If you're working on improving your clients’ 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 a site but doesn't interact with more than one page before leaving. In other words, a bounce is a single-page session to a website.
Why Should You Care About Bounce Rate?
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 clients’ sites ranking in search engines as it indicates a low-quality user experience.
The good news is that once you've determined your client’s bounce rate percentage, there are plenty of tactics you can do to try to entice visitors to stay longer and ideally make a purchase.
What’s a Good Bounce Rate?
A high bounce rate is seen as bad, but what exactly is a "good" bounce rate? And how can you go about improving a website's bounce rate?
There is no definitive answer to what constitutes a "good" bounce rate– it varies depending on your client’s business and their website goals. However, if the bounce rate is significantly higher than your client’s industry average, there's definitely room for improvement.
A high bounce rate is not necessarily bad if the user has found what they were looking for on the page. If they landed on the page from a search engine, chances are they were looking for something specific, and once they found it, there was no need to stay on the page. In this case, a high bounce rate can be good because it means you're giving users exactly what they want.
Of course, there are also cases where a high bounce rate can be indicative of problems with your website. If users are landing on your page and immediately leaving, it could be because the content is not relevant to them or because the site is difficult to navigate.
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 to give yourself a benchmark and then track your progress as you make changes.
Bounce Rate Tips
Below we've compiled a list of 7 tips you can use to decrease your bounce rate and improve a website's user experience.
1. Use Google Analytics To Analyze Your Site's Bounce Rate
One of the first steps is to tap into Google Analytics to analyze a 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 on your client’s digital marketing analytics to ensure the changes are having a positive effect.
AgencyAnalytics integrates with Google Analytics so you can monitor your bounce rate efficiently alongside other Google Analytics metrics:
2. Utilize A/B Testing
After you've determined your client’s 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 CTAs, 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 each version of your client’s website to a segment of their visitors. This helps you determine which page 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.
3. Make Your Webpages Easy To Read
This may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised at how many people get caught up in the design of their site and don't consider whether the text is easy to read or if 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.
Font size is an important part of website design. Making sure fonts are large enough can help improve the bounce rate, especially for mobile devices. When text is difficult to read, visitors are likely to leave the page without taking any other action. There are a few things web designers can do to improve font size:
Use a responsive design that automatically adjusts font size based on the device being used.
Create style sheets that include larger font sizes for devices that need it.
Use an online tool to test how well fonts are displayed on different devices.
You should also avoid large chunks of text that might overwhelm a user—chances are they'll skim right past it. Provide subheadings and bullet points, so the content is more digestible.
4. 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 action, for example, clicking on a link, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing on social media. Make sure the text or button is visually appealing and links to something that customers will want to click on, such as a related post or 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 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:
One exception to this rule could include blog posts, as you may want to engage the user first with compelling content rather than throwing a CTA in their face right away. They may not be ready to take any next steps within the first few seconds.
5. Avoid Using Pop-ups
Do you like to be inundated with popups when you visit a website? Probably not, and neither do others. They annoy visitors and compel them to leave your client’s site, thereby increasing your bounce rate. Some marketers will swear by their effectiveness, but you will often find that 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 most people that popups aren't an effective strategy and should be avoided whenever possible.
However, if you must use a popup, use exit popups instead, and customize each page with its own intent popups. After all, if they were about to leave anyway, there’s little chance it will negatively impact the bounce rate.
You can do this by analyzing where they are coming from, what they are looking for, and what they do when they get to your site. Once you know this information, you can create targeted content that will keep them on your site longer.
6. Use Videos and Images To Engage Your Audience
Instead of resorting to annoying popups, consider incorporating videos and images into your website pages to attract your audience and convince them to stick around. After all, nobody likes being confronted by an overwhelming wall of text.
Videos are powerful and extremely effective and can be added to any page to grab the attention of visitors. By keeping users engaged, you increase the chances that they will take another action on the site, thereby improving the bounce rate.
There are a few different ways you can go about doing this. First, you can embed videos directly onto your website. This is a great way to keep visitors on your site longer and give them something interesting and engaging to watch.
Another way to use videos to improve a website's bounce rate is to post them on social media. This is a great way to get more people to your client’s site and to keep them engaged once they're there.
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.
7. 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 will 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 to optimize all your pages and make sure they load in a timely manner.
Mobile devices have surpassed the use of desktop devices years ago. So there is no point in telling you the obvious. However, if the website is not designed for mobile devices, you will likely experience a high bounce rate.
This means creating a website that looks and feels good on a tablet or phone and making it easy to use. Pinch-to-zoom, font size, viewport, load time, all of these should be viewed mobile-first since the majority of your client’s site will come from mobile devices.
This can be done by using a responsive design, optimizing your images and videos, and reducing the loading time of your website.
8. Optimize Your Linking Structure
If you want to improve your website's bounce rate, one of the best things you can do is optimize your internal linking structure. By making sure that your links are easy to find and relevant to the page they're on, you can keep visitors engaged with your site and reduce the number of people who leave after only viewing one page.
Here Are a Few Tips for Optimizing Internal Linking Structure:
Use descriptive anchor text. The text that appears when someone hovers over a link is called anchor text. Using descriptive anchor text (e.g., "Click here for more information about our product.") helps visitors understand what they'll find if they follow click through the link.
When creating internal links, it’s important to use relevant anchor text (the clickable text within a hyperlink) that accurately describes the target page.
Make sure links are relevant and add value for the user. Don't link for the sake of it - only add links that will be useful for your visitors.
Use keyword-rich anchor text, so users know what they're clicking on. This will also help with SEO.
Try to use natural language rather than just listing out keywords - this will make your site more user-friendly and easier to navigate.
Another way to help improve your bounce rate is to set external links to open in new windows. This way, people will still be able to view your site even if they click on a link that takes them away from your client’s site.
How To Write Content That Improves Bounce Rates
While the above bounce rate tips can help improve your existing content, it’s time to reflect back on your content strategy to determine if you need to revise it to improve the bounce rate.
Here are a few content types that can help engage your client’s visitors to stay longer.
If you can offer something useful to your customers for free, this will build a relationship with them and encourage them to make a purchase with you in the future. It also provides you with a chance to demonstrate that you’re an authority in your field and that you genuinely know what you’re doing.
To provide you with some inspiration, let’s look at some companies already implementing this strategy very well.
For instance, FreshBooks is an accounting software provider, and they offer a series of free invoice templates that their target customers—freelancers and small business owners—are sure to benefit from. By offering these templates for free, they can build trust with their target audience and encourage them to sign up for their software program in the future. Plus, this is the type of content that’s sure to get the company plenty of website clicks.
Similarly, Uplift Legal Funding, a legal loan provider, has a lawsuit loan calculator. This can help prospective clients determine how much it will cost them to take out a loan to fight a legal case. Of course, this is relevant to the company’s services, but it also provides a lot of value for people who might be looking to take out this type of loan. So, it’s a piece of interactive content that can attract a lot of clicks, leads, and customers for the company.
How-to guides are another great form of high-performing content. If you can demonstrate your knowledge on a relevant topic in your industry, consider compiling it into a how-to guide. Not only will this be genuinely helpful for your target audience, but it can help you target relevant keywords, that align to the user's search intent, and attract people that might want to use your services.
For example, we have a how-to guide to improving your Google Ad optimization checklist. The guide covers just about everything someone would want to know about Google Ads, whether you’re an expert or a beginner.
The guide covers keyword research, on-page SEO, how to avoid penalties, and more. Showing off his knowledge and expertise in this written tutorial can attract a lot of relevant web traffic, ultimately leading to more sales for the business.
Blog Posts That Answer Customer Questions
Answering customer questions with your blog content is a great way to attract them to your website and show that you understand their concerns or pain points. To start, check in with your customer service team and find out if there are any questions they get frequently. Creating content based on these queries will not only boost your SEO and attract more website visitors, but it can also save your customer service team time in the long run.
You can also conduct some question keyword research in order to find out what your customers are asking search engines. Head to Answer the Public and plug in some search terms related to your niche. The tool will provide you with various questions people are searching for, and you can use these to direct your content.
For example, the dog walking website Rover focuses on answering customer questions in their blog content like their article that answers whether daffodils are poisonous to dogs. Since their target audience consists of dog walkers and pet owners, this is a very relevant piece of content. This can help boost their SEO and build a sense of trust between the company and its readers. It’s also sure to generate a lot of clicks for the website.
Data storytelling is also a great way to take unique information, insights, and data points that only your company has and present it in a way that would be of interest to the target customer.
Comparison pieces are ideal for helping your customers to make more informed purchases, and they can also help to attract the right people to your client’s website.
In a comparison piece, you should outline several similar products, services, or tools your audience might consider investing in. You can then compare all of the pros, cons, and features so a reader will have all of the information they need to make the right decision.
This type of content is great for getting more people to your website, as it will catch people in the consideration or decision stages of the buying journey. Plus, this type of content shows that you truly have your customers’ best interests at heart and helps to earn their trust.
For example, Best Nursing Programs is a website that focuses on helping aspiring healthcare professionals to take the next step in their education. So, they publish a wide range of comparison pieces to assist with this—their round-up of the best accelerated BSN nursing programs in the US is a fantastic one.
They discuss the program lengths, costs, graduation rates, and more associated with each course. In doing so, they’ve created a high-quality piece of content that provides a huge amount of value for their target audience and will likely attract a lot of visitors.
Consider whether you could create similar content for your website. Are there similar products or services your audience might be looking at? Compare them to assist your prospective customers in making the best decision.
As well as creating the right types of content, you also need to ensure that you’re promoting it properly. To start, social media is one of the most effective tools for content sharing. Additionally, most of these platforms have built-in tools that give you even more data on what your most popular posts are. Collecting and analyzing this data can help you to ensure you’re developing the best content strategy possible.
If you do decide to go down the localized route, there are a number of strategies you can use. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective.
Create Location-Specific Web Pages
If your business has a number of physical locations, it’s often worth creating an individual web page for each. These should include specific information about each store, such as the opening hours, the services they provide, which team members work there, and how people can reach you.
For instance, Bay Property Management Group is a real estate company with a variety of different offices, and they have a location page for each of them. On their page for their Baltimore County location, the company gives specific information about the office’s hours, fees, and more.
They even have a carousel of reviews that are tailored to the staff and services at this specific location. This information shows the viewer that their local Bay Property Management Group office is trustworthy and helpful.
If you have physical locations or discover that a lot of your customers are based in a particular area, it could be worth using a similar technique on your website.
Publish Local Content
Publishing content that’s relevant to the area you serve can also be a great way to boost your local SEO and attract more of your ideal customers. Depending on the type of business your clients run, you could create round-ups of local stores, guides about the surrounding area, and more. If they’re actually active in the local community, you could even create content about events or charity initiatives you’ve been involved with.
For example, Tillamook, a dairy company in the Pacific Northwest, has published a blog post all about a local food drive they attended. In their article, they discuss their sponsorship of the KGW Newschannel 8 Great Food Drive and how they were able to help collect over 2 million pounds of food.
This type of content shows that Tillamook cares about its community and wants to help make it a better place to live in. This builds a relationship with prospective customers in the area, which can lead to more sales in the future. Consider whether this is an approach you could take, too.
Target Local Keywords
If you have a lot of customers or clients in one area, it might also be worth targeting local keywords in your content and website copy. If you run a hair salon in Washington, for instance, targeting the key phrase “hair salon in Seattle” could help you reach more of your customers through search engines.
For inspiration, let’s look at an example from Redmann Law, a law firm based in New Orleans. They’ve successfully targeted a whole host of local keywords on their New Orleans car accident lawyer service page and are reaping the rewards as a result.
According to Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, the webpage currently ranks on the first page of Google for 58 keywords that contain the phrase “New Orleans.” These keywords have a collective monthly search volume of 3,300, so that’s how many people this page could reach each month through local Google searches.
If you’re trying to reach more customers in a specific area, it’s worth taking a leaf out of Redmann Law’s book and targeting local keywords in this way. Study how they’ve naturally woven these into their copy, from their headline to the end of their service page’s body copy. Using a similar tactic could help you to reach your ideal audience. And you can use a local SEO report template to track and report on your progress.
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 worth checking out.
Rebecca is based in Fort Collins, CO. When she's not focused on marketing, you'll find her skiing or hiking in the Rockies.Read more posts by Rebecca Bowden ›