If you have noticed that the few people who are visiting your site aren’t sticking around for long and are bouncing away as soon as possible, it is time to accept that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.
While knowing that your visitors are disappearing before you have even had a chance to convert them is frustrating, there are lots of simple fixes you can employ in an attempt to stop this from happening.
What is a Bounce Rate?
As defined by Google Analytics, a bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who end up on one of your site’s pages and then leaves without visiting another page. If 10 people visit your site’s main page and 5 of these people leave without doing anything else on your site, your bounce rate would be 50%.
Bounce rate is a ranking factor used by Google in determining where to place your site in search results.
What is a Bad Bounce Rate?
Before we look at what you can do to fix your bounce rate, it is important that you know what actually constitutes a bad bounce rate. After all, there may be nothing for you to fix!
Unfortunately, it is a case of “it depends” when it comes to what a bad bounce rate is for your website. As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 25 to 40 percent is great (more than half of the people who visit your website are sticking around) whereas a bounce rate over 75% may be a cause for concern (three in four people are clicking away).
It does depend on the content type, too. If 75% of people are clicking away from a product’s landing page, then this is bad news. In contrast, if 75% of people are clicking away from a blog post then this isn’t really an issue—not everybody reads them.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Decreasing (Improving) Your Site’s Bounce Rate
If you are sure that your website has a bad bounce rate—you may want to double check this with the top web designers you are able to—then there are lots of things you can do to fix it.
1. Start with your site’s written content
The saying goes that “content is king” on the internet and as one of the best web designers out there, we can say with confidence that this is true.
A major reason that a visitor may leave a website is that your site’s content is nonsensical or otherwise difficult to read. Your visitors’ experiences begin as soon as they read the first sentence on your landing page. If they are met with a large wall of text that is badly-written, full of formatting errors, and doesn’t make sense, they aren’t going to stick around for long.
After all, if you can’t string a few sentences together then what does this say about the quality of your product or service? Even if your writing is fine, terrible formatting is another factor.
2. Don’t fill your site up with pop-ups and banners
Pop-ups are irritating and detract from user experience.
Think about it—if you visit a website and are bombarded with paywalls or pop-ups within the first five seconds, are you likely to stick around? Probably not! While pop-ups and paywalls can work, most of the time their improper implementation can lead to otherwise engaged users from leaving your site, never to return again.
If you want to build a website that is successful in the long-term and will help you build a good reputation, avoid popups, paywalls, and other irritating elements that stop your engaged visitor from finding out what they came to your website to learn.
3. Utilize a call-to-action (CTA)
When you have done all the hard work in attracting a visitor to your website, keeping them engaged with your content, and have their attention, the last thing you want to do is lose them with a weak or absent CTA. You want every single visitor who ends up on your site to complete the desired action—e.g. make a purchase or subscribe to a newsletter—or at least think about it. This is the purpose of a CTA.
You should have a CTA that is visible, compelling, and not too pushy. Creating a suitable CTA can be tricky, though—something as simple as changing the font can make a massive difference to your conversion rates—so your best bet is to consult good website designers or other specialists to find out the best course of action.
4. Optimize your page load times
Your pages need to load fast. Period.
Page load speeds are a major ranking factor for Google. Fast websites and pages rank higher than slow ones. Ideally, your pages should load in less than three seconds. Anything above five seconds is a death sentence. There are plenty of methods you can use to optimize your pages, and this is also something that a web development agency will help you with.
If the first page a visitor comes to is too slow to load, they probably aren’t going to try and load a second one.
5. Look legitimate and credible
Consumers are now more tuned into how dangerous the internet can be and the harm it can cause when due diligence is not exercised by them. On the internet, your credibility—what your visitors think about you—is hugely important.
If a potential lead visits your site and instantly thinks that you look a little fishy, chances are that they will click away. This can be caused by something as simple as not having a HTTPS certificate, having a website that isn’t professionally made, or coming across as too good to be true.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach for establishing credibility, unfortunately. The best thing you can do is put yourself in your visitors’ shoes, visit your website, and ask yourself “Would I stay here?”