Search Engine Optimization | Anurag Gupta | Last Updated: 2019-04-22
The biggest and scariest dream of any website owner, online publisher, or even a part-time blogger is seeing their visitors turning away from their site right after loading the first page. A high bounce rate is indeed a killer for all businesses. Whether the visitor is returning from the product page, the main landing page, or simply your blog content page, seeing them bounce off can be a nightmare come true. However, there are some very valid reasons why visitors bounce off from a page and understanding them can help in minimizing the bounce rate and even boosting the conversions. If you are also a victim of constantly increasing bounce rate, here are some effective ways that can save your site and not just get your visitors to stay longer and engage more with the site but also convert into loyal re-visitors.
One of the biggest turn-offs for any site visitor is an unnecessary pop-up. Instead of getting more conversions (for which they are actually made), these pop-ups tend to make the visitors awry and never return to the site. Pop-up ads tend to disrupt the user experience and many times even make the users scroll to the back button. But if there is a dire need to add a call-to-action pop-up, make sure that is not covering the entire screen. It should be strategically placed and should not be annoying or bullying the visitors who do not want them. If the conversion is the aim, ensure that the pop-ups are in sync with the theme of the site. Keep the text short and offer something that the users cannot resist like something that has some informational article content.
Slow loading sites are the biggest promoter of bounce rate. Why would a visitor spend several seconds loading another page on a site that he has already seen loads too slowly? Speed is the main factor that determines whether a visitor stays on the page or not. In fact, today's online visitors expect a page to load within 2 seconds and would leave if it takes more than 5 seconds to load. Thus, site speed and bounce rate are inversely proportional. Any decrease in the site speed would instantly reflect on the graph of bounce rate soaring high. Conversion rate, on the other hand, is directly proportional to the site speed; an increase in the site speed can immediately affect the conversion rate and increase them by a high degree. Optimizing the page load time and ensuring the page loads instantaneously cannot just help in minimizing the bounce rate but also promise greater engagement and more conversions. One such way to do this is by implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages that offer near-instant page load and can help in minimizing the bounce rate.
One of the biggest killers of user engagement on a site is the readability or comprehensibility index. If the content on a page is not comprehensible, there are high chances the user might not be interested to stay tuned to the page. And why would he be? The formatting, elements, placement of page elements, white space, everything should be legible and well formatted. A clumsy looking page that does not let the eyes to breathe or strains the user for comprehending it would ward off the visitors. The content should be neatly broken up into headings, sub-headings, bold pointers, bullet lists, etc. so that the reader can grasp the essence in a single stare. Adding images, screenshots, tables, etc., also make the content more legible. Also, keep a track of the typography and follow these typography tips for a clear web design. All these factors play a crucial role in building user experience and ensuring they come back to your page for more such content.
Internal linking is one of the most effective ways to increase the dwell time on a site and minimize the bounce rate. But what if this internal linking is not done right? It would not just refrain from bringing the required results but also increase your bounce rate. Internally linking a content piece with several other pages on your site might tempt the site owners by getting more second clicks to reduce bounce rate. However, adding too many links on every single sentence or paragraph may lower the value of your content. Relevance should be the top concern of people planning to internally link their site to minimize the bounce rate. Make sure your linking is logical and offers value to the user.
The most effective tip that anyone can offer a site owner or a publisher, looking to increase conversion or decrease bounce rate, is to look into the user base. It is important to understand what type of audience one is targeting. Targeting the wrong set of users is one of the main reasons behind the higher bounce rate. After all, why would a visitor show interest in a site that has nothing to do with what they are looking for? Writing custom content can be very effective in bringing the right set of audience to your site and increasing conversions.
By following the ways discussed above, one can be certain to lower the bounce rate and get more engagement, dwell time, and conversions. Test them on your site and perform A/B testing to find out what is working. You can also keep a track of the same through Google Analytics and other analytics tools to understand what is actually making the readers turn away from your site. Once you've got a hint of the problem at hand, you can easily make use of the above-mentioned ways to improve it. Alternatively, you can also take SEO services from a trusted company to get your site audited for the reasons for increasing bounce rate.
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