How to Combat High Bounce Rates
posted March 26th 2018, 11:00 am by Chloe Harbach
It is nearly impossible to tell the exact reason why a bounce rate is high or why site visitors aren't staying on a website. However, we can provide you with some practical hacks to proactively improve your bounce rate. Research has shown that there are some common problems that websites see, so we are going to break them down for you so that you can combat high bounce rates. Here is our guide.
Attracting the Right Audience
Know Your Target Audience
It sounds simple and basic, but there is so much that goes wrong when target audience is taken out of the marketing equation. If the content you are creating and sharing isn’t of interest to your target audience or isn’t produced in a way that they can best use it, that is going to have a negative impact on your bounce rate. Strive to give them the content that they want. If you can’t figure it out, ask. Social media is "social" for a reason! *nudge* *nudge*
Use the Right Keywords
Researching popular or trending keywords can be really beneficial for getting more eyes on your content. A little digging can help you find out what wording or phrases generate the most clicks, boosting your organic reach.
We suggest that if you are trying to diminish your bounce rate that you look into long-tail keywords. Here’s an example of why. Lots of people can/will search the word “dog.” Only people looking for dog trainers in the Milwaukee area are going to do an Internet search for the words “dog trainers in the Milwaukee area”. If you have that whole string on your website, you are more likely to be found by people searching for that particular phrase than if you just use the keyword “dog” on your site.
Related post: A Guide to Long-tail Keywords
Optimize Your Meta Descriptions
When you are doing a search on an Internet search engine, the meta description is the little chunk of text under the link to the website you are searching. It is basically a blurb stating what one would find if s/he were to click the link. This space only allows for a couple of lines of text, so use those lines wisely. Note: Be sure that you fill this text in with your own content. Yes, Google can fill this in for you automatically, but trust us, you’ll want to fill it in yourself.
- Stay within 155 characters. If you have too much content, an ellipsis [...] will appear on the search engine. Is this a bad thing? Well, it doesn’t have the punch that it could have without it.
- Include your focus keyword here. Adding your focus keyword into your meta description helps boost your SEO and helps searchers see that your content is relevant to their search.
- Don’t forget your CTA. Be sure that every meta description that you create has a call to action, to encourage visitors to click on your link. They really are effective.
Update Web Content
Make sure that you are keeping your content up to date, whether that be your contact information, About Us page or even your blogs. Be sure that everything on your website serves a purpose and has relevance. If that means going back and updating old blogs, do it. You want visitors to come onto your site seeing the best sides of your business.
Testing: Backend Development
Test Your Website’s Load Time
A slow load time is one of the leading causes for a high bounce rate. People have a plethora of information on at their fingertips, so if your information is taking a while to load, you better believe that they aren’t waiting around for too long.
Test Your Site’s Navigation
If you really want to attract new visitors to your website, your site needs to be ready for said new visitors. Be sure that your navigation is easy to find, that your search is set up and works well and that you have relevant content ready for anyone who can’t find what s/he is looking for. These are all great ways to improve the UX (user experience).
Guiding Your Target Audience
Create Better Landing Pages
If it wasn’t important, we wouldn’t have written an entire blog on How to Make Better Landing Pages. People bounce off websites for a number of reasons, but the worst reason may just be people bouncing because they don’t know what to do next. That is something that you have direct control over. This is why you need better landing pages and why we preach inbound marketing so much.
There are a couple of different things you can do to your website to improve the readability of it.
1. Break apart text.
Large sections of dense text are really intimidating for, well, anyone who’s searching the Internet. Breaking apart text helps content become more skimmable and easier for eyes to focus on.
2. Add negative space.
Speaking of breaking up dense content… Don’t be afraid to add more negative space to your website, especially your home page. Content crammed on a homepage can be rather bewildering.
3. Check your font size.
Be sure that your font is large enough for someone to skim your content. And, not just on a desktop computer. Be sure you test it on mobile as well.
4. Add headers.
Headers can help direct site visitors toward the key points of your content, making your blogs/web content seem less intimidating and a little more digestible. (Bonus: Headings also helps your SEO as well, so be sure your headers have keywords in them!)
Use Calls to Action
A well-written CTA can help your site visitors understand what you want them to do. It can help them navigate through your website and even convert! CTA’s (an important piece on your landing pages -- and every page, let’s be honest) help navigate and engage site visitors so that they don’t bounce off your site for lack of guidance. Adding CTA’s is a proactive way to improve your bounce rate and it helps increase the likelihood of conversions as well.
Related post: Your Call To Action Strategy
Use Relevant Internal Links
Let’s say you have a site visitor (let’s call him John) who pops onto your site to read your blog about Web Design Strategies for Manufacturers. After reading through your entire blog, he is pleased with what your content shared, but he doesn’t really have anything else to do on your website. He doesn’t know about your business, and let’s be real, he hasn’t really thought about your business beyond your blog.
That’s where internal links come into play.
Internal links are links that lead site visitors to other pages on your website. When we linked the name of the blog “Web Design Strategies for Manufacturers” to the actual link to that blog, we were creating an internal link.
Why are they important?
Internal links show site visitors more relevant content that they might find interesting. It keeps them on your website, shows your expertise and acts as a resource for them. Bonus: It also helps boost your SEO.
Minimize the Pop-ups
In general, people don’t like pop-ups. We think most people can agree with the validity of that statement. And, for some, pop-ups are just downright frustrating. And, frustration doesn’t generally lead to conversions. So, as a marketer looking to keep consumers happy, it doesn’t make sense to have multiple pop-ups on a webpage. Yes, pop-ups can be effective; however, email ads are even more effective -- and much less frustrating.
If you decide to use pop-up ads, that's fine. Just be sure that they are relevant, so that they seem less invasive.
With these tips you have the tools you need to reduce that bounce rate, improve your UX and boost your SEO. Good luck!