Noticed that your website gets a lot of visitors who leave without heading to your other pages? Though high bounce rates are a common occurrence for many websites, they don’t have to be—if you’re willing to put in the work at least. So, if you’re ready to reduce bounce rate and increase conversions, Supersede Media is here to save the day!
What is bounce rate?
When someone visits your website—whether they land on your homepage, a blog post or a product page—and leaves without heading to another page, it is classed as a bounce. Bounce rate, then, is a percentage of all users who visit and exit the same page.
Why is this problematic? A high bounce rate could indicate that your content and calls to action (CTAs) are unsuccessful in persuading visitors to commit to a certain act, e.g., buying your product, or requesting a consultation. It might even point towards a misunderstanding on your end when it comes to target keywords and your general audience.
Whatever the reason is for the high bounce rate, one thing is clear: every time a visitor leaves your website without proceeding further, you’re looking at a missed opportunity.
What’s a high bounce rate?
Though it can vary depending on the industry you’re in and the size of your website, Semrush states that:
- 56-70% is on the high side
- 41-55% is average
- 26-40% is optimal
If your bounce rate is 80% or above, then you should be concerned. If it’s under 20%, it’s probably due to a tracking error (it’s extremely rare for a website to have such a low bounce rate).
But it’s not always a bad thing…
Though bounce rate is commonly viewed as a purely negative metric, it’s not always a bad thing. There are certain situations where a visitor doesn’t need to proceed further on your website.
In some cases, a visitor might have headed to your website for an answer to one of their queries, read through your content, found the answer and then exited your website without proceeding further. This counts as a bounce, despite the fact that you technically fulfilled the need of your visitor.
This is why you should take the time to look at your analytics to see which exact pages are suffering from the highest bounce rates. It could be that some of your blog posts, which were created to answer specific queries, have the highest rates simply because they’re doing their job!
12 ways to reduce bounce rate
1. Look at your site speed
Though you might assume that your high bounce rate is due to poor content, the biggest culprit is usually your site’s speed. If your website is slow to load, or difficult to interact with, your visitors are going to leave as soon as they can—there are plenty more fish in the sea as far as they’re concerned.
Don’t just take our word for it though! Google states that:
- If a page’s loading time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds, bounce rate increases by 32%
- If a page’s loading time increases from 1 second to 6 seconds, bounce rate increases by 106%
To say that it adds up to a great deal of lost opportunities would be an understatement!
If you take the time to improve your site speed, however, you will not only reduce bounce rate, you’ll also likely see improvements in your search rankings and overall conversions.
To find out exactly what needs to be done, head on over to our guide to Core Web Vitals!
2. Optimise for mobiles
In this day and age, more and more people are using their mobile devices to view websites, rather than their desktop. Despite this fact, many businesses fail to optimise their websites for mobiles, leading to issues like text that’s too small to read, content that’s wider than the actual screen and images that keep popping up all over the place.
Much like site speed, mobile optimisation is something you want to get on top of quickly to avoid alienating your audience before they even have a chance to read your content or browse your products.
To check how mobile friendly your website is, use this tool from Google. All you have to do is paste your website URL in and select ‘analyse’. You’ll then either pass the test, or be told which areas you need to improve.
3. Sort out your formatting
You know the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover? We all pretend like we don’t, but we most certainly do. That’s why poor formatting on your website—like huge chunks of paragraphs and clashing colours—can instantly push your visitors to bounce.
Unless you want to get used to your potential buyers leaving your website in favour of your competitor’s, you’ll want to do everything you can to make your website content readable and accessible. Your visitors need to be able to quickly pull the information they need from your content, without having to devote an hour of their time to the task.
To make this possible, you can:
- Write in shorter paragraphs
- Use a variety of headings to break up sections
- Add lists and bullet points
- Increase the amount of spaces
- Use some bold/italicised text (sparingly!)
- Include colourful boxes, images or videos
4. Mix up your media and content types
Have a look through your website and tell us, are you noticing any patterns? Do you tend to stick to the same standard format across your landing pages or blog posts? If your go-to action is to throw text, image, more text at your visitors, we might have found the culprit for your high bounce rate.
If visitors don’t find your pages engaging right away, they’re likely to leave without pause—even if your website holds the key to their questions and/or problems. That’s why you need to avoid cookie cutter content. You can do this by implementing different content types across your website:
- How-to guides
- Case studies and testimonials
To find more fun ways to inject some excitement into your website, check out our guide to content types!
5. Improve your website navigation
If there’s one thing that is guaranteed to put people off your site, it’s a confusing website navigation. Your website should never seem like a maze that people have to find their way through to access your pages.
To ensure your website navigation is as organised and accessible as possible, you need to make sure:
- The order of your navigation bar makes sense
- You’re using user-friendly structures and language
- To add a search bar to make things easier to access
- You include internal links to guide visitors to relevant pages
In short, you want to make things simple for visitors. They shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to access additional information. Navigate your own website as though you’re a visitor yourself and think about where a visitor might want to go and how difficult it might be for them to get there.
And don’t forget to check how your website navigation holds up on mobile devices!
6. Use exit-intent popups
Used incorrectly, popups can almost definitely increase your website’s bounce rate and lead to you turning visitors away by the dozen. No one wants to be plagued with multiple popups telling them to ‘BUY NOW’ and ‘SUBSCRIBE’. It’s off-putting and it completely ruins the user experience.
Enter: exit-intent popups. Unlike standard popups, exit-intent popups will only appear when someone intends to leave your website. The beauty of this is that, if the visitor leaves despite seeing the popup, then it’s what they intended to do anyway and it’s no skin off your nose. If they stay, however, then you’ve managed to successfully prevent a bounce!
The subject of your popup will obviously vary depending on what you’re trying to push your visitors to do. If you want them to buy a product, a last minute promotional offer might push them across the finish line. Or, if you’re eager for more email subscribers, ask them to sign up to your newsletter!
7. Make sure you understand user intent
Another key reason why bounce rates can be so high is because you’re misunderstanding your audience’s queries or needs. Your website and content should satisfy user intent, otherwise, your visitors are going to go straight back to the search results to find a website that gives them what they want.
There are a few ways in which you can gain insight into your audience and what they’re after with your website:
- Buyer personas: to convert your visitors to customers, you must first understand who they are. You can do this by creating buyer personas.
- Keyword research: look at what your audience is searching for and make sure you understand what their intent is.
- Competitor analysis: look at what your competitors are ranking well for and consider whether you’ve understood user intent the same way they have.
Once you establish what it is your audience is after, and what they’re expecting to find on your website, you’ll be able to adjust your pages accordingly.
8. Refine your content strategy
Once you know your audience and their intent, you can use it to refine your content strategy. Taking the time to ensure your content actually serves a purpose is vital not only in helping you reduce bounce rate, but also increasing conversions and brand awareness. Whether it’s to entertain, inform or convert, every piece of content you write should be there for a reason.
No idea where to start? Try our tips for creating a content strategy!
9. Look over your old content
Your visitors aren’t just landing on your website due to new content—some of them might very well be looking at your older landing pages and blog posts. If that is indeed the case (be sure to consult Google Analytics to check), your high bounce rates might be down to:
- Badly written content
- Irrelevant keywords
- Poor optimisation
In any case, it’s important to look over your old content to make sure that it’s up to scratch. To do this, you can run a content audit to establish what needs to be reworked, repurposed, consolidated or deleted.
10. Check your metadata
One of the reasons why visitors end up clicking on your website—other than its position in the SERPs when they search for something—is because of your title tag and meta description. Whilst it can seem frustrating to fill out this metadata, it’s vital in attracting visitors to your website. That’s why you need to make sure that it’s clear, concise and, above all, relevant.
If you’ve got a meta description that talks about ‘SEO tips for beginners’ in an article that is actually geared towards experts, you’ve got a clear problem on your hands—you’re reeling in the wrong people.
Misleading metadata is a sure-fire way to increase your bounce rate, so it’s vital that you work your way through your existing content to make sure everything’s shipshape. A good way to do this is by running a Screaming Frog scan. It will give you all of your current metadata, so that you can run a quick audit to check everything is relevant.
11. Brush up your CTAs
Your call to action (CTA) is what pushes your visitors to take action on your website, whether that’s to buy a product, download one of your whitepapers or subscribe to your newsletter. If the copy isn’t powerful enough, or the placement is off, however, your visitors will choose to ignore it and bounce.
Every aspect of your CTA needs to be considered, including its:
As tempting as it can be to shoehorn multiple CTAs into your copy—in the hopes of nudging customers through your sales funnel—you should only use one per page. Too many CTAs can overwhelm your customers, making it difficult for them to figure out what action(s) they’re supposed to take. Additionally, it can make your website seem too salesy, which is instantly off-putting to a lot of people.
12. Try A/B testing
Now that you’ve got some ideas as to why your bounce rate is so high, you can start to craft your solutions. Instead of making changes and hoping for the best, you can test them first with A/B testing. What this means is that you create two different versions of the same page and these versions will then be shown to different visitors when they arrive on your website.
It’s important that you choose only one variable to test each time, otherwise you’ll have no way of knowing which variable was responsible for your visitors’ behaviour. Example variables include:
- CTA colour
- Copy formatting
- Website navigation
After a certain period of time, usually at least one day, you’ll be able to accurately measure which page has performed best in terms of retaining visitors. This will then tell you which changes you need to make to the rest of your website.
You can get a better understanding of this process in our guide to A/B testing for email marketing. Though it’s email specific, most of it can still be applied to websites.
Now you’ve made your way through our guide you should be more than equipped to reduce bounce rate on your website and increase conversions. For more advice, head on over to the Supersede Blog, or get in touch with us directly!