There’s a good chance you already know what bounce rate is, so I won’t go too deep here. However, a quick recap may be helpful.
In short, bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions with no user interaction events. It’s important to note that visitors don’t need to hit the back button to be considered a bounce. They could close the browser window or even walk away from their computer until the session time ends.
Google Analytics automatically calculates the bounce rate of your entire domain as well as individual pages. Then, you can use this information to identify poor performing landing pages and figure out how to lower your bounce rate with the strategies below.
How to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website
Once you’ve looked at which pages on your site have the highest bounce rate, it’s time to try to reduce the bounce rate.
The key to improving bounce rate is to first identify why visitors are bouncing. Without that understanding, you can try all the strategies in the world without much success.
We’ve seen 3 main reasons that visitors bounce from a website:
- The visitor didn’t find what they were looking for
- The visitor did find what they were looking for, but didn’t know what else to do, so they just left
- The website is hard to use
Let’s look at ways to address each of these reasons.
Show Targeted Content to Engaged Users
Remember, not all bounces are bad. A user may read your article, find exactly what they wanted, and then leave. This is normal and very common for blog posts and resource sections.
But that doesn’t help your bounce rate or conversions. In this case, you want to show these users with the most relevant offer.
For example, if a user lands on a blog post about cooking, then your offer should be a recipe book instead of fashion items.
Give Users Something Else to Do
Every page on your website should have a clear call to action (CTA).
Some CTAs include purchasing a digital or physical product, opt into your email list, share your article, or fill out a contact form.
OptinMonster can serve all kinds of CTA campaigns to precisely targeted audiences.
Display External Media Onsite
Many businesses embed feeds of their own social media or video content as a way to show the latest updates but this can unintentionally create too many opportunities for visitors to bounce. They might see an interesting image from your Instagram feed and click on it. If this was the only page on your site they visited, this counts as a bounce even though they’re going to your social media.
Optimise Content for Search Intent
Another major cause of bouncing is from search engine result pages (SERPs). When a visitor clicks on a search result, they’re looking for something specific. If they don’t find the answer or solution quickly, they’ll bounce.
Improve Your Site Speed
One of the easiest ways to improve bounce rate is to improve your site speed.
Users are in a hurry and decide whether to stay on a site within the first few seconds. If your site doesn’t load quickly, they might assume it’s broken, or simply run out of patience and leave.
You can measure your site speed with tools like Pingdom and Google Page Speed. These tools also give you recommendations for boosting your site speed.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your website speedy is by using a CDN. Find the right one for you on our list of the best CDN providers to speed up your website.
Optimise Your Site for Mobile Users
Many users are browsing on mobile devices while on the go. If they see a full desktop site squashed into a tiny screen, they won’t stick around trying to figure out a way to access your site.
Make sure your site is easy to use on a smartphone. Consider creating mobile-only landing pages or using click-to-call and click-to-scroll buttons to make the mobile user experience better. You can read other best practices for mobile landing pages here.
Make Your Text Readable
While images and video capture the attention, most of the important information on a website is still communicated with text. Don’t pay so much attention to pretty visuals and fancy design that you ignore basic readability.
You need to make sure that the text on your website is easily readable on all devices. It shouldn’t be too small or else users will have to squint or zoom in to read it. Use font sizes that are large enough on smaller screens.
Choose fonts that are clear and easy to read. Cursive or handwritten accent fonts are fine when used sparingly. Use contrasting colours and enough line spacing, font weight, padding, and margin for the text to be clearly readable.
Another important point to consider is the language and style you choose to use on your website. Use easy-to-understand language in a normal conversational tone.
Split Test Headlines and Page Design
It’s possible that your content does match the visitor’s intent, but the headline or call-to-action doesn’t make that clear.
That’s why it’s important to split test the different elements on your site. A/B split testing is when you create 2 versions of the same page with different headlines, copy, imagery, social proof, or CTAs. Then you see which version performs better.
You can also create different landing pages targeting different audiences, regions, or keywords. If you are serving an international audience, then you can detect a user’s location and show them a localised landing page. Showing users content in their own language, currency, and cultural background greatly improves user experience and can help improve bounce rate.
Help Visitors Find Their Way
Your page may actually be exactly what your visitor is looking for, but if they have to scroll 80% of the way down the page to find it, chances are they’ll bounce.
Make sure your content answers the question or gets to the point quickly. If your blog post or page has multiple sections, consider adding a table of contents or button that jumps to the most interesting part.
It’s easy to get focused on metrics to the point where you forget what they represent. Your website’s bounce rate is more than just a number. It represents how well you are serving your target audience.
It tells you whether the content on your site answers their questions, solves their problems, and adds value to their lives.
So, as you do the hard work of improving your site speed, A/B testing, or optimising content for search intent, always keep your primary goal in mind. Your objective is not a low bounce rate for its own sake. It’s to provide the best possible experience for those who visit your website.