How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate and Why It's Important

Updated June 24, 2022

Reducing the bounce rate of their websites can be essential to many businesses that want to increase their customer outreach and revenue. If you're hoping to reduce the bounce rate on your company's website, it's important to understand the different strategies you can use to effectively accomplish the task. In this article, we discuss what bounce rate is, explain why it's important to reduce bounce rate and provide a list of steps to help you reduce it.

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What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the rate at which visitors leave the page of a website without exploring it any further. The more individuals who leave the site from the current page they're visiting, the larger the bounce rate will be. When a business has a high bounce rate for their website, it can often occur because of several contributing factors, including lack of relevant content, poor design or prolonged loading times. However, companies can reduce their bounce rate by making calculated adjustments to their homepage.

Why is it important to learn how to reduce bounce rate?

Reducing bounce rate is important because it can help increase traffic to a company's website, which may lead to boosted sales and revenue. It can also help businesses communicate their brand to help consumers understand the products and services they offer. Most often, when a company works to improve their bounce rate and focus on making their websites easier to navigate, it often helps reduce customer questions and inquiries, allowing them to find helpful and relevant information more easily.

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15 ways to reduce your bounce rate

Here is a list of strategies you can use to reduce your website's bounce rate:

1. Reduce load times

When a website takes a long time to load, it can often have a strong effect on the choice visitors make to leave or continue exploring. This can be especially true for mobile websites. Optimizing the page's load time can help reduce the bounce rate and provide individuals with content more quickly. To reduce webpage load times, have your web designers exam the code of your website and see if there are parts of the website that can be trimmed or cut. It can also be helpful to remove nonessential plug-ins and advertisements.

2. Increase readability

Increasing readability can help attract and retain the attention of a website's visitors, which can help reduce the overall bounce rate. When increasing readability, it can be helpful to break up larger paragraphs into more easily manageable chunks and make use of bulleted lists and frequent subheadings. This can provide individuals with information that they can read and absorb more efficiently. It can also allow them to navigate the webpage more easily, which can help them find the information they need more quickly and possibly encourage them to explore the site further.

3. Include a call to action

A call to action is a statement that motivates visitors to interact with the company or business. It also can help direct users toward the next steps they can take to secure or purchase a company's goods and services. When creating a call to action, focus on one or two ways individuals can communicate their needs to you and list them on your homepage. For example, if a healthcare facility was developing their website, the call to action on their homepage could be, "Call now to schedule an appointment."

Related: 51 Call-To-Action Examples and Why They Work

4. Develop an easily searchable site

Creating a search function on a company website can help visitors find the information they need more quickly with less effort. This can provide the company with some relief because they don't have to guess what information customers are searching for. If the visitor can't find what they want on their current page, they can direct their attention to the search functionality and help reduce the website's bounce rate.

If a visitor still can't find what they're looking for, it might be beneficial to add a function at the bottom of every page that allows them to contact the company regarding their questions or concerns.

5. Target keywords

Targeting keywords can help improve a website's traffic and create content that's useful for visitors. Keywords are popular questions or topics that individuals often search for online. Examining search engine analytics can help companies understand the most popular keywords people search for in their industry or field. Once they understand which keywords are most popular, companies can then develop a strong content marketing campaign that targets those questions or topics. If customers see those popular subjects being discussed on a website, they might feel motivated to explore the site further, which can reduce the bounce rate.

Read more: What Is Keyword Research? (And How To Do It)

6. Make the webpage mobile friendly

Making webpages mobile friendly can help individuals find relevant information more easily on smartphones and tablets, which may increase visitors' satisfaction and encourage them to continue using the company's website and services. When making a webpage more mobile friendly, try to test the page on multiple devices to ensure that it functions properly and the margins look aesthetically pleasing. It's also important to make sure it loads quickly and that visitors can navigate the page just as easily as they might on computer browsers.

7. Write powerful meta descriptions

A meta description is a short blurb that describes the contents of a website, blog or video. Most often, they appear on the results of a search engine page. Meta descriptions can help individuals understand what they can find on the website and if the information is relevant to what they're searching for. That's why, when creating meta descriptions, it's important to include keywords that relate to popular questions or topics. Search engines often highlight the keywords that match the search, allowing users to find what they're looking for more quickly.

Read more: Why Meta Descriptions Are Important and How To Write One

8. Ensure easy navigation

Making sure visitors can easily navigate your website can increase their satisfaction and help them find what they're looking for more efficiently. This can help reduce the bounce rate by providing them with a beneficial customer experience. A few great ways to make a website's navigation effortless include:

  • Creating tabs to transition to different pages more easily

  • Adding a search function to every page of the website

  • Including some of the most purchased items or services on the main page

  • Providing them with easy links to current promotions or sales

9. Develop relevant content

Relevant content that visitors want to see often includes articles or videos that provide individuals with helpful information, answer a specific question or provide some form of entertainment. Creating content that falls under those categories can help encourage visitors to continue exploring your website and reduce its overall bounce rate. It can also be beneficial to create content that's specifically related to your company's brand and services, which can help motivate customers to learn more about your business and possibly make a purchase.

10. Target engaged users

For some websites, it's possible that users might not explore the page further because they already found all of the information they need. When this occurs, it can be helpful to target those users with tailored advertisements and content based on their interests. For example, if a website posts recipe articles, it might be helpful to place an ad or link that directs the user to a recipe book they can purchase.

However, it's also possible to target individuals on websites through third-party applications. Some applications can retrieve user data and create advertisements on the webpage for a company's products or services using the consumer's interests as a guide. This can help encourage individuals to explore more of the webpage and discover other items or content they might find beneficial.

11. Use effective advertisements

When developing a webpage, it's important to use effective advertisements that won't interrupt an individual's browsing experience. This can help ensure that the visitor continues to explore the site and doesn't leave out of frustration or annoyance. When placing advertisements, consider using banners on the side or bottom of the webpage that lists relevant ads based on what users are reading or engaging with. This can allow you to still provide beneficial advertisements to the user without distracting them from the webpage or its content.

12. Improve storytelling

Creating content and advertisements that use a storytelling approach can help engage customers more effectively. Storytelling helps direct your content toward a target audience that has a specific problem and is searching for a solution. As you try to understand and improve the storytelling aspect of your website, consider using tools, such as customer personas and user story mapping, to develop mock personas for your target consumers and establish the steps that a customer takes from entering your website to purchasing a product or service.

These tools can provide you with a powerful insight into customer "stories," which can help you reflect on what specific challenges they might be facing and how your product can offer a solution. With this information, you can develop advertisements and content that target those stories. For example, if a customer is having trouble finding clothing that is made with comfortable fabric, a company could create content highlighting the soft and comfortable material used in their clothing products.

Related: Storytelling: Elements of a Good Story and How To Develop Your Process

13. Ensure external links open in new windows

When website visitors click on an external link that brings them to a new webpage, it can be beneficial to ensure the link opens a new browsing window. If the link opens in the same tab the visitor is currently using, it can force them to leave your site, increasing the bounce rate automatically. Allowing consumers to open the links in new windows gives them the opportunity to explore your external links and content more easily without needing to search for your website again.

14. Conduct A/B testing

A/B testing is the process of showing two or more individuals different variants of a webpage or digital content. After reviewing the webpages, they can tell companies which page they felt was most aesthetically pleasing and easier to navigate. These types of tests can help companies develop strong webpages that attract the attention of visitors more effectively. When conducting A/B testing, it can be beneficial to develop multiple variants of a webpage or article and see which ones are most receptive to users.

15. Use visuals to engage

Visuals can be a helpful tool for engaging visitors in your website's content. These can include digital items such as photos, videos, infographics and more. Creating visual elements can help individuals understand the information more quickly and allow them to share it with others more easily. This can help increase customer outreach and satisfaction.

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