When it comes to online businesses, the bounce rate is a sort of a boogieman. In other words, it’s the one thing we all fear and hope it doesn’t happen to us. However, just as you can send the boogieman away by turning on the lights, so can you lower your bounce rates. Therefore, let’s shed some light on what a bounce rate is and how you can minimize it.
What Is the Bounce Rate?
When it’s all down to ranking the websites it displays for any given search, Google or any other search engine, for that matter, uses an algorithm. Without wanting to go too much into detail because that’s not what this article is about, we can tell you this. The algorithm in itself uses a series of criteria to see if your website is fit for the first, second, third page and so on.
One of these criteria is the bounce rate. When Google analyzes your site, it needs to know how much time your visitors spend there on average. Simply put, the longer they stay on your site, the lower the bounce rate, and the higher your ranking will be.
If a visitor spends a long time on your site, browses through, and clicks different links here and there, then Google will consider that your website is a good one, with quality content. Visitors are happy with it and enjoy being on your site. Therefore, the search engine will rank you as high as possible.
However, when the average visitor stumbles upon your website, goes to the home page and then immediately leaves without clicking on anything else, then Google considers he bounced. The more visitors you have who bounce, the higher your bouncing rate is and the lower you rank on Google. What does this mean? That when a person performs a search, you will appear somewhere on page 20, for example. And you know nobody goes to page 20 in Google.
Here are a few words on conversions. The conversion rate is considered to be the total number of visitors to your website who actually end up taking the action course you wanted them to. For example, they might buy something, download your app or your software, subscribe, or anything else other than simply browsing around.
Now that we are on the same page, pun intended, as far as what a bounce rate and a conversion are, let’s see what you can do to improve yours.
5 Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate and Maximize Conversions
#1. Improve the readability
Believe it or not, one of the main reasons people walk away from your website is the readability of your content. Therefore, its’s not the content in itself but, rather, the way you chose to page it. In general, paragraphs should not have more than two or three sentences or two or three lines. Stay away from big blocks of writing, because they are very hard to read.
Apart from simply dividing them as much as you can, you may also use some visual stimuli to break up a block of text. Insert some images, a video or a graph to make it a lot easier and fun to read for the user.
You can also make use of bullet points when you have a list, instead of listing the items one after the other in rows upon rows of writing. Form short and straightforward sentences and stay away from passive voice.
Headings are your best friends as well. Use the Title heading to emphasize your article’s topic. For smaller paragraphs, you can use Heading 1, 2, 3, and so on. Make sure you use them in this order.
Use italics and bold for some key words. Don’t overdo it, though. The goal here is to attract your reader’s attention and keep him engaged as per the topic. Use hooks as well as calls to action, as such – ‘do this,’ ‘do that,’ ‘click on this,’ ‘register here,’ ‘call this number.’
#2. Popups are a big no
There has, and there still is, for that matter, a big debate as far as pop ups are concerned. The reason is that, on the one hand, they can help you grow your email list incredibly quickly. Therefore, they do serve their purpose. There’s no denying that. On the other hand, though, you know, just like we do, how incredibly annoying they are.
In fact, they are so annoying that they have been deemed one of the main reasons why visitors leave a website. As a consequence, they are an indirect cause for a high bounce rate.
So, how does one go about popups? If your main goal is to grow your email list, then you can use them. However, if you plan on having a website with quality content which endures the test of time and which visitors love, then it’s best to keep your distance from those pesky popups.
#3. Post fresh content all the time
Another way of keeping your visitors engaged is by constantly giving them something new to read, look at or buy. When your content is compelling and attractive, they will come. However, you also need them to return.
The logic behind this is simple enough. I went on your website. I loved reading about all the ways in which you can wrap Christmas presents. It was funny, loveable, and enjoyable. However, I can’t read the same article every day or every week, can I?
Feed your visitors new and engaging content all the time, and they will become loyal.
#4. Adjust your landing pages
In order for you to reduce your bounce rate, you need to adjust your landing pages. Here’s a quick example, so that you can understand why that is such a big problem. Let’s say that your topic, title, ad or anything in between talks about ‘courses for learning French in New York.’ However, you landing page is all about learning French in general.
After a quick scan, the visitor will leave because that’s not what he came here for. You are not providing him with the content he wants or needs or that you promised.
#5. Your visitors should be able to consume your content is a very short time
Even if you managed to adjust your landing page so that it is up to par, it would still be of no use if it takes your visitors a lot of time to go through the content. Keep it simple, clear and short. Don’t ask busy people to spend half an hour reading one article. They won’t do it. They will bounce.
Even if they prove to be interested in what you have to say or sell, they will still leave the page, bookmark it and come back. This idea might sound good, but it’s not a risk you should take. Bookmarking is not a promise. Maybe they’ll return, maybe they won’t. And, in the meantime, your bounce rate is still very high.
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