A high organic search bounce rate can indicate that your site is poorly designed visually, difficult to navigate, lacking content, or unclear in terms of a call to action. A high bounce rate for paid search (PPC) can indicate all of those same things, or simply that your landing page isn’t relevant to what the user was searching for or doesn’t live up to the expectation established in the ad.
Here are some ways to reduce bounce rate on your site:
1. Remove Pop-Ups
People hate pop-ups. They just do. So if you’re selling ad space on your site that’s opening a pop-up window when people visit (or even if you’re just paying for one of those visitor survey programs where a window pops-up and asked for feedback from visitors), you need to stop. Stop now, like immediately; and watch, your bounce rate will drop significantly.
2. Ensure Site Load Time is Appropriate
Having a slow loading website is the easiest way to get visitors to leave your site. In this fast-as-lightning digital age people don’t want to wait for anything. Make sure to do speed tests on your site periodically to check your site’s performance.
3. Provide Relevant Information
Sometimes people aren’t leaving because they’re uninterested in what you have to offer. Sometimes people just need more information that you’re providing so they need to go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for before they can decide if they want to buy from you or sign up with you. Giving visitors the information they need on your site reduces the possibility that they’ll leave to go find the information somewhere else and get intercepted by another company along the way.
4. Remember that Visual Appearance Matters
Don’t take point that last point too far. You don’t want to provide tons of information and forget about the design of the site. People need information, but they would prefer pretty information or at least information in a professional looking manner. A lot of business owners underestimate just how much online users associate a nice looking design with credibility.
5. Have A Clear Call to Action
Tell visitors what you want them to do next. Use calls to action on your site to bring visitors along a path that ultimately serves your overall goal (whether that goal is a sale, a form completion, a call, a request for a quote, a download, a trial sign-up, etc.).
6. Make Navigation Easy
Having too many categories or subcategories can overwhelm visitors, leaving them with decision-paralysis and ultimately end in them just leaving to find another site that’s easier to use. Homepage clutter can have the same effect.
7. Optimize for Mobile
A lot of people browse sites on their mobile devices (phones and tablets) so if your site isn’t mobile optimized it can lead to a high bounce rate across mobile devices. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve missed your chance at reaching these users, as some of them may return at a later date on a regular device if they remember your name. But, it’s better to just serve them content that will work for their device the first time to reduce the potential of losing their business.
8. Check Site Rendering in Multiple Browsers
If you are doing design work on your site make sure you check in as many browsers as possible, not just your preferred browser. Design elements can often render differently across Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
Have questions about your bounce rate or just about your site in general? We’ve been doing website consulting on non-profit and for profit business websites for many years! Let us take a look!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!
Photo from Flickr (Sara Morishige)