7 Tips for Lowering Your Website’s Bounce Rate

1 Jul 2010 | written by David Smith for the internet marketing section(s)

7 Tips for Lowering Your Website’s Bounce Rate

If visitors are leaving as soon as they land on your website, you have a problem. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re getting or how many unique visitors are stopping by–a high bounce rate means your site just isn’t working, and your visitors aren’t contributing any long-term value. It also means you’re not getting conversions. And without any conversions, just what are you gaining from your online presence? Probably not a whole lot.

So that brings us to the question: How can you lower your website’s bounce rate? Here are 7 of the most effective techniques for keeping bounce rate low.

7 Tips for Lowering Your Website’s Bounce Rate

  1. Make sure you’re targeting the right keywords—If visitors arriving from search engines are bouncing at a high rate, you have a serious problem on your hands. Search engine visitors are supposed to be people who are interested in what you have to say. Ideally, this is highly-targeted traffic that doesn’t bounce at a high rate and that converts more easily.Why are searchers bouncing from your website? It could be that you’re targeting the wrong keywords. Remember, ranking well and getting traffic from a particular keyword doesn’t mean automatic success. You need to be targeting keywords that attract buyers. So, take another look at your keywords to make sure they’re really the right ones to go after.
  2. Have a strong internal linking structure—You want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find the information they need on your website. With easy-to-understand navigation and a strong internal linking structure, you can help guide visitors through your site, ensuring they keep moving forward rather than instantly going back.
  3. Use clear, powerful headlines—In many cases, the headline is the first thing visitors will see when landing on your website. This is your chance to hook them. Your headline needs to let readers know they’re in the right place, and it needs to be interesting enough to keep them reading. Don’t try to be clever. And don’t let your headline get bogged down with technical jargon. Be clear and compelling. You can even test out different headlines to see which ones work best.
  4. Eliminate the distractions—I don’t know why some companies feel they have to crowd every available space on their website with something. It’s overwhelming, and it causes the visitor to lose focus. People can’t handle a lot of choices, so don’t throw too much stuff at them at once. Eliminate anything that’s unnecessary and distracting. This can help the reader focus on your main message and keep them moving forward on your website.
  5. Improve website loading speed—If your website doesn’t load instantly, you’re going to cause a lot of visitors to back out. The average new visitor gives your website up to 8 seconds to hook them in. If most of that time is spent with the page loading, you’ve already lost them. For conversion rate optimization, it’s important to keep your website fast and light so you don’t lose impatient visitors.
  6. Look at your traffic sources—Where is your traffic coming from? As a general rule of thumb, social media traffic (Digg, ReddIt, StumbleUpon, etc.) has a pretty high bounce rate. Visitors stop by briefly to satisfy their curiosity, and they’re gone before you know it. That’s fine, because there are other benefits to social media marketing. How about other traffic sources? If you’re paying for a banner ad, for example, and the visitors that come from there are bouncing at a high rate, you’re not getting much from that investment.
  7. Don’t use autoplay videos—I don’t know about you, but whenever I land on a website that instantly starts playing a video, my first reaction is usually to back out of the site. It’s annoying and intrusive. There’s nothing wrong with including a video on your website, and if done correctly, it can actually help you get more conversions. But please, I’m begging you, don’t use autoplay videos on your website.

Most of all, just remember to keep testing. You have to try out different things before you can know what works best for you. Always be testing, and you’ll continue to lower your site’s bounce rate and get more conversions.

What have you done to help lower your website’s bounce rate? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  • Keywords Consultants |   Jul 2nd, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Good suggestions. Interesting to find out how CRO develops in the UK. Recently we attended the online marketing show in London and too be honest not many are selling CRO as a stand alone package. Good article but im guessing your findings are rellating to just the US market?

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