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How to Minimize Your Site’s Bounce Rate

Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of users who leave after viewing just one page on your site. Whether they come to your site by way of search, social media, a backlink, or an email (or by directly typing in the url into their browser) is irrelevant. What matters is they’re coming to your site, seeing one page, and then leaving—without taking additional action. Read on to learn more about how to minimize your site’s bounce rate and capture your audience.

Why Your Bounce Rate Matters

seo strategy can improve bounce rate

Having a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s more of a signal—an indication that something might need to change. The key is to understand what it means: that for whatever reason, your website visitors don’t feel the need to stay on your site for any longer. That could be because they found what they needed from your content (an answer to their question, for example), or it could mean that they saw little reason (or lacked sufficient motivation) to click around on other pages of your site.

If your goal is to keep people on your site longer—perhaps so that they go from visiting your blog to visiting your homepage or online store—decreasing your bounce rate is a worthy goal, but realize it doesn’t have to be (since people on your site have to leave eventually).

Not sure how to find your website’s bounce rate? Open the Audience Overview report inside your Google Analytics dashboard to see the “overall bounce rate” for your site — the number of single-page sessions divided by the percentage of all sessions on your site.

What You Can Do About It – Tips To Decrease Your Site’s Bounce Rate

Say you want to decrease your bounce rate. Maybe you have a landing page that’s driving SEO traffic or clicks from outbound links, but it’s not leading to the number of conversions you want. Maybe people aren’t signing up for your newsletter, or filling out your contact form (the next step in your marketing funnel). Or maybe they’re spending a good amount of time on your site, but they’re not purchasing your product, or downloading your lead magnet. What can you do?

Read up on the following tips to find out!

1. Publish Better Content

It goes without saying that if your website visitors’ aren’t finding what they’re looking for from the content they click to on your site, they’re not likely going to stick around. More than ever, having great content on your site is paramount to encouraging your website visitors to do what you want them to—whether it’s buying your products, giving you a call, or simply exploring your site even further.

You can improve your content by taking steps to ensure that it’s keyword-optimized (more on this here), well-written, well-researched, and original. You might also consider taking steps to improve how you communicate your message, as well, not only with better writing, but with images, videos, audio bites, and infographics embedded in your content. Paired with internal and external links, you can significantly improve the readability, credibility, and comprehension of your content.

Not sure what content to prioritize? In Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site > Content > All Pages. This will show you what—from all the pages on your website—which ones are getting the most action and traffic. It will also show you your Bounce Rate for each page; the percentage of people who visit and leave that page without visiting a second page. That means you can literally see what pages are most contributing the highest bounce rates—an incredibly helpful way to identify what content most needs revising.

Sometimes, the biggest reason for a high bounce rate might have nothing to do with your content itself. But rather how it makes your readers’ feel. If they don’t feel a need to click to another page on your site, they won’t. This is why creating a ‘sense of urgency’ preceding these types of conversions can help to decrease your bounce rate, as well.

By including strong calls to action (CTA’s for short) to all your landing and service pages, you can encourage your website visitors to take the next step now (not later). Great calls to action are clear, strong, and direct. You can also link to the page you want your website visitors to go to—a contact form, perhaps, or your appointment booking page—to make it even easier for them to go where you want them to, and to minimize your bounce rate.

3. Improve Your Site Speed

Nobody likes a slow site. And if your website visitors have to wait more than a few seconds (sometimes micro-seconds) for a page on your site to load, they might just back out and go elsewhere (leading to an incredibly high bounce rate). If your site pages aren’t loading in less than 3 seconds flat, consider working with a professional marketer who can give your site speed a boost.

4. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

One of the best digital marketing tips for small businesses we have to share is that having a mobile-friendly site matters. Not just because everyone is online, or because more people are using their phones and tablets to browse around the web than ever before. But because by not having a mobile-friendly site, businesses are at a disadvantage.

Non-responsive web-pages might cut off your content or appear disorganized on a mobile device. If a website visitor can’t find what they’re looking for (let alone read the content on your site) because its layout isn’t mobile-friendly, they’re going to leave and perhaps never come back. Better to invest in a mobile-friendly website than risk frustrating (and alienating) your potential customers, clients, or fans.

5. Remove Interruptions

Many businesses (and marketers) see the benefit of automatically displaying their marketing videos or sales promotion when their website visitors land on their site. In their view, they paid a ton for a cool branded video (or maybe they’re especially excited about a new promotion) and they want to show it off for everyone to see. Unfortunately, this can be a common cause of a bounce.

While some visitors may be intrigued by your promotional videos, audio clips, or promos, many more will often find it emotionally jarring—since most of them will have come to your site to find an answer to their query, or to read the content on your site. As such, automatically displaying popups (whether for newsletter signups or promos) or auto-playing video or sound-bites can often do more harm than good. As a best practice, it’s better to default to avoiding and removing interruptions than to create them.

6. Use Exit-Intent Popups

One slight caveat to the “interruption-rule” mentioned above is using what’s called ‘exit-intent popups.’ As the name suggests, these are popups that show up on a user’s screen when they try to leave your site. They’re essentially a last ditch effort to keep a website visitor on a page, and perhaps, explore around a bit, leading to a lower bounce rate.

In contrast to being a direct interruption, exit-intent popups are an opportunity for you to clear up any confusion readers might have about your business or your brand, or to provide an incentive for them to move along your marketing funnel. Whether you provide your readers with a discount code, a link to a free lead-magnet, or simply encourage them to check out another page of your site, exit-intent popups enable you to steer your website visitors away from bouncing, and on to a conversion.

Work With A Digital Marketing Pro!

Would you like to implement any of the aforementioned tips to help decrease your website’s bounce rate? Stuck on the specifics or not sure how to even get started? The team of first-rate marketers at Hercules SEO can do it all and more. We’ll help establish a baseline for your bounce-rate and help you identify and apply the myriad of ways to decrease it. Contact us today to find out about our digital marketing and SEO services and find out what we can do for your site!

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