How to Reduce the Bounce Rate of Your Site

Posted by Rahul Soni

July 29, 2014

SEO 17 min read

As an online marketer, you would have heard the term “bounce rate” a number of times, however, do you really know how to tackle it?

As defined by Google Analytics, bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your page as they don’t find the information on the page helpful enough. A high bounce rate only means that your website is able to attract a large number of visitors, but most of them are those who are not relevant to your business, or in simple terms, your content is not relevant to what they are searching.

Matt Cutts

Now let’s understand how to decrease the bounce rate.

• Avoid Pop-ups: There is nothing that annoys people who are seriously looking for some information other than a disturbing pop-up. They usually disrupt the overall user experience. If it is vital from the site’s point of view, make the message clear what you want the users to do rather than providing a flashy window that has nothing to do with them.

• Use Intuitive Navigation: Do not make your visitors feel uncomfortable on your website with no clear instruction on what they should do. Provide them with clear paths that are obvious in their message and help them get to the content that they desire.

• Avoid Terrible Designs: Design is not only limited to colours and fonts. Nowadays, design refers to the whole user experience. The content needs to be attractive both in terms of graphical representation and how well it could be consumed. Design for your targeted audience.

• Speed: According to Kissmetrics, 47% of users want the website to load in 2 seconds or less. The same report states that 40% of users leave the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Page loading speed is undeniably an important part of a website’s user experience.

• Is the website mobile-friendly: In the age of mobile devices and when people are looking for any information on the move, it is vital to have the content optimized for mobile devices as well.

• Set realistic expectations: It is good to have goals but don’t go over the top with some unrealistic goals that surpass your past performance for other pages. Check out your historical performance and ground your expectations based on that.

• Provide exceptional content: The content should deliver the obvious message very clearly with proper heading and sub-headings. The content should be tailored for intended visitors. There is no scope of errors and the copy should be stylish with images at required places.

Matt Cutts

• A clear call-to-action: Even an amazing website will prove to be inefficient without an effective call-to-action. Each landing page should have an attractive and clear call to action. Do not put several calls to action on the homepage. Also, the number of fields in the form should be limited.

• The information should be based on priorities: The main points should be covered in the content. That is the reason why the users are there in the first place. Research on what the users would like to see the most, or what their pain points are and make a copy based on this research. There will be no point for the users to stay on your site that has information of no value to them.

• Offer helpful 404 pages: Nobody likes to see a 404 page. Enhance the 404 pages with Google’s suggestive snippet to make the 404 pages helpful. Add a search box and also a link to the homepage. Also, try to make the 404 pages attractive with some humour and good design.

• Search box should be visible: Internal search plays a vital role in the bounce rate. If the page where the customer landed has information that they need, however, they want detailed information and they trust your site, they could go further to find the information on your site itself. A search box will prove to be a handy tool.

Matt Cutts

• Open External Links In New Windows: This concept has been overlooked by many, though it is very simple to understand. A visitor moving to another site from the same window will only affect your bounce rate badly. Make sure that the visitor is directed to a new window when they click on all external links.

• Be careful with placing the ads: Don’t overwhelm the page with ads. Not only do they prove to be jerks for the eyes, but they also attract penalization from Google that results in dropped rankings. The ad unit size should be standard.

Bottom line:

The best thing that you could do to lower the bounce rate and keep it that way is by creating awesome content. No matter what, great and valuable content with the right design and inputs will always be looked forward to as a great resource and will keep the engagement rate at an all-time high, thus lowering your bounce rate and helping your prospects in getting the desired information.


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