10 days to a better bounce rate

By Emma Grant Posted Dec. 12, 2014 Reading time: 4 minutes

This time of year people begin to think about bettering themselves by making positive changes in their lives or business. There seems to be no shortage of great advice to make yourself better in just a few short days with a little focus. If you run a website the ways you can improve its overall function may be on your mind. The good news is that just like any other area of your life you can take a few days to really look at your site and make small adjustments that will lead to a big payoff.  One of the most effective ways to do this is to actually keep your visitors on your site.

The bounce rate is a percentage of visitors who leave your page immediately after landing on your website without clicking onto other pages. The main aim of most site owners is to develop loyal followers, but it can be very difficult to build a following when people leave your website without looking around and understanding exactly what you have to offer. This makes reducing a high bounce rate vital in growing your audience. Take time over the next couple of weeks to implement these strategies, and you may just see your bounce rate go in the right direction.


Day 1: Reduce load time

Long load time is one of the main factors that cause a high bounce rate. Most internet users, especially web savvy readers, can be very impatient and they will always run away from websites that take too long to load. If it is difficult to get what they are looking for then they will look elsewhere. On the other hand, fast loading sites score higher on search engines. Make sure that you are caching your site’s information and reduce the size of images by compressing them to make a big adjustment in your site speed.


Day 2: Look at navigation

No one will stay on a website they can’t navigate. Your navigation should be clear, prominent and easily accessible. Place your menu where users automatically look for them. Take time to think about where you want your visitors to go, and make it incredibly easy for them to find it. You can also reduce the number of options on the menu and increase search functionality to make it easy for your visitors to find what they want.


Day 3: Eliminate the clutter

Too many choices can easily confuse your visitors and impair action. You should avoid bombardment of information especially on the homepage and keep disruptive pop ups and animation to a minimum whenever possible. You should not do anything to interrupt your visitors once they start engaging with the content. 


Day 4: Assess your ads

The ads on your site should not be intrusive. Visitors can run away from your website simply because ads pop over the products they are checking out or the content they are reading. Ads should not be placed where your visitors look for information. You should avoid placing ads in areas such as the search box, menu bar and content area. If someone has to close more than one window to read your post then you have too many distractions.


Day 5: Use a compelling CTA

It should be very easy for visitors to identify a call to action that drives them to the next stage. This is very important especially if the visitors are landing on your product or service pages directly. Without prominent calls to action, visitors feel stranded and they might even leave the page. Directional clues and opt in boxes are excellent ways of displaying your call to action prominently. Make it compelling by giving away something related to the content on the page.


Day 6: Promote engagement

At the end of posts, videos or even main pages ask your visitors for an opinion. Ask them for questions. Ask them to talk to you about anything! Then follow up with their emails and comments to build a relationship that will last.


Day 7: Update your look

The general design of your website plays a critical role in influencing the perception of your visitors about its credibility. A bad design can breed distrust while a good design makes sure web users take you seriously. It is extremely important to invest in an uncluttered and neat design while ensuring consistency in terms of colors, layouts and fonts. If you have done the steps up until now you are probably looking good.  Just a few more tweaks, and you will have it…


Day 8: Responsiveness

Visitors access your site using various devices including laptops, tablets, and smart phones or even use different devices at different stages. More than 50% of web users access the internet using mobile devices. A responsive layout will provide an optimal browsing and viewing experience across various devices and browsers. You can also use style sheets and high resolution images in order to improve the sharpness and fidelity of your images on small screens. Site speed is also crucial to retaining mobile visitors.


Day 9: Start delivering

If your website gets traffic but fails to satisfy people when they come; then your visitors are more likely to bounce. This goes for each piece of content and the site overall.  If you say that a post will deliver great tips on gardening then your visitor should feel like gardening when they are done. If you say you’ll have a new post every Wednesday then Thursday is too late.  You have to do what you say you are going to do.


Day 10 and beyond: Provide quality content

It is vital to have a clear message, attractive titles, and easy to read content in order to capture the attention of a new visitor. The content should be tailored to the specific needs of the intended audience. By using attractive titles and providing quality and error-free content, there is a good chance that your visitor will click through to your other posts.

Nowadays people simply scan content in order to get information quickly. Therefore, you should use short paragraphs, bullet points and graphics in order to ensure that your visitors can get what they want quickly and easily.

In the end there is only one thing you can do to make a person stay, and that is to show them what they want, how they want it, as fast as possible.


Featured image, bounce image via Shutterstock.