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How To Reduce Your Sites Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is not a metric many digital marketers and site owners like to look at. It is usually a depressing indication and reminder of how many users you’re leaving behind every day.

Bounce rate is basically an open rejection metric and we do take it pretty hard at times, seriously, we worked hard on this landing page, this content our call to actions and our offerings.

So why are you leaving? Why? To understand why customers leave your site you need to look at the reasons users normally bounce. To help you out I’ve put together a guide of the most common bounce rate issues and if you’re guilty of any of these mistakes you’ll know where to start with corrective actions.

Track all interaction hits

The first thing you should start with is making sure you’re tracking is indeed correct. Google Analytics by default only tracks page views as an interaction hit and if you want to get a more accurate representation of your bounce rate you may want to include additional interaction hits.

This could be things like form completes banner clicks, lightbox interactions, add to carts, newsletter sign-ups and other user actions you find important. Once you’re tracking these interaction hits, anyone who doesn’t perform these actions can now be considered bounced users.

In some cases, you may find that this reduces your bounce rate numbers dramatically and you now see a more accurate representation of what users do while on your site.

For more on interaction hit tracking check out our post – Google Analytics Interaction Hit Vs Non-Interaction Hit

Use strong call to actions

I know you love your website, your team love your website but not every customer loves your website the way you do. Never leave anything on your website to change, especially user actions.

Always try to be as explicit as possible when it comes to call to actions. It needs to a strong message, use a differentiating colour and styling so it stands out.

Protip: Make sure your call to action is above the fold on both desktop and mobile. Never let your user have to search for the next step they have to take. It needs to be as simple and as intuitive as possible.

Have a call to action above and below the fold

As mentioned above never let your user search for the call to action and while this rule is fundamental to decreasing bounce rate and improving conversion rate, every site will want to handle it in a different way.

I always encourage website owners to look at either adding secondary call to actions below the fold or creating a sticky call to action that remains on the screen regardless of scroll depth.

This is ideal for pages with long-form content, pages that host user-generated content or angular/react sites that execute content changes within the DOM as opposed to a new page load!

Improved internal interlinking

This one may seem a little weird to you but stick with me. As I mentioned before Google Analytics is a page view tracking tool and that is its primary interaction hit.

Not everyone who hits a specific landing page is ready to convert or is satisfied with the information presented on it.

Having anchor text that interlinks to relevant pages, blogs or complimenting products or services allow users to dive deeper into the site. Find more interesting content, remain on the site longer, of course, reduce your bounce rate.

Avoid pop-ups

Annoying, spammy and just a poor user experience. Don’t use pop-ups if you can help it, this isn’t 2002 anymore!

Use targetted keywords

Plenty of users who hit your website will not read your content in its entirety and would prefer to skim over it to find the pieces most relevant to them. Using keywords in key areas like your H tags, HTML markups or anchor text is a great way to highlight content that users may be looking for.

Once they’ve done a quick scroll through of the page, they can settle on the area they find most interesting. This could encourage them to convert or proceed to click through to more content on your site and lowering your bounce rate.

For tips on how to find the right keywords check out our post – Structuring Your Keyword Research

Write a compelling page title & meta description

If your bounce rate spikes come primarily from organic search, then perhaps you’re not representing your page correctly in SERPs. Try rewriting your page titles and meta descriptions to explain exactly what a user will find after click through and manage expectations.

This will help you get more targetted click-throughs and have your rankings hold steady or even improve over time.

Take advantage of open graph tags

Social media can be a real traffic driver if you’re big on producing content but also drive up your bounce rate if you do not manage expectations. As with page titles and meta descriptions, open graph tags allow you to customise the message users will see in their newsfeeds.

This is essentially your opportunity to write ad copy for your content. Make sure your message is accurate, compelling and gives the user a good idea of what they will see upon the click through.

Ensure you’re page load times are low

This is the internet and users have been spoilt with the promise of instant gratification. If your page takes more than 3 seconds to load on any device you’re going to see very high bounce rates. Streamline your pages by compressing assets, using a CDN and eliminate any script or code that is not essential to the rendering of the page.

Keep your pages lean and clean and it should reduce your bounce rate!

Mobile-friendly pages

It’s not enough in this day and age to have a website that doesn’t provide a good mobile experience. Whether you choose to go responsive, mobile-site, AMP or dynamic serving your website needs to be able to render perfectly for a host of screen sizes and mobile devices or you’re bounce rate will continue to skyrocket.

For more on mobile-friendly sites check out the following posts:

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About the author

Che Kohler

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