A bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave your website after visiting only one page. According to the Kissmetrics blog, the average bounce rate is 40 percent. That means that nearly half your visitors probably won’t stick around after arriving at your home page.
Obviously, you want to keep your bounce rate as low as possible, so how do you do that? Getting your bounce rate to 0 percent is not likely, but there are a series of best practices that you can implement to make your website work in your favor. Here are five ways you can reduce your bounce rate.
1. Go After Your Target Audience
You don’t want just anyone visiting your website; you want visitors that you can actually convert into clients and customers. You should implement a solid SEO strategy that involves using target keywords people are most likely to search for on Google. For example, if you offer reseller hosting services, then the target keywords you would use throughout your site would be “reseller hosting.”
Don’t include keywords that have nothing to do with the products or services you offer, even if those keywords seem related to your industry. If you run a beauty salon, but you don’t do facial shaves for men, don’t use “men’s facial care” as one of your keywords.
2. Optimize Your Home Page
Your home page is usually the first page people see when visiting your site. Your home page can make or break you; it is the determining factor as to whether or not your site visitors will remain on the site or go somewhere else.
A clear, simple, straightforward navigation bar is critical. Your site visitors came to your site because they were looking for something specific; your navigation should make it easy to find what the person was looking for. There shouldn’t be so much material on the website that your visitors’ senses are overwhelmed.
Your home page should also have a good balance of white space and easily readable web copy.
3. Provide Good Content
Once you have people’s attention, you need to provide them with compelling, engaging content that speaks directly to their needs. In addition to having clear headings and subheadings as well as good copy, there should be an obvious, direct call-to-action.
You should also have links directing visitors where to go next on the site. Don’t leave it up to them to decide where to go and what to do. Tell them what to do.
4. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Responsive
Over half of all Internet users rely on a mobile device to do their web surfing. Imagine what will happen if those mobile users visit a website that’s not mobile responsive.
They’ll go somewhere else. Do-it-yourself website design platforms like WordPress, Squarespace and Wix have some degree of mobile responsiveness built in. However, if you’re having someone design the site for you, make sure the designer prioritizes mobile responsiveness. Ask for a preview of what the site will look like on a mobile device before the site is launched.
5. Make Your Website Load Faster
48% of web users expect a website to load in two seconds or less. If you’re at the three-second mark, and the page still hasn’t finished loading, the user is likely to go to your competitor’s site.
Not only can a slow website affect your bounce rate, it can have a negative impact on your Google search ranking as well. Google favors faster websites over slower ones, so if your website is loading at a snail’s pace, it’s more likely that you’ll be left in your competitor’s dust.
You can test your site’s current speed by using the Pingdom test tool. All you have to do is enter your website’s URL and click on “Test Now.” Once the results are in, you can analyze your speed to see if you’re in good shape or if there’s room for improvement.
Here are some tips to make your website load faster:
- Remove any unnecessary plugins
- Reduce your number of banner ads
- Find a better hosting provider
These five tips should help you reduce your bounce rate significantly. They’re easy fixes to implement, and the payoff is well worth the time you’ll be putting in to work on them.
That being said, continue to analyze your bounce rate even after you’ve made these changes. Make additional changes as you see fit, and give your visitors an opportunity to leave feedback either on the website itself or social media. This will help guarantee that those who visit your site will stay on your site.