The 7 Simplest Ways To Lower Your Bounce Rate and Get More Conversions
Every website or blog has a purpose, be it a sale, a subscription or simply conveying the message. Achieving this goal is called conversion.
The worst enemy of the conversion is the bounce rate. Most people who visit your website, unless you have perfectly targeted and optimized it leave before even reading it or taking a closer look.
You can’t convert users to buyers or subscribers when they bounce right away. So you need to lower the bounce rate as much as you can.
How do you measure the bounce rate? Using an analytics tools like Google Analytics, Piwik or Woopra allows you to check the bounce rate. Any bounce rate below 50% is OK but most bounce rates are far higher. 80% is really bad but very common for blogs.
Traffic from low quality social media sites like Reddit even results in 90 – 99% bounce rates. In case you have 80% of visitors bouncing you lose 80 users of of 100! Imagine a store where 80 out of 100 people just open the door and leave instantly.
Pleasing people who arrive on your site
Ironically most webmasters nowadays still obsess about traffic instead of focusing on lowering the bounce rate and delivering the product, service or message to the people who already arrived at their site.
It’s far easier to please the people who are on your site than frantically look out for other visitors.
That’s why I introduce to you the 7 simplest ways to lower your bounce rate and get more conversions:
Depending on what kind of visitors you have or expect,
- casual social media visitors (casuals) vaguely interested in your subject “I like blogging, let’s see what we have here”
- search visitors (searchers) keen on finding exactly what they need to know, download, buy etc.
- returning visitors (returners) wanting to get more of what you already offer, or deeper insights
you have to adapt your bounce rate lowering tactics accordingly. It’s discovery vs solving problems vs learning more.
1. Place your offer on top
Offer what the people expect right on top even when you just link to it. For the casual social media visitors you need to emphasize the new aspect of your offering. The “simplest ways to” in the title might suffice. The search visitor needs to see the keyword right there on top. It’s “lower your bounce rate” in my case.
The returning visitor has to see the additional value compared to what he already read on your blog. A gripping image as an eye catcher and a short teaser paragraph are also key for all visitors. For ecommerce sites the product and a call to action “buy here” button is key and ideally “above the fold”.
2. Do not distract
Do not distract your visitors from their purpose by offering several things at once (ads, products, plenty of links). Portal like sites have failed long ago but people still assume that you have to overload your pages. All three kinds of visitors expect the fulfilment of their wishes above the fold with no distraction. When they can’t see or find what they are after they’ll leave.
3. Be readable
Seeing just a huge junk of text without anything bold, italics or otherwise highlighted just makes me skim the text to find a clue whether I’m interested or not. In most cases, without those little clues I do not find anything and bounce. Add basic text formatting and decoration. For casual social media visitors you can even add an image with text in it.
4. Target specific topics
Don’t offer solely too broad low value information and be clear on what you offer. The most targeted search traffic comes from so called long tail queries. These are very specific inquiries or when people enter 3, 4 or 5 keywords into the search box. So when writing for targeted blog posts or product pages focus not on the very broad term like “SEO tips” but also on the very specific ones.
5. Explain acronyms and industry terms
RTFM ASAP? Bounce rate? Conversions? Some people argue I should even explain “SEO” to my visitors. Acronyms and industry terms must be explained, even if my regular visitors already know them. Some searchers just look for an explanation. Casuals often do not know them but once you explain are drawn to the “new know how”.
6. Mind the eyes
The eyes of Internet users are strained most of the time. looking long hours at the screen is not healthy. Websites that offer no white space for eyes to rest are sometimes so annoying for the visitor’s eyes that s/he will leave just because of this.
7. Place search on top
Many people who don’t find what they seek in an instant resort to search. So those visitors, especially searchers who do not find exactly what they want and who do not spot the search form will leave. If you’re after the conversion this also applies to the call to action.
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Last updated: May 26th, 2015.
* (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons image by Steve Arnold