If you're working on improving your organic search rankings and conversions, bounce rate is one of the most important metrics to focus on.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of sessions where a user goes to your site but doesn't interact with more than one page before leaving. In other words, a bounce is a single-page session to your website.
If your website has a high bounce rate percentage, chances are it also has a low conversion rate. In addition, a high bounce rate may negatively impact your sites ranking in search engines as it indicates a low-quality user experience.
The good news is that once you've determined your bounce rate percentage, there are plenty of tactics you can do to try to entice visitors to stay longer and ideally make a purchase. Below we've compiled a list of 7 tips you can use to decrease your bounce rate and improve your website's user experience.
Use Google Analytics to Analyze your Site's Bounce Rate
One of the first steps is to tap into Google Analytics in order to analyze your site's bounce rate. You can compare the bounce rates of various web pages to see if some are functioning better than others. Once you've determined where there is room for improvement, make the necessary changes and then continue to check back with Google Analytics to ensure the changes are having a positive effect.
If you're using AgencyAnalytics, the app integrates with Google Analytics so you can monitor your bounce rate efficiently alongside other marketing metrics:
Keep in mind there isn't necessarily a "good" bounce rate metric as this differs for every company and industry. Instead, you should monitor the site's bounce rate in order to give yourself a benchmark, and then track your progress as you make changes.
Utilize A/B Testing
After you've determined your bounce rate, you'll most likely want to utilize A/B testing when integrating some of the tips below so you can compare how each strategy performs. For example, you can A/B test things like different keywords, various landing page designs, different target audiences, and so on.
A/B testing will make it easy to see what's working and what isn't as it allows you to serve one version of your website to a portion of your visitors, and another version to the other portion, thus helping you determine which is more effective. And again, you should always go back to Google Analytics to track your bounce rate so you have definitive numbers to back up your tests.
If you're unsure how to get started with A/B testing, check out Optimizely's resource on the topic here.
Make Your Webpages Easy to Read
This may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people get caught up in the design of their site and don't consider whether the text is easy to read or that the pages are easy to navigate. There's nothing more frustrating for a user than a convoluted website that doesn't have a clear design, and it's one of the top reasons why users abandon a site before converting. Your text should be readable and legible, and you should try to avoid large chunks of text that might overwhelm a user—chances are they'll skim right past it.
Include Clear CTAs and Consider Their Placement
If your site doesn't have compelling call-to-actions (CTAs), that's another area that you should work on improving. CTAs should engage users and compel them to take an action, for example, clicking on a link, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing on social media. Make the text or button are visually appealing, and link to something that customers will want to click on, such as a free trial of your product.
You should also consider the placement of your CTAs. If you feel like they're engaging but you're not getting the desired response, they may simply be in the wrong place. Most users will decide to stay on or leave a website within a few seconds, which means they're likely not going to go searching the page for a CTA. It should be immediately visible to users in order to entice them to click through.
Consider this example from Evernote—the call to action appears immediately on their homepage and the text is clear and compelling:
Avoid Using Pop-ups
When you visit a website, do you like to be inundated with popups? Probably not, and neither do your users. They annoy visitors and compel them to leave your site, thereby increasing your bounce rate. Some marketers will swear by their effectiveness, but I truly believe there are better ways to engage your audience. According to Neil Patel, only 4% of consumers will consider responding to a popup ad, compared to 51% who respond positively to email offers. Those statistics are enough to convince me that popups aren't an effective strategy and should be avoided at all costs.
Use Videos and Images to Engage Your Audience
Instead of resorting to annoying popups, consider incorporating videos and images into your website pages in order to attract your audience and convince them to stick around. Videos are powerful and extremely effective and can be added to any page in order to grab the attention of visitors.
Images can also be a powerful tool, as long as they're high quality. No one is going to be impressed by a grainy image, so if you're going to use photos make sure you choose quality ones and place them in optimal spaces on your site.
Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
Another way to quickly turn away users is to have a website that loads slowly. Again, visitors to your site will most likely decide in a matter of seconds whether they're going to stay on the site or bounce. If your site hasn't fully loaded in those seconds the decision is going to be easy for them. Google PageSpeed Insights is an extremely easy-to-use tool that can help show you what needs improvement in terms of page speed in order to optimize all your pages and make sure they load in a timely manner.
If you still find yourself stuck in this area, you may want to check out the competition to see what they're doing to combat bounce rates. To do so, we put together a helpful list of competitor analysis tools that are worth checking out.