In the world of Internet marketing, a high website bounce rate is considered a mortal blow. It's definitely a warning sign that something is wrong with your website or marketing strategy. If you want to capture more leads, bounce rate is a metric you can't afford to ignore.
Technically, website bounce rate measures the percentage of people who visit your site and leave after viewing only one page. In most cases, this means that they land on your site, look at it for a few seconds, and hit the “Back” button or close the window.
Bounce rate also tells you how effectively your brand connects with visitors, and mobile website visitors have much less patience than desktop visitors do. As Internet traffic shifts more heavily toward mobile, the best way to engage visitors and lower your bounce rate is to have a responsive design that offers a great mobile experience.
So why do people bounce? Something brought them in, like a page title, meta description, or social post, and they were at least interested enough to click. They may leave because they didn't get the information they were looking for, the page took too long to load, or because your site is too hard or confusing to navigate.
No one wants a high bounce rate. It means people aren’t engaging with your website or reading your content, and more than likely they’re not buying your products or services. Needless to say, reducing the bounce rate on your website needs to be a top priority if you want to see an increase in conversions.
Here are a few quick tips for lowering your website bounce rate:
1. Make your navigation clear.
If users can't find what they're looking for, they will leave your website. Nothing is worse than poor navigation, like menus that are difficult to use and scroll on forever. Navigation should be prominent and easily accessible. Avoid drop-down menus that only appear on hover, since these are inaccessible on touch devices. If you can’t avoid drop-downs, provide mobile users with other ways to navigate to that content.
2. Have clearly-defined CTAs in key positions.
Leaving your visitors confused or ambivalent about what to do next is a great way to have a high bounce rate. Use calls to action (CTAs) to introduce the next step you'd like them to take, whether that's a related post, a key site page, or a premium content offer.
3. Be wary of images with large file sizes.
Images with large file sizes slow down the load time of the page and causes visitors to bounce, especially on mobile devices. Try using a resource like tinypng.com to compress and reduce the file size of your images.
4. Check the typography on different devices.
Everything else about your website can be great, but if people can't easily read the words, they won't stick around. Optimize your site content with clean, easy-to-read typography and CSS mobile stylesheets that change font sizes and contrast for the smaller screens of mobile devices.
5. Attract the right visitors with the right keywords.
Hopefully, you’ve done some keyword research and have identified the keywords that you want to rank for. Just make sure that you're not also using keywords that bring in people who will turn around and leave. These harmful keywords could have multiple meanings or be so general that they can apply to your business, but may apply to entirely different industries as well.
In some cases, a long-tail keyword variation of a target keyword can bring in people who are interested in the topic, but aren't your buyer persona and are looking for something slightly different. When you attract the right people at the right stage of the buyer's journey, they'll stick around to learn more.
By now, you've probably heard about how Google's new algorithm change will negatively impact affect sites that aren't responsive or mobile friendly. This move was intended to help mobile users get more “relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
Having a responsive website is the first step to decreasing bounce rate, but you also need to consider your marketing strategy. Are you attracting the "right people" (ones who want what you sell), and are they getting what they expect once they arrive? Your buyer persona will help you understand and target your ideal customers, and give visitors what they want in a way that's easy for them.