If you’re tracking your site performance through an analytics tool, ‘bounce’ rates are likely a part of your vocabulary. Overall, having a bounce rate that’s neither too high or too low is the sweet spot you’ll want to aim for, although there’s work involved to get the balance right. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to ‘zero’ the scales.
In this article, we’ll work on understanding bounce rates better. We’ll also look at how they impact overall conversion rates. Then, we’ll outline some ways you can improve these rates. Let’s get started!
Understanding the Bounce Rate Sweet Spot (And Why It Matters)
When it comes to setting goals in regard to your website’s bounce rate, there’s a recommended sweet spot to aim for. Understanding this can help you strategize many of your marketing components. It’s also important to understand that a bounce rate of zero is not really a good goal to set.
In fact, if you are seeing a zero percent bounce rate, it’s likely that something is actually wrong with your website. As such, you’ll want to check whether your Google tracking code is installed twice as this will cause problems with your numbers. It can be a common solution to the issue.
Outside of any technical issues, you’ll also want to consider what a good benchmark bounce rate is for your industry and type of website. For example, blogs and content-driven websites will likely have a higher benchmark bounce rate because most visitors will consume information then leave. If you’re surprised by your bounce rate, you can also investigate each of your marketing channels to see why the number is what it is.
For instance, a high bounce rate from an ad-driven channel would be expected. This is because web users are more likely to leave your site without interacting with your content if they land there via an advertisement. Ultimately, this can have an impact on your overall conversion numbers.
3 Ways to Decrease Bounce Rates on Your Website
Once you’ve identified what your appropriate benchmark is, you can start making adjustments to help hit the sweet spot. Here are three approaches you can try.
1. Refine Your User Experience By Using Industry Best Practices
Right off the bat, you’ll want to examine your site’s design. Implementing good User Experience Design (UXD) can help increase user engagement with your content. This can ultimately decrease your bounce rate and potentially boost your conversion numbers.
UXD encompasses all aspects of the user journey. As such, one thing you can do is to review your landing pages for relevancy. This means you’ll want to make sure your marketing outreach matches your content. One reason why users bounce quickly from a landing page can be because they were targeted for one thing then served something else irrelevant to their needs.
Another takeaway from UXD is to keep your site user-focused and accessible. This can mean simplifying your menus or ensuring your page loads quickly. Ultimately, the point of UXD is to provide useful and valuable information in the most effective way.
2. Optimize Your Website for Speed
We briefly mentioned site speed in the previous item but there is a lot more to consider in this category. Site speed is vital to your website’s success. We really can’t stress this enough. In fact, nearly 70 percent of consumers researched said that a slow web page is likely to influence whether they will buy from a particular online retailer.
Another number to pay attention to is how long it takes to load your page on a mobile device. Research shows that 26.9 percent of users said they would bounce if a mobile page took longer than three seconds to load.
Also consider a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Simpy put, this caches your web content and delivers it to the user via the server physically closest to them. We’ll mention this again later, but suffice to say, a CDN offers a significant speed increase to your pages.
Finally, you could explore image optimization or ‘lazy loading’. Image optimization can help reduce the weight of images on your website, which helps them to load faster. Alternatively, lazy loading your content means your big-ticket media items won’t load until a user has scrolled to that part of the page. This can help keep a user engaged and on your website, especially if they don’t have to wait for images or content to load.
3. Increase User Engagement with Video Content
If you have the resources, including more video content on your website is another way to keep your visitors engaged and less likely to bounce. While there is a lot to understand about video metrics in order to be successful, it’s a worthwhile endeavor if you need to improve your bounce rates.
For example, videos offer a diversion during long sections of text. This can help keep your users interested. You can also incorporate animated GIFs in the same way. This all helps to make your content more accessible and readable, which is a hallmark of a well-performing web page.
If you’re on the fence about producing or editing videos, you can use podcasts in the same way. Podcasts continue to grow as a marketing opportunity and can be cost-effective to produce.
How to Recapture Users Who Bounce
As we mentioned, you’re not likely to ever see a bounce rate of zero unless there’s a technical issue with your tracking. Since you already know you’re going to have some site users bounce that you ultimately want to recapture, it’s good to have a plan in place.
Harnessing the power of your audience data is a good starting point. Once you can target the audience segment that’s bouncing the most, you can devise a suitable solution for recapturing them. This also speaks to the importance of capturing contact information.
Utilizing pop-up windows that ask for an email address is one way to approach the task. Additionally, exit-intent pop-ups are an ingenious use of ‘cursor-tracking’ technology worth checking out. This detects when a user is about to click away from the page, and engages them with a final pop-up message. You can then target users through email (depending on the information you collect) in an attempt to invite them back to your site.
How to Start Improving Your Bounce Rate Immediately
Your ability to retain website users can have a far-reaching impact on your bottom line. However, you can take comfort in the fact that there are quite a few things you can do immediately to help improve your bounce rates.
In addition to improving your UXD, you can also explore the following options:
- Test-drive a CDN in order to improve your page loading times.
- Implement site exit pop-ups to improve your ability to recapture site visitors who bounce.
- Strategize the addition of some video engagement tools to keep visitors on your site longer.
There’s no reason to delay if you’re concerned about your bounce rate. Even small changes to your content formatting can result in valuable improvements.
Losing potential customers or leads because they bounce from your website is a problem you can likely avoid, or at least diminish. Implementing a few techniques immediately can help you get started. Ultimately, you may want to look into some longer-term, larger-scale projects to improve your bounce rates.
Was there a particular technique that appealed to you in terms of reducing your bounce rate? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!
Image credit: Schanin.