Your site’s bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave it without taking any action. This means they “bounced” back to the search engine results without exploring your site or clicking on any links.
A normal bounce rate on most sites is between 26-40%, but it’s completely normal to have a higher bounce rate if you have a blog or news site. However, if you are like most business owners, you’ll want to keep people on your site and drive more conversions, and a high bounce rate could indicate an issue with your content and site structure.
So what can you do to keep your website’s bounce rate low? Take a look at these five tricks to see how you can maintain an optimal bounce rate and optimize your site for potential customers.
Make sure people can take the next step straight away
When people land on your website, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to take the next step. This will increase your chances of making a sale and reduce your bounce rate.
You can make it simple for people to find more information or move forward in their buying journey by:
- Giving a clear call to action (CTA) to direct people towards a final point of conversion
- Providing an on-site search feature to help people find the information they need without leaving your site
- Keeping your web design simple to ensure people don’t get lost in your content
- Making it easy for your readers to get in contact with you when they have questions or want to learn more about your products or services
If visitors can’t figure out how to take the next step with your company, they are likely to leave and find a similar prospect which can spell disaster for your conversion rate. Many web developers and marketers run a UX audit to determine if their site is user-friendly, and you can do the same to determine if there are more ways to reduce your bounce rate.
Let’s look at a few businesses that do a great job of positioning their CTA buttons and on-site search features to keep people moving through their sites.
Take a look at this example from Instant Checkmate, an online background check service provider. They do a great job of making their CTAs eye-catching and placing everything a visitor needs to convert “above the fold”. This means that users don’t have to scroll to move forward, which results in people getting the information they are looking for in a quick and efficient manner. All of this should lead to more conversions and fewer people leaving the site to find information elsewhere.
You can use the same strategy in your web design by keeping all the essential information at the top of the page to make it simple for users to enter their information and convert.
Another great example comes from DontPayFull, an online shopping discount finder. Since their goal is to help visitors find online coupons and promo codes, this company places clickable buttons to the top stores that customers are looking for.
Similar to the previous example, we can see a streamlined website design that helps their audience find the information they need without having to scroll through lots of information. The CTA buttons stand out, as does the search feature that can drive people to search for information on their site instead of leaving and potentially losing that conversion.
To ensure your visitors know how to move forward with your company, use strong CTAs that stand out from the other design elements. Keep everything a user needs to convert above the fold to prevent confusion and frustration, too.
Ensure your website displays properly on all devices
It’s no secret that your customers spend a lot of time on mobile devices. So, to boost your eCommerce store sales and keep your bounce rate low, you’ll need to optimize your site for proper display on all devices. Plus, mobile-friendly sites not only show up higher in search engine results, but they also load more quickly. Customers tend to lose patience after 3-5 seconds of load time, so keeping your page responsive will prevent them from hitting the back button.
Here are some more ways you can make your website responsive:
- Keep touchscreens in mind and don’t place clickable elements too close together to avoid confusing or aggravating your audience
- Use responsive images and videos to ensure your visuals look great on screens of all sizes
- Test your own site on real devices to see what works and what needs adjustments
Remember that your website needs to display nicely on devices of all sizes. So, choose design elements that will load quickly and look nice on various screens. Ensuring that your site is compatible with all devices means visitors will be less likely to give up on your website and bounce.
Use videos and imagery to engage visitors
Reducing your bounce rate is all about catching and keeping your website visitors’ attention, as well as providing them with the information they need in an easy and efficient manner. You can do this with clever design tricks that will captivate your audience while also drawing them through your site to find the information they are looking for.
Engaging videos, images, and graphics will capture your visitors’ attention and keep them on your site long enough to understand what you have to offer them. Here are some suggestions to ensure your website videos and images support your business goals:
- Always choose high-quality imagery that shows off your products or services
- Let your images do the talking by featuring them on your product pages to help customers envision using your items
- Showcase real people who reflect your target audience to help make a connection with potential customers
Let’s look at a company that does a great job of using images to show off the benefits of their products and engage potential customers while on their site.
This example from SchoolLockers.com, a locker supply company, shows bright, clear product images for each category. Notice how the scrolling banner at the top also offers a value proposition and strong CTAs to help direct customers through the buying process.
The company also highlights the custom colors, accessories, and other popular products available with their imagery. This allows the customer to visualize how the products can work for them and helps them find the various sizes, colors, and styles of lockers to meet their needs.
SchoolLockers.com also has an engaging video on their homepage that highlights essential company employees, customer testimonials, and images of their products in action. This helps to inform the buyer, humanize the brand, ensure people find the information they need, and reduce the site’s bounce rate as a result.
Another excellent example of powerful imagery comes from the VU Master of Nursing Online website. Not only do they use images of real nurses in the field and diverse students studying in their program, but they also offer brief videos that highlight the importance of the nursing profession to help connect the mission of their nursing program with the needs of their audience.
These videos show real nurses working with various patients. This imagery inspires potential students to pursue a master’s degree in nursing through their program. And, because the videos are embedded through YouTube, they load quickly on any device to ensure people can consume the content without buffering or other distractions.
You can use the same strategies that we see above in your web design by using diverse models representing your target audience and images or videos that help customers visualize using your products or services. This will encourage people to stay on your site and explore additional content, which can reduce your bounce rate.
Talk about your USPs above the fold
One essential item on any business start-up checklist is to formulate a way to tell your audience why your product or service is better than the others on the market. To do that, you’ll need a unique selling proposition (USP).
This should highlight your service’s benefits without people having to scroll down. By keeping your USP above the fold, you’ll ensure customers can quickly identify what value your service offers and why they should take the next step with you. This can help to keep your bounce rate low since people will be more likely to stick around to learn more.
Let’s look at a company that positions its USP at the top of its web page to connect with the needs of its customers and position itself as a trusted solution.
Take a look at this example from SunTrust, a company that offers banking services. Notice how their USP appears at the top of the website and clearly defines how their services will help customers. Users don’t have to scroll to find out precisely what checking account benefits SunTrust offers, which helps to build trust with potential customers straight away.
When formulating your website’s USP, think about what you can offer your target audience. The trick is to distill everything your company offers down to one descriptive sentence that leaves the reader wanting to know more about how you can help them.
You can use the same strategy on your website by placing your unique selling proposition at the top of your page so visitors don’t have to scroll to know exactly what you have to offer. This will catch your potential client’s attention and prevent them from bouncing to your competitor.
Carry out some A/B tests to see what customers like
It’s hard to identify what elements keep visitors on your page for longer. That’s why A/B testing is so crucial as you grow your business. It’s a great way to see how different design choices impact the overall performance of a page.
A/B testing, also known as split testing, involves launching and comparing two website versions to see which one performs better. This is an excellent strategy for improving your bounce rate because it allows you to make small changes to see which elements are causing users to bounce.
Once you have the data, see which elements help keep users on your page. If the changes you made perform statistically better than the original, make those changes. If neither performs better, try changing another element. Keep going until you find the root of your high bounce rate.
If all else fails, consider reaching out to users directly and asking them which version they prefer and why. Then, offer an incentive for their feedback, like a coupon code. This may help identify elements to tweak in your A/B testing efforts, which is an ongoing process that your company should conduct across your site throughout the year.
A high bounce rate is the symptom of a more significant issue within your website. Take the time to make adjustments and get to the root of the problem.
Not only will this help you grow your business, but it will offer critical insights into your target audience’s behavior. In time, you’ll see your bounce rate stabilize and your sales skyrocket as you give your customers the experience they want.
Looking for more ways to improve your eCommerce business? Check out the TechDee business blog for more great articles to help strengthen your company and boost your revenue.
Author bio & headshot
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.