High bounce rate usually means your website is not engaging or interesting.
Google demands a great user experience.
You must comply with Google’s demands if you wish to rank on its first page.
Bounce rate is one of many ranking factors that determine the quality of service of a website. It is vital that you keep the bounce rate under your control.
Here are 7 proven ways to improve bounce rate up to 42%.
But, before that…
You must understand bounce rate to implement these practices efficiently.
For Google, it’s a bounce if a user leaves your landing page without triggering any request.
What kind of request?
A request could be:
Google Analytics Tracking Code requests for a file _utm.gif every time a page is loaded into a browser.
This file contains user interaction data – this data includes:
Google counts bounces based on this data.
It won’t be considered a bounce if a user creates more than one GIF request.
To calculate a bounce rate of a specific amount of time, Google divides the number of bounces with the number of visitors.
While many leading bloggers like Brian Dean have confirmed that bounce rate is one of the ranking factors, it is still vague how Google uses it.
The same question is discussed on the Google Analytics Help page on bounce rate. The answer they gave is:
It depends on the type of your website.
If a user leaves your site after a single session, does it make much of a difference to YOU?
If your site depends on them to view more than one page, then YES – Google will take it as a negative point when determining your rank.
On the other hand:
If you have a single-page site then it’s not a big deal.
Sites that are expected to have single-page sessions won’t be affected by a high bounce rate.
In any case, you should try to keep bounce rate of your site to a minimum.
A low bounce rate shows that visitors found your site so interesting that they created more sessions.
Even if a high bounce rate has no negative impact on your site, a low bounce rate might still help you get on good side of search engines and rank higher.
If you have a low bounce rate, it’s a signal that you need to optimize your website for the user.
There is no confirmed figure for what bounce rate is too high. But, many bloggers believe to be something like this.
Your goals should be to impress the visitor by providing ease of access.
Here are tips to make your content more attractive.
A visitor shouldn’t have to search for the information he is looking for. Format your content in such a way that he feels everything exposed in front of him.
79% of visitors only scan your content, and they mostly do it in F-shaped pattern.
Structure your content for scanners instead of readers.
Start your article with a great opening that makes the reader stay on your page. A good trick is to start with a paragraph that ensures the reader that he is in the right place.
Short paragraphs are user-friendly. Internet users are more likely to read short paragraphs.
Have a look at this example.
Here’s how it should look for applying these readability practices.
Short sentences are easy to understand. Long sentences are usually complex and difficult to understand. You can also use the comma, hyphen, and semi-colons to divide a lengthy sentence into segments.
Don’t just write plain content.
Add different styles at different places to catch user’s attention. For example:
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Use words, but also add infographics to elaborate your point.
In the research ‘How Little Do Users Read’, NN Group found that only 20% of web visitors read the content. Rest of the 80% visitors are more focused on headlines.
Create a title and headings that are:
“I love sudden popups that block my view of the content,” said no web user ever.
There is a lesson to learn here.
While popups do increase your email list, they push many potential leads away.
If you don’t want these potential leads to go away and increase your bounce rate, remove popups from your website.
70% of participants showed hatred towards popups in a survey conducted in 2013.
You can Use Content Upgrade instead.
Old tricks like popups don’t work on educated users anyway.
If you have to increase your email list, try using the technique called Content Upgrade.
You offer extra content, relevant to the topic, in return for the email.
Call to action is any word or set of words that tells the user what they should do.
You have to engage your visitors and, with the help of a call to action, get them to act so they don’t increase your bounce rate.
Word Stream has shared quite insightful tips to create a perfect call to action. Here’s its summary:
One big reason for an increased bounce rate is targeting the wrong audience.
Instead of randomly increasing your traffic, focus on bringing quality traffic.
A visitor leaves your site without performing any action probably because:
If a site is not of user’s interest, it will be difficult for you to engage him.
Two biggest sources of web traffic are:
You should only target keywords that are relevant to your niche and adequately answered in the content.
In the first case: If you target keywords that are irrelevant from your website, the user will only view the landing page.
The landing page might be interesting for him. But, he won’t engage in any other action because the website is different from that page.
In latter case: The visitor won’t be impressed if your content doesn’t correctly answer the target query.
Would you visit other pages of a site if you didn’t even like the landing page?
You will find almost entire world on the social media sites – they are not all your target audience.
You either have your own social media following or you utilize paid boosting.
If you have your own following: Create social media posts that are relevant to your niche so it attracts a specific audience.
This audience will also give you a better conversion rate when they visit your website.
If you use Paid Boosting: Specify your audience as precisely as possible when boosting a post. Only people with interest in your niche should see your ad.
Most of the people now use mobile phones more than desktop and laptop devices.
Users now make Google searches while running other errands, and mobile devices are easier to access. That’s probably why more than 60% of searches are made from mobile phones.
The big question: is your site optimized for mobile devices?
If not, you have ignored a huge factor of Google ranking too.
Google uses the mobile view of your website to determine its ranking.
The reason? Of course, USER EXPERIENCE!
A website looks very ugly on mobile when it’s not optimized for it. Font and image size won’t fit or won’t be readable.
And, according to the study of Taylor and Francis Online, it only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion of your website.
This means the only action a visitor will take is hitting the back button.
A mobile-friendly website will provide better user-experience – a better user-experience will make the user want to stay and browse more.
Internal links are the links that point to pages of the same domain.
They play an important role in SEO and said to be one of Google’s ranking factors.
Internal links share the traffic of landing page with other pages of the website.
If you use an internal link that is relevant to the current topic, the user is more likely to click it.
The issue of bounce rate resolves the moment a user visits the next page.
You will see the overall bounce rate decreasing as more visitors go to other pages of your website.
You have got a visitor reading/ scanning your article; you just have to catch his attention at an internal link. The link should have an attractive (but not misleading) anchor text to persuade the user.
Colors easily catch attention. But, you only want the positive kind of attention.
For that, use high-quality images and short videos.
Both the images and videos will help in engaging the visitor.
A good practice would be to use a call to action with the video. It increases the chance of user playing that video.
Images are so effective that many websites use them as the background image of their website.
That said, don’t randomly put irrelevant images in your content. Everything you do in marketing must be planned.
Here’s a trick to decrease bounce rate:
Prompt visitors to comment on your blog.
At the end of the article, write something that will encourage readers to share their thoughts.
The user feels valued when you ask his opinion, moreover:
That’s all for 7 practices to improve bounce rate. Now, let’s revise what we have learned.
Now it’s your turn.
Share your insights on the topic. Do you know of any other practice to improve bounce rate?