when they are too relevant to be left out.
3. Make navigation painless
In the quest to craft the right web content copy, some companies often overlook the importance of making navigation simple and intuitive. Incorporating every possible page and drop-down to a website’s navigation can stray users away from the streamlined process it was intended to be.
Limit your home navigation to seven options or less, and if a page takes more than two clicks to reach, consider deprioritizing it. This should give visitors a few concise pages to navigate to, reducing all the clutter — and hopefully your site's bounce rate.
4. Try to avoid pop-ups
Pop-ups can be incredibly intrusive, especially when they are not properly integrated into the design of the website. The interface has its advantages, but when there are too many elements that interrupt the user's intended usability of the website, pop-ups become the worst offenders. Avoid them if you can. If you really need to, use them sparingly.
5. Embrace a mobile-first mentality
Websites are typically designed on desktop computers, which explains why they tend to maintain a desktop-centric user experience. Whenever mobile users access a site made primarily for desktop browsers, however, the disconnect in their experience is immediately apparent.
Designers and web developers are aware of the dominance of mobile usage, but mobile-friendliness is rarely a priority. For many businesses, and as mobile usage increases, designing/revamping their website to accommodate mobile users should be paramount. Not only will this reduce their site's bounce rate, but it will also improve the overall user experience.
6. Create relevant content
A relevant content marketing strategy goes much further than publishing content on topics everyone else in one's field writes about. It includes hyperlinking not just to improve SEO, but because the resources would be genuinely useful to the reader.
Additionally, it is utilizing tools like WebFX's Readability Test Tool and Hotjar's heatmaps to assess user experience. Taking care of any lapses you might find — ensuring that every element on your page resonates well with visitors — leads to people feeling more comfortable on the homepage making them more likely to explore other pages.
7. Experiment with other formats of content
There is always one format more likely to resonate with your target audience than another, whether it's tables, charts, videos, or podcast episodes. While written text and videos are the default for many, some niches might benefit more from other formats. It can be more challenging to explain in text how to set up a tool from scratch compared to using videos or infographics, for instance.
Experimenting with other content formats might be the holy grail to bringing down your bounce rate — particularly if you seem to be doing everything right but still have a high bounce rate. The only caveat is to be careful not to sacrifice your brand's identity in the process.
8. Integrate live chat
Using live chat on your website enhances the user experience. There are times when visitors might want a thing or two clarified before moving on with their purchase — and this is especially true for high-end products. Having live support right there on your site would help them feel more at ease exploring the site while your support reps assist them.
9. Build an engaging 404 error page
A 404 error page is what is displayed to a user when they're able to reach your server, but not the specific page in the web address they mean to visit. This can be due to several factors: the page has been deleted, the link address has a typo, etc.
Due to the page's technical nature, users might mistakenly associate the error 404 message with your website being down, quitting without trying another page. Although it's ideal to identify and correct mistyped referral traffic at the source, this isn't always possible. The remedy here would be to include some highly relevant web pages in the 404 error page, perhaps along with a witty description of the error.
10. Write electric CTAs
After all the hassle of getting users to click on, let’s say an ad, the last thing any advertiser wants is for the visitor to bail without converting. When it comes to converting visitors, a strong call to action can make all the difference — whether it's signing up for a newsletter, scheduling a consultation, or purchasing a product. HubSpot found that a personalized CTA performs 202% better than a generic one.
The higher the conversion rate, the more likely users are to visit more than one page before leaving. As a result, you will have a lower bounce rate — better yet is your now higher conversion rate.
11. Install ad fraud prevention tools
For businesses running online ads, a high bounce rate is a potential indication of ad fraud infiltrating their ads. The issue then becomes one of damaging brand image, wasted advertising dollars, skewed marketing metrics — of which a high bounce rate is one — and a host of other issues. Integrating ad fraud prevention tools into your advertising operations is the optimum solution to tackling bounce rate at its root.
Learn more: How Bounce Rates Are Linked to Ad Fraud
There is no generalized approach to reducing bounce rates on websites since different tactics work best for different businesses. This also explains the disparity in bounce rates across industries. No matter what, we hope the suggested tips will help you resolve the problem.
Book a demo with our experts at Spider AF if you're interested in learning more about our ad fraud prevention tool. Many marketers were curious about Spider AF, and now they're our happy customers.