Finding out that a lot of people are bouncing off your website is a scenario that brings all sorts of different problems to the table. For most professionals who make their bread and butter directly from their websites, it’s pretty similar to finding out that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus or The Easter Bunny – the revelation is devastating. High bounce rates are the no.1 reason why most online businessman experience a lot of stress in their lives. It’s a sure sign that their website and marketing need some serious tweaking. High bounce rates indicate that something’s off on your web page and it’s driving your visitors away. It’s ruining your chances to create more conversions and turn these curious wanderers into actual customers.
Right? Well, not quite.
In case you didn’t know, bounce rates illustrate the percentage of single-page visits. This type of metric is used to measure the quality of those visits. A high bounce rate generally shows that site entrance (landing) pages aren’t quite relevant to your visitors.
Before I start to expand on this, I feel it’s important to say that bounce rate is not a measure that you should quite literally take to heart. What I’m trying to say here, it all depends on how you implement your analytics. You could get an extremely high and extremely low bounce rate number on the same website with the same traffic. How come? – Well, because you can trigger events via all sorts of different on-page actions.
Although in most cases this metric is of great value to all sorts of online businessman, it can also in some cases be quite misleading. That’s why it’s essential to distinguish the difference between a bounce rate and an exit rate.
If you ever owned a business or personal website, you probably know that bounce rate, if properly adjusted, can be a powerful metric to measure the quality of traffic to your website or landing pages. Bounce rate can be really good for comparing traffic sources side by side to see which provides better pageviews/visit. It gives us numbers that all good marketers cannot afford to ignore. They help us measure how effectively our brand is resonating with our visitors.
Before you start to lose your mind and chase that 0% bounce numbers, you should probably know that you’re going for the impossible.
To determine if you have high bounce numbers on your website, you must first know the industry standard for the type of website that you’re running. Content-driven websites usually have a bounce rate of 40-60%., lead generated sites tend to go a bit lower (30-50%), while retail sites go around 20-40%, because people usually stay on them to browse for items on multiple pages.
Blogs have the highest bounce rate of all 70-90% on single posts, which isn’t really an issue because most people came there just to read that exact post.
There are number of factors that could create high bounce rates on particular pages. Maybe your content isn’t engaging enough or your advertisements are misleading? Could it be that your landing page isn’t quite interesting to your visitors, or are you maybe receiving visitors who are not relevant for the type of content that you’re displaying? – It could be anything.
These numbers demand your attention. If your web page has a high bounce rate for a search term then Google most lower your rankings and devalue your site for that search term. You don’t want that, do you?
Yeah, I guess not.
If your bounce rate is really, really high and it remains like that for, let’s say, a couple of months – then you’ll need to check up on your SEO. Why? – Well, because in that case people who are landing on your site are probably looking for something different than what you’re displaying and thus, their quick departure from the site is adding heat to your bounce rate.
There are a lot of “on the nose” methods and techniques that you can use to reduce bounce rates. Before you go all crazy and take drastic measures, first try to implement a better design, easier navigation, interlinking your posts or even getting a better hosting deal. Your website’s speed plays an important role here. If your web page takes ages to access, people will leave it and look for companies that offer similar content/services as you do. God knows they’ll find them in seconds.
Never allow yourself to lose your customers to such trivial things as slow page loading. Invest in your hosting, choose a good provider and keep your house in order so that people can visit.
If you already improved everything that I wrote in the previous sentence and you still have this one page that has inappropriate bounce rate? – Then you should definitely take a more serious approach to this problem.
In order to better understand why people are leaving your website and how to optimize your landing pages so that they prove themselves relevant in the eyes of your desired audiences, I have decided to share with you a few tips that could decrease your bounce rate numbers and help you keep your visitors on your page:
Make Your Website Faster
When creating a website, a lot of people make the same mistake: they think far, far ahead. They focus on marketing their website before they even build a solid foundation for it.
If you’re in the process of setting up a shop, the first thing you should do is research your hosting and domain options.
I don’t know about you, but when I shop online, I like to browse around and look at all sorts of different options before I make a decision to commit to a certain brand. When I stumble upon a website that seems interesting to me, I immediately start to investigate the company which stands behind it. If I click on the site and it takes ages to load, I instantly abandon ship and look for another company to do business with.
I’m not the only one who does this. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who do the same thing. If you don’t take off your website’s speed, potential customers will keep bouncing off your pages.
Content: Give Your Users Something of Real Value to Read
Apart from implementing a good and responsive design, adding good content to mix is also of massive importance.If your site isn’t visually appealing, people will leave. If your content isn’t valuable and engaging, people will also leave. It’s that simple. Without the good content and design, you cannot win in the online business game.
You need to welcome your visitors with great and intuitive design, and get them to stay for the content. This is how it usually work.
Meeting the needs of the user is the only thing you should focus on here. If people aren’t getting what they came for, then you have no chance in turning them into clients or brand ambassadors.
Use Heat Maps to Anticipate User Intent and Tailor Your Website to Their Needs
Whether you’re selling cupcakes or web hosting service online, you’re always interested in better understanding your visitors behavior. You want to know what they like, what they dislike, what makes them click, so you could maximize your sales. You don’t want people exiting your site without actually making a purchase. That means that you have failed to turn a single lead into a conversions.
We all know that most people just aimlessly browse through website, especially if there is a lot of written content on it. Although Google loves posts that have 2000+ written words in them, latest research has shown that the average attention span of an adult person is just 8 seconds long. Yes, you read it right. Just 8.
This means that you cannot afford to waste your time on all sorts of examples, metaphors and allegories. You need to clearly communicate your message with your audience and get right to the point, without any unnecessary distractions.Heat map software can help you with this. It allows you to track your visitors mouse movements and thus see which parts of your page are grabbing their interest and which are making them leave. This software allows you to clearly see exactly where your message catches your visitor’s attention. It provides recordings of real user sessions, what enables you to understand all the actions that your users perform on your page and the problems that they encounter, that eventually make them leave without converting.
I use heat maps all the time and they really help me increase conversions, just by tweaking some part of my page content. I have personally seen jumps of 100% in A/B testing just by deleting some text boxes in a form.
Reduce Popups and Advertisements
Landing pages should be as clutter free as possible. Their job is to make that killer first impressions and present your business to a possible consumer in a clear and understandable manner. You don’t want your reader to focus on anything else then your brand. You don’t want any outside factors interfering with you making a possible conversion.
That’s why it’s of crucial importance that you don’t sell your whole concept on just one landing page. Stick to selling just one thing at a time and I promise you that you’ll see your customer base grow faster than you thought it was possible. Thank you for reading this post. I hope you liked what I wrote here. If you have anything to add, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below.
That’s it for now,
See you next week,
Goran @ AltusHost B.V.