If you’re getting plenty of traffic without a good conversion rate, ask yourself this question: Is your bounce rate too high? Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your website, then leave, or “bounce” off, after viewing a single page. For example, if sixty people visit your website and thirty leave after viewing the first page, your bounce rate would be 50%. Google Analytics is the most common helpful tool for gathering site data, including your bounce rate.
Why do visitors bounce? Could it be that they found everything they were looking for and didn’t need to linger? It’s possible but unlikely. Even if they did get the answer they were searching for, you still want to keep them engaged in hopes they’ll check out more of your content. After all, you want their business, right?
It can be tough to determine why visitors leave; is the content irrelevant to what they’re searching for? Are they struggling to navigate your landing page? Are there functionality issues? Whatever the reason for their abrupt departure, the good news is there are strategies to reduce your bounce rate and keep users returning for more.
What’s a “good” bounce rate? This is tricky to pinpoint because it’s relative. It depends on your industry and where your traffic comes from. What matters most is how your bounce rate compares to your industry average. It’s more about understanding what your average means within the context of your business and ensuring that it aligns with your goals. The average real estate and title industry bounce rate hovers around 41%.
Tips for reducing your bounce rate to keep visitors coming back for more:
- Feel the need, the need for speed. A quick way for visitors to bounce is to keep them waiting. If your site is sluggish, they’ll likely go elsewhere. A simple tool to check the speed of your pages is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. You especially want your landing page to load as smoothly and quickly as possible.
- Balance functionality across all platforms. With more and more people using their mobile devices to browse, failing to optimize for smartphone screens is a mistake. However, most folks aren’t ditching their desktops anytime soon. The key here is balance. Optimize your website to run smoothly on mobile devices, but don’t neglect your desktop users’ experiences.
- Ensure readability. Your content must be valuable to your viewers, but it should also be clear and concise. Few people have the patience to endure long paragraphs of text on landing pages. Keep paragraphs short. Use bullet points, lists, quotes or images to break up the text flow. Write conclusions that summarize and offer something actionable. Make an effort to keep your content readable and attractive.
- Check for (and fix) broken links. No matter how readable your content is across multiple platforms, a surefire way to frustrate and steer visitors away is with broken links. Google doesn’t like them, which could negatively affect your search ranking. Fortunately, there are free tools, like this online broken link checker. This tool makes checking for non-functioning links quite easy, saving you the time to scour every page and blog post to check every last link.
- Choose your (key)words wisely. Most people hope to find what they’re looking for quickly. They’ll likely move on if they search using a specific keyword only to navigate to your site and see nothing relevant. So, keyword optimization is about more than just ranking. Prioritize keywords that give your visitors what they want and transfer them to sales. Use keywords that will direct visitors to content that helps them or convinces them they need to choose you for their services.
These are just a few practical tips for engaging visitors to keep them coming back for more. While it might seem overwhelming to consider everything - start small when trying to maximize your website to reduce bounce rates and, in turn, boost conversions. Above all else, know your audience while focusing on the big picture.