People enter and leave your site every day, possibly even every minute or second. Think of your website like a mom and pop store. Are people visiting your store and exiting 5 or fewer minutes later without purchasing anything?
As a business owner or marketing manager, you should know why people are leaving so quickly.
Where does the problem lie? What’s making them leave? Maybe you don’t carry the product or item they were looking for. Maybe it’s too expensive. Maybe your content isn’t inline with what they were expecting. Does your site render correctly on their browser?
Those are all things you should take into consideration, when it comes to reducing your websites bounce rate. Just like a physical store, your website can lose visitors you cannot find what they’re looking for.
According to Google Analytics, bounce rate is a measurement of visit quality and a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance to your website isn’t relevant to your visitors.
A visitor can bounce from your website by … clicking the back button, closing the window, clicking on an external link within the page, or they typed a new URL.
You might be thinking … what if a visitor came to my site and viewed several pages or stayed on the page for a particular amount of time? That’s a good question. You don’t want to confuse bounce rate with exit rate. You will want to keep in mind that the exit rate is the percentage of page views where that page was the last of their session, where as a bounce rate is based only on visits that start and end with that page.
Tips to Help You Reduce Your Bounce Rate
1. Freshen Up Your Content
Is your content stale and out dated? It might be if your older content is still showing up in search results. There is nothing worse than having a visitor land on a blog article from 2009 or 2005. The content and format of your content probably looks nothing like it does today. Just because they aren’t up to par or current doesn’t mean your visitors won’t find them.
If you’re using HubSpot, identify which pages on your site have the most traffic. Don’t be afraid to update the content on those pages. You want to continue to develop relevant and valuable content for your visitors.
To freshen up your content, you might want to consider:
- Updating any outdated statistics
- Including examples that are more current and relevant
- Adding more context and valuable information
2. Improve Website Load Time
There’s nothing worse than a website that takes minutes to load. In today’s digital age where the speed of the internet is important, your website’s load time ideally should be around 3 seconds.
To increase the load time of your website you might want to deactivate any unnecessary plug ins or refrain from using flash.
Not only does your load time factor into your SEO efforts but it also helps to keep your visitors on your site. Unfortunately, a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load takes the risk of losing website visitors to a competitor.
Not only is your sites user experience on desktop important, but mobile and tablets are just as important. This isn’t something you should over look. According to a recent Google survey, they found that 72% of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly.
When developing your mobile site it’s important to know why visitors would access your site on mobile and what pages they’re most likely to view. Will your visitors be looking for hours of operation, address, or your blog? Once you’ve identified what sections on your site are most important to those visitors accessing your site from mobile, you need to ensure that it’s easy to navigate. Visitors will be accessing your site while on the go.
4. Identify Cross Browser Compatibility
Unfortunately, not everyone visiting your website is going to use the same browser. You are going to find that your audience is accessing your site through Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Not to mention they might not even be using the same edition.
A common issue many are faced with is cross browser compatibility. To ensure that your site is rendering correctly across a variety of browsers, be sure to use a site like Browser Stack.
Not only can browser compatibility issues occur on desktop but they can also render incorrectly on mobile.
5. Keyword Research
A big part of your inbound marketing strategy should rely on developing a content and keyword strategy. However, are you just adding keywords to your content that aren’t relevant? This theory holds true when talking about adding hashtags to your social media strategy. You should only use keywords relevant to the content you’re creating.
You might want to ask yourself if the content you’re generating matches the keywords your utilizing? I’m not sure about you, but I hate clicking on a link that has nothing to do with what I searched for on Google. It’s a little pet peeve of mine. If only all was well in the land of SEO and keyword research.
Keyword research will keep your bounce rate down. It’s important to ensure that your visitors know what to expect upon landing on your landing page or website.
6. Compare High Bounce Pages to Low Bounce Pages
Not every page on your site is going to have a high bounce rate. Therefore, you should compare those landing pages with higher rates to those with a lower rate. The type of content on your page could be forcing your visitors to hit the back button.
You might want to take a closer look at your CTA’s that correspond with each landing page. Often times the copy within your CTA is giving the wrong impression. It’s like seeing an ad for a brand new table on Craigslist and when you see it in person it quickly becomes obvious that the table isn’t new, not even a few months old. It looks like it’s been in the family for generations. The point here is that no one likes to be deceived. Other wise you aren’t going to find qualified traffic. You’re just going to get visitors that keep bouncing.
7. Identify Industry Standard Bounce Rate
Do you know what your industry bounce rate is? A rate of 65% percent might not be a good bounce rate for some industries but other industries might find a rate of 15% a good rate. There is no average bounce rate overall. Each rate will vary based on what industry you’re in.
8. Limit the Number of External Links
Who doesn’t love to share someone else’s content on their blog or website? But did you know that your high bounce rate could be attributed to the number of external links you’re using?
If your visitors are quickly leaving any page that has an external link, you might want to reconsider using them. Your goal should be to keep them on your site. Don’t give them a reason to leave. If you want to include those links you might want to take into consideration what words you’re linking. You might be missing the opportunity to push those visitors further into your site.
BONUS: Avoid Pop Ups
There is nothing worse than a pop up. Not only do they distract you but they also appear every time you visit a particular page. If you’re adamant about having a pop up do everything in your power to keep it from popping up on your home page. Visitors will leave faster than it takes an entire office to flock to “Fiesta Friday” or some type of dessert.