A high bounce rate can be the result of a number of different issues on your website. Maybe your pages load too slow, the keywords you targeted are bringing in the wrong type of traffic or your website layout is not optimised. Whatever the reason, having a high bounce rate is bad for business.
Why is this bad? Well for one, it reduces your organic reach which means your website receives less traffic. Secondly, a high bounce reduces the amount of times your ad-units are shown, reducing your eCPM.
If you stay with us for the next 7 minutes, we will explain how bounce rate is calculated and provide 7 ways you can reduce it.
What is bounce rate?
Bourne rate is determined by the amount of people who visit a website, then leave without viewing more pages. Essentially, they come and go. There are two types of bounce traffic, they are:
- Traffic that received no value from your website and left within the first few seconds.
- Traffic that received value from your website and left as their question was answered. There had no reason to view more pages.
The second type of bouncer is ideal, they spend time reading your content, browsing your page and are more likely to engage with your ads.
The first type of bouncer is bad, they leave without even saying hello. If you get too many of the first type of bouncer, Google assumes your website is not as relevant and ranks you lower in their search results.
Here is the average bounce rate of websites according to BlastAM:
If your website has a higher bounce rate than listed, this article is exactly what you need. So how do you reduce bounce rate?
Place as many internal links as you can (and limit external links)
Internal links are embedded URL links that redirect to other parts of your website. For example, when we talk about our ad-units and or best practice ad placement we always link back to our knowledge base (that’s internal linking).
Internal links are a great way of keeping traffic on your site and increasing page and ad views, as you send them from one relevant article to the next.
An external link is a URL which points away from your website, it seems crazy to send your traffic away, right? Umm, yes and no. External links do send traffic elsewhere but they also provide your audience with external information and help you rank better in search engines (it’s SEO friendly).
Pro-tip: Limit the amount of external links you have to 2-3 per 1,000 words and make sure they are set to ‘open in new tab’, this allows traffic to view the other website while still staying on yours.
Speed up your load times
Did you know that every second it takes your website to load, the more likely someone is going to leave?
KISSmetrics revealed that as much as 25% of traffic will abandon a webpage if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load. How fast do your webpages load? Don’t know?
You can put them to the test at Pingdom and measure how fast each page is clocking.
Find the parts that are taking longer to load and fix them.
If you have a WordPress hosted website, you can download plugins such as Smush.it and caching options to speed up load times. A content delivery network is great if your website receives a lot of international traffic, as it places your content on servers located all over the world.
Improve website navigation
How easy is it to get to other parts of your website? Do you have a search bar and a clearly defined menu bar? Is your sidebar clutter-free with links to your recent posts?
Ideally, your traffic should be able to get to any page on your website within 3 clicks. The foundation to great website navigation is:
Keeping things normal – For example, visitors expect a menu bar at the top of your site, blog posts or articles in a nice row or format and the sidebar to be on the right hand side.
Viewers are not afraid of websites they know how to navigate.
Less is sometimes more – Empty space on your webpages is good, too much information or text can leave viewers confused or overloaded with data making them leave.
Check out BuildPath, they have plenty of white space, a top header menu and a right sidebar, everything looks awesome:
Make your website aesthetically pleasing – A poorly designed or ugly looking website puts visitors off from staying and coming back. The design of your website is your first impression, if it’s a bad one, it may just be your last.
Use more images and videos in content
Text heavy articles with very little pictures or videos to break things up can sometimes be very daunting to read and cause traffic to leave.
How many times have you landed on a website, scrolled through the article (before reading it) to see how long it was and whether it contained pictures or videos?
we tend to write short paragraphs, with clear subheadings and lots of pictures to break things up to make content more appealing to read. Here’s QuickSprout listing what makes create content:
Don’t mistake this tip to thinking your articles need to be very short, because that’s not what we am saying. You need to create the right article structure to get traffic to stay on your website.
we suggest using at least 1 picture or video for every 500 words of content.
Have a search bar
A search bar is an integral part of reducing bounce rate. If uses are confused or looking for something fast, they will turn to your search bar. What’s more, if you’re selling products on your website, having a search bar will increase overall profits.
Check out this study by Screen Pages, who found that their clients generate as much as 40% of their revenue solely from having a search bar in place:
Make your website responsive
We’ve said this in other articles but we will say it again, get your website responsive!
Mobile web traffic is continually on the rise, and if your website isn’t responsive, viewers are instantly going to leave killing your eCPM.
To find out if your mobile is responsive, head on over to Google’s Mobile Friendly-test, if you come across any issues you can simply change your WordPress theme to something responsive, or hire a coder to make the changes if you don’t use WordPress.
Mobile traffic is only going to get bigger, if you don’t make these changes as soon as possible, your bounce rate will increase.
Create informative content
A mistake many small websites make is producing lots of mediocre content thinking they will rank higher in Google and make more money. The fact is this: if your content is not good, people will leave your website.
If they leave, you cannot make money.
Spend time on creating quality content using the right keywords to attract traffic that will read your content and come back for more. If you can’t write amazing content, then hire a writer who can.
Pro-tip: Use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to find keywords that receive a lot of searches. For smaller businesses, target keywords that receive 1,000-8,000 keywords per month, these are small enough for you to target and bigger enough to convert traffic into $$$.
Before you go and implement these 7 highly useful tips, check your analytics to find out the current bounce rate of your website. After you make the changes, see the reduce in bounce rate and leave a comment below letting us know much it dropped!
Each tip listed has the single goal of enhancing the user experience. If you can provide your traffic with value, a clean and responsive website, they will spend more time on your website increasing your chance of conversion.