Bounce rate is an important factor to consider when analysing the performance of your website.
A “bounce” is when someone visits your website but only visits one page before leaving your website. They don’t click through a visit other pages on your website.
A high bounce rate indicates that a lot of people are only visiting one page before moving on, and for most website owners, this is something we want to avoid. We want to keep our visitors on our website as long as possible.
There are a number of factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. Think about it; what makes you leave a website almost immediately? What do you find frustrating about websites? What annoys you? Anything that you can do to avoid upsetting your website visitors is likely to help to lower your bounce rate.
In this post, I am going to explain how you can reduce the bounce rate of your website.
Improve the loading time of your website
Let’s face it, nobody likes sitting around waiting for a website load.
Studies show that the longer a website takes to load the more likely the user is to abandon what they were doing and leave your website. This will result in a high bounce rate.
Also, the loading time of your website is something that Google takes into consideration when ranking your website. Therefore the speed of your website might be stopping people finding you in the first place!
To find out how long your website takes to load, I recommend analysing your website using GTMetrix. GTMetrix provides insights from both Google and Yahoo, and provides detailed information on the aspects of your website that are slowing you down.
If your website is powered by WordPress and you are looking for ways to speed up your loading time, I suggest taking a look at this post I wrote.
Remove or delay pop-ups
Pop-ups on websites are distracting and annoying.
Imagine this: someone is visiting your website for the first time. They’re trying to find out what it is you do and offer. They’re about to start reading the copy on your homepage but then suddenly they are rudely interrupted by a pop-up.
Before they’ve even had a chance to find out about you and your website, you’re already trying to get them to sign-up to your mailing list or make an investment. That can be a massive turn-off for people.
While personally, I think the best option to not have pop-ups on your website at all, I know they convert and so I understand why people use them. Therefore, if you decided to use pop-ups on your website, add a delay so that they don’t show instantly and so the visitor has a chance to look at your website before you wave a sign-up form in their face. Or, perhaps set the pop-up to only show once the visitor reaches a certain point on your page.
Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive
With more and more people viewing websites on their mobile phones and tablets, it is essential that your website to looks good and functions well on smaller devices.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly then it will be difficult for those viewing your website on their phones to use it, and they will probably end up leaving your website as a result. Not to mention the fact Google actually penalises websites that are not mobile-friendly and so this could affect your ranking in search engines.
As well as being mobile friendly, your website should also be responsive. Remember, mobile-friendly and responsive are not the same. A website can be mobile-friendly but not responsive, and visa versa.
A responsive website will look good on all screen sizes and resolutions, not just on mobile. For example, my laptop screen is much smaller than my desktop screen, so a responsive website would look great on both.
Remove auto-playing music or videos
Nothing makes me leave a website quicker than music that automatically plays when you load up the website!
As soon as I visit a website with sound blasting out from it, I try my hardest to find out where it is coming from to make it stop. And if I can’t find the source then I’m just going to close the tab or window.
Auto-playing audio on websites is intrusive and distracting. If visitors want to listen to some music or watch a video on your website then they will choose to do so. You shouldn’t just assume they want to.
Also, consider those who are browsing your website on a mobile phone using mobile data. Watching videos can eat up a lot of data and so you should give visitors a choice to play the video or not.
Create enticing call-to-actions
Once your visitors have landed on your website, you need to give them a reason to stay.
A good way to reduce your bounce rate is to add enticing call-to-actions to your website that will encourage your visitors to take some sort of action. You’ve got your visitors attention and now you need to show them why they should stay on your website.
A call-to-action might be to sign up to your mailing to get a freebie in return, take a quiz, provide more information about your offerings, check out your blog, etc.
Make sure that your call-to-actions are clear and obvious. Use buttons that stand out and place it in an obvious place on your page; ideally near the top.
Make sure your website is accessible
As website owners, we want our website to be accessible to as many people as possible. This includes those with impairments that affect the way they use the internet and websites.
It is our responsibility to ensure our websites can be used by people with a variety of impairments including visual, speech, physical, neurological, auditory and cognitive.
If your website is difficult for someone with an impairment to use then they will be more likely to leave your website shortly after arriving.
If you are looking for ways to improve the accessibility of your website, I recommend checking out my tips here.
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