How to Decrease Your Site’s Bounce Rate

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPotos.net
Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPotos.net

Your company’s website acts as your online face. The presence you have on your site can help you connect with your audience, maintain your brand and meet your overall business goals. In order to use your site to its fullest potential, you need visitors that stay on your site, responding to your calls to action.

What is a Bounce Rate?

A site’s bounce rate is the percentage of its visitors who land on one page, then leave the site without visiting any of its other pages. Bounce rates may be higher for things like blog posts or contact pages, since a reader may view this page, get the information he or she needs, and then leave your site.

However, a high bounce rate on your site’s main pages or the majority of the pages is usually a bad thing. When readers fail to explore your site, they may miss your calls to action, and more importantly, fail to become customers.

How to Lower a High Bounce Rate

Decreasing your site’s bounce rate may take some trial and error, but there are some things you can implement to encourage your visitors to spend more time visiting the pages on your site.

Create a User-Friendly Site

If your site loads slowly or if it’s hard to navigate, your readers won’t know how to visit other pages. They will get frustrated, or miss the information they are looking for altogether. Use very clear menus and make sure your site is running smoothly.

Share Your Message Loud and Clear

Make sure your main message is featured prominently on your site. Also include a call to action on every page, so it’s very clear what your reader needs to do and what steps are necessary for them to get the information they need.

Use Design Elements to Your Advantage

Design elements like contrast, color and the rule of thirds can help you draw attention to calls to action. Use these things to encourage readers to click through to other pages on your site. An attractive site design can also help build your brand image and trust with your audience.

Strategically Limit Your Audience’s Choices

If your readers are overwhelmed with options, they may not know which to choose, which could cause them to leave your site. Instead of giving your readers a lengthy list of things to click on, strategically narrow their options. One way to do this is to use a few different calls to action, making each an option or a link, and leaving other links deeper in your site.

Track User Patterns

Use tools like heat maps to find out how your readers use your site. Then, make changes that follow these same patterns. For example, if your readers tend to gravitate toward product descriptions, make those some of your strategically offered choices. If your audience engages more on your blog and its resources, you may want to try drawing readers in through posts and then using very clear calls to action to take them to other parts of your site. You can also perform some tests that will show you which layouts and calls to action work better than others.

Heat maps can help you see how your readers use your site. Image source

Heat maps can help you see how your readers use your site. Image source

By carefully designing your site and watching how your uses interact with it, you can decrease your bounce rates, making it more likely that your readers will respond to your calls to action.