You’ve stepped up your digital game across the board, optimizing your website for search engines, actively publishing blogs and guest posts, and creating great content on social media. And the results are there.
Your website is gaining traction, with metrics such as website traffic, ranking, CTR, and conversion, all turning green. However, there’s another metric going up, and it’s not the one you like to see.
Increased search traffic often causes a rise in bounce rate. When you’re more visible online, it’s more likely that someone will accidentally click on your ad, formulate their query wrong, so your results don’t match their intention, or simply find your website unsatisfactory.
Bounce rate is one of the most influential Google search ranking signals, as it basically signifies how relevant and useful users found your website.
With that in mind, we’ve asked some of the top digital marketing companies to share their proven tips for successfully tackling a website’s high bounce rate.
What Is the Bounce Rate?
Google defines the bounce rate as “single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.”
In other words, bounce represents a web page visit when a user leaves your site after visiting only one page and without performing an action such as completing a purchase, filling out a form, or clicking on a link.
The metric portrays how engaging your website is and whether users find your site’s appearance, content, functionalities, etc., satisfying.
What Bounce Rate Should You Aim For?
It depends on the type of your website. For example, online shops, blogs, and one-pagers generally do not have an equal bounce rate.
If your business relies on users going deeper into the content, a bounce rate between 26% and 55% is excellent. For websites with fewer pages, anything below 70% is acceptable.
However, if your bounce rate is over 70%, or you’ve seen a constant increase in your bounce rate over the past few months, it’s high time you take proper action.
Here are six amazing tips to lower your website’s bounce rate to a satisfactory level.
1. Stay Away From UX-Damaging Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are a double-edged sword and have, for years, sparked a debate among SEOs.
On the one hand, they are detrimental to user experience. Pop-ups disrupt the user flow, are intrusive and annoying – even more so if they are not informative or useful.
On the other hand, pop-ups are undeniably beneficial for certain purposes, such as growing your email list and converting users with discounts.
So, users have a love-hate relationship with pop-ups, but what about Google?
Well, Google, too, has ambiguous feelings. As of 2017, the Internet giant began taking action against pop-ups that force opening a new window/tab, as well as against interstitials, seemingly a welcome page with an ad overlaying the entire screen, disabling you from accessing the site content without clicking on it.
Yet, Google’s new measures paved the way for less interfering pop-up models, such as lightboxes and exit-intent pop-ups. All these actions are part of Google’s efforts to create an online environment suitable to the perpetually growing popularity of mobile devices.
To sum up, pop-ups are not to be completely disregarded, as they can be very beneficial to your business. However, be cautious to design a non-invasive, valuable, and topic-appropriate pop-up.
2. Cut the Page Load Time
According to research by Google, 53% of mobile visitors will abandon a website if a page doesn’t load within three seconds. For comparison, the average load time is 19 seconds and 14 seconds on a 3G and 4G connection, respectively.
Yet, users aren’t the only ones who are impatient. Google was pushing faster page loading in 2018 when speed became a ranking factor for both Google Search and Google Ads.
In addition to that, with Web Core Vitals and the introduction of LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), load time once again climbed the ladder among the ranking signals.
But, as speed becomes integral to your website’s good ranking and UX, other factors make websites slower.
For example, new possibilities in web design and development (animations, high-quality images, video, etc.), third-party trackers and analytics tools increase a website’s weight.
The path to pleasing users and Google alike is striking a balance between making your website beautiful and engaging while maintaining its loading speed.
Some of the musts for a fast-loading website are opting for performance-optimized hosting, optimizing images, removing unused code and plugins, enabling browser caching, leveraging CDNs, and much more.
3. Choose One CTA and Make It Worth It
Picture this – you fancy ice cream; however, you merely have enough money for a single scoop. There are two ice cream shops – one offering two flavors only, and the other selling dozens of ice cream tastes.
Psychological research showed that, initially, more choices create more satisfaction. Yet, as the number of options rises, people tend to feel pressure and get disheartened, leading to dissatisfaction with the choice they made.
So, you’d probably go to the shop with an abundance of ice cream options, but afterward, you’d be uncertain whether you’ve made the right decision.
Simply apply the same analogy to your website visitors. The phenomenon of overchoice is real, and understanding and utilizing this concept in your favor can make your landing pages skyrocket.
Help your visitors focus their attention on the action you want them to do. If you want your users to complete a purchase, sign up for a newsletter or fill in a survey, use only that call-to-action button across your landing page.
Placing different CTAs on a single page will confuse your visitors as they will grow unsure of what is expected of them. Instead, guide your visitors with consistent calls-to-action and boost their experience with your brand.
4. Effortless and Intuitive Search and Navigation
Whether you run an online store or a blog, you want the people visiting your website to find what they’re looking for. The best way to enable users to accomplish their goals on your website is to provide them with logical search and navigation features.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here. Internet users are already accustomed to certain categories for tech gadgets and tags for cooking recipes. Drifting away from the expected can disrupt their experience on your website, as well as your bounce rate.
Besides making search and navigation intuitive, make sure these options are prominent, accurate, and user-friendly.
5. Employ Relevant Internal Linking
Internal linking guides users through your website, simultaneously reducing the bounce rate and helping them get immersed further into your site.
Still, overdoing internal linking risks shifting the focus of your visitors away from the desired action. So, for example, if you want your users to complete a purchase, don’t provide them with a link towards your blog posts where they can go down the rabbit hole and completely forget why they came in, to begin with.
But it’s not all about the quantity – it’s about the quality as well. If you saw a phrase in a blog post saying “discover the most reliable custom web design company,” linked as is here, where would you expect the link to take you?
Inserting useful and relevant links within your blog post or a landing page will help you reduce your bounce rate. Consequently, your users will have a better experience on your website.
6. Do A/B Testing
Red-colored CTAs perform the best, images with smiling people encourage users to convert, and you should place all the crucial information above the fold. These are only some of the widely believed and preached facts about landing page design.
However, many A/B tests of different landing page designs yielded surprising results. For example, social proof might not always be beneficial, and sometimes, short and simple copy is all it takes to evangelize visitors.
So, to decrease your website’s bounce rate and optimize landing pages for the best possible results, we advise you to go through the alphabet until you’ve tested your page’s layout, colors, images, CTAs, copy, etc.