A guest post by Kate Parish.
Bounce rate is one of the most important web performance metrics. It indicates how many viewers opened one page and left.
Here’s a common scenario. You launch a blog, create qualitative content, but the bounce rate is far from perfection. What makes people bounce?
First, the site should match the visitors’ expectations. It means creating fast websites, targeting the right audience, and working on website usability. Everyone closes any site sooner or later, right? But if it’s sooner rather than later, look into the reasons why.
I can explain a high bounce rate in two ways. The first cause is your website is ideal. Literally. You place all the information visitors need so well, they get it and leave. The other one isn’t so optimistic. It means your website and content require improvement.
As this metric is ambiguous, the issue arises: do I need to track the bounce rate and tweak the website somehow? Yes, you should. By improving the bounce rate, you boost other crucial metrics as well, such as the conversion rate.
So, what are the steps to decrease the bounce rate? Let’s look at three different strategies to hook visitors.
Lower bounce rate: three questions you need to answer
1. Do you attract targeted traffic?
The first cornerstone in lowering the bounce rate is targeted traffic. In general, you should determine the target audience in any digital marketing strategy. Another term for such visitors is “quality traffic”.
These people come to your site for a specific purpose which you need to satisfy. For example, they want to cook a meal. So provide them with recipes rather than talk about the environment or other stuff.
Suppose you offer services or products on your blog. Targeted visitors will be more likely to spend their money if you resonate with what they want.
The top five ways for attracting targeted traffic are as follows:
- Involve multiple channels for cross-platform advertising
Display ads on other platforms after a user visited your site. These can be websites or social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This method ensures your brand appears just when the customer is about to make a purchase.
- Target your intended buyers
Divide your audience on social media by country, age, interests and various other factors. This allows you to attract the most valuable visitors and cater to their demands.
- Use social media as an additional communication means
Direct communication to social media to expand your reach and repurpose your content. Apart from communication, social media has become a powerful resource for retailers to sell goods. Note at which specific part of the day your audience is more active, and adjust your publications accordingly.
- Contextual advertising
This type of advertising includes PPC, or search advertising. Have you ever seen these ads in a separate block before organic results in the search? Website owners pay to appear in this section right in front of their potential customers or readers. Look at the screenshot below to get my idea.
- Optimise your site for the search
Does your site satisfy the search engines’ requirements? To ensure this, take steps in SEM (search engine marketing). Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a sure-fire way to attract a steady flow of organic traffic, even when purchasing activity is passive on the market. Another benefit is presenting the website as an authoritative resource in the sector.
2. What’s your page load speed?
The second essential factor of the bounce rate is load speed. What if a user waits too long after clicking on your link? This kills the chances to win over this visitor. According to Pingdom testing, there’s a direct connection between bounce rate and load time.
When a site loads for two seconds, the bounce rate is almost insignificant at 6%. But when you add three more seconds to this equation, the bounce rate surges up to 38%.
What would a customer think when they see nothing but a blank page? There’s nothing worth waiting for because there are dozens of other websites ready to solve the problem.
An optimal load time shouldn’t exceed three seconds as this doesn’t affect the bounce rate alone.
Resources providing a good experience are more favourable for search engines, and fast load speed is part of that assessment. In other words, the better the speed, the higher your website appears in the search engine results page (SERP).
Use free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check your load time. I used it for the Starbucks website in the screenshot below:
What does compressing, optimising and “speeding up” the website require? Optimising Magento performance or any other CMS can take the following steps:
- use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) open-source solution;
- pay attention to image compression before uploading media to the site;
- examine all external or loaded scripts, stylesheets, and plugins (then eliminate the unneeded ones);
- configure your browser’s cache;
- use a content delivery network, or CDN (distributed group of servers).
3. Are your pages easy to navigate?
Words are the basis of a blog. But if you overlook its readability, this is one of the most common reasons why visitors leave.
Why is a wall of text unacceptable? Most visitors don’t read every word of your articles from beginning to end. Instead, they skim a post in search of the answer.
How can you lower the bounce rate in this case? Make sure the website doesn’t look like a school textbook. Use proper headings, small paragraphs, and short sentences. Plus, make sure to create some visual appeal using images, videos, GIFs, etc.
Visitors should be able to read the text on any device without zooming or squinting. Here are some of the suggestions to save your readers time and effort while effectively managing content:
- choose a relevant title;
- add subheadings to divide the text into sections;
- make paragraphs and bulleted lists;
- visualise ideas with graphics and examples;
- create an interactive table of contents linking a proper segment;
- allocate text with line spacing, indentations, and margins;
- write as if you speak, as complex written language may seem unnatural and incomprehensible.
Below you can see an example of a convenient layout in the Fairy Blog Mother article. There are subheadings, a bulleted list, and paragraphs of no more than two sentences.
What will you do about your bounce rate?
You may think that examining and lowering the bounce rate is difficult. But it shouldn’t scare you away. In any case, you want to engage the audience and make it perform the desired action, don’t you? And that’s why you should focus on the metric discussed in our topic.
Start with evaluating the blog and website. Look at it from the visitors’ perspective. Is the load speed satisfactory? Is the content readable from mobiles? Remember the three pillars of the low bounce rate:
- fast load time;
- relevant information;
- targeted traffic.
All of the advice and tips from our post will help you provide a better customer experience. And they’ll show their appreciation by purchasing from you and increasing their loyalty.
About the author
Kate Parish is the chief marketing officer at Onilab with over 8 years of experience in Digital Marketing in the sphere of eCommerce web development. Kate always aspires to broaden her competency in line with cutting-edge global trends. Her primary areas of professional interest include SEO, branding, PPC, SMM, Magento PWA development, and online retail in general.
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