How to Reduce the Bounce Rate on Your Website

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Imagine this: You’ve invested time, money, and a little heart and soul into developing a website that you’re really proud of. The site has all the copy, forms, plugins, and media you need to start generating conversions, and now you’re ready to show it off to the world. You’ve smartly invested in online advertising channels, delivering beautiful and compelling creatives to drive users to your website.

But then something unthinkable happens…your new visitors start bouncing (leaving without viewing additional pages) from your site! How could they do this to you after all of your hard work?? If this happens, don’t panic. According to KISSmetrics, the average bounce rate for a website is 40.5%, and that average can be even higher for landing pages sent from ads. 

That said, we know you want to effectively monetize your web traffic and get your visitors to convert, so it’s critical that you build a “sticky” website to keep your visitors where they belong. Fortunately, we’ve identified a few effective strategies to bring that bounce rate down—and keep it there!

Make Sure Your Landing Page Fits Your Ads
Naturally, we’re big fans of online advertising. But when taking that step, it’s important that your landing pages that receive the ad traffic continue the conversion process in a logical manner. For instance, if your ad promotes a specific product with its own description page, then you’re usually better off sending the customer to that page or a custom lander to learn more (instead of a general homepage). If you’re looking to generate leads, include a sign-up form with your offer on the other side of that click. Getting this step wrong will often confuse your audience because they won’t know where to navigate once they get to the homepage. That’s how a relevant click can turn into a lost opportunity that you also have to pay for—something you want to avoid!

Use the Right Keywords for Your Target Audience
Keywords exist in pay per click advertising so that you can target the right people. If your keywords are irrelevant or too broad, you’ll attract the wrong visitors and they won’t stick around; this is both expensive and will decrease your advertising ROI. This about it this way: What questions do your products or services answer? What specific terms will your customers type into search bars when they’re looking for exactly what you offer? Remember, keywords are a constantly-changing commodity, so you’ll want to monitor and optimize the list regularly. Make sure you update the content on your ads and landing pages with the new keywords for maximum value.

Tell Your Customers Clearly What to Do
Giving your visitors an obvious “next step” is critical. Whether that involves a call to action or easy navigation, you need to make sure that they always know where to go, what to do, and how to do it. If they get stuck at a dead end, they’ll leave. It’s as simple as that.

Always make sure you’ve tested your navigation to ensure that people can find what they need on your site. If your website offers tons of information, consider offering an on-site search bar to get them where they need to go. You should always include calls to action or suggest interesting areas of your site for them to explore; this can help your visitors understand what to do next.

Optimize Your Website Design
A balanced design is key for any website or landing page. You have only seconds to capture the attention of new visitors, which means that your layout and design need to be eye-catching but also easy to navigate for relevant information. Because we have higher standards for the quality and style of websites today (and considering the evolving talent of developers/designers who build them), it’s important to make sure your site looks like it was built this year, not in the 90s.

On the other end of the spectrum, be careful not to overdo it with the bells and whistles of design elements. Putting too many graphics, videos, or other flashy pieces can detract from the focused message you want your audience to receive (and slow down the loading process, which we’ll address next). If they’re confused about the purpose of your site, they won’t stick around to find out.

Reduce Your Load Time
Lengthy load times are a huge reason that people bounce from web pages. If your website takes more than a few seconds to load (which feels like an eternity in Internet time), then you’re going to lose out on potential customers. Moreover, they won’t come back – nearly 80% of those who have issues using an ecommerce site say they won’t return.

There are so many ways to fix this issue that it’s practically criminal not to. Make sure you test your website in every browser and on any device you can get your hands on. If your site is broken or has issues loading anywhere, then fix it right away. You can even find speed test sites that will help you learn how fast your page is loading. If it’s slow where you need it to be fast, start making changes! Common solutions are to simplify graphics using lower resolution for web than you’d use for print, and to reduce the amount of rich media you include on your various landing pages.

Open Links in New Tabs
One of the most overlooked reasons for losing visitors prematurely is when your website links to an external site in the same window—without opening a separate tab for it. It sounds minor, but the more often you direct a visitor away from your website, the less likely they will search for it again. You may also be interrupting the crucial conversion process: Since only 4% of visitors convert on the average website, it’s imperative that you make this process as seamless as possible.

This fix is simple: Just make sure that all of your links open in a new tab or window and you’ll help to avoid this headache. If your visitors are extremely interested in what you’re selling while your website is still open, that’s where you want them to stay!

Combine Best Practices for Fewer Bounces
Getting your bounce rate down by attracting the right visitors—and keeping them there—is key to most effectively monetizing your website. Following any (or all) of these tips could offer a quick fix for getting fewer people to leave your site when there’s still more for them to do. Remember: A compelling and targeted ad can bring all the visitors you want to your site, but it’s your job to keep them there. Good luck!

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