Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate

A lot of work and strategy goes into getting new visitors to land on your website.

So when a user visits your site, the last thing you want to happen is for them to leave or “bounce” away. You want them to stay on the page, learn about your business and your offerings, and enter their information to become a lead.

To accomplish that, use the following tips to keep audiences on your site longer, lower your website’s bounce rate, and increase your odds of turning visitors into valuable, high-quality leads.

Make a Good First Impression

When a user visits your website, they are going to make an instant, snap judgment based on what they see.

A study by Missouri University of Science and Technology found that it takes less than two-tenths of a second for online visitors to form an opinion about a brand once they look at a website.

It’s that split-second judgment that can cause a new user to bounce off your website or stay and form a connection with your business. To lower your website’s bounce rate and ensure that users stick around, you must have:

  • Contemporary website design. An outdated site looks untrustworthy and out-of-touch, and it will quickly send users off the page. Use a website design that employs fresh, modern layouts and functionality.
  • High-quality photos. Avoid using cheesy stock photos, pixelated graphics, or clip-art style images. Stick with high-quality editorial-style photography and professional iconography.
  • Responsive layout. Use a responsive framework that changes based on the user’s screen size. This design not only provides a better user experience, it’s also an SEO best practice.
  • White space that breaks up the page. Don’t overload website visitors with content when they open your webpages. Use whitespace to spread out copy blocks and images to make the content easy to consume.
  • Easy-to-read copy formatting. Also format long-form copy with design elements like bold text, short paragraphs, subheadings, sections, and bullet points to make text easy to read.

Don’t Annoy Visitors

Something else that quickly pushes users off your site is an annoying experience. You can’t quickly turn off (and turn away) website visitors by bothering or irritating them. So ditch bad site habits to lower your website’s bounce rate.

Speed up your site load speed. Website visitors want immediate gratification. They don’t want to wait for a webpage to load. Kissmetrics reported that “47% of consumers expect a website to load in two second or less,” and “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” Measure your site speed, and make necessary changes to improve loading time if necessary.

Use clear, intuitive navigation. If a website user is confused by a website, they aren’t going to stick around and try to figure it out. They are going to leave. So, use navigational menus and content that clearly tells audiences what they need to know and where they need to go.

Avoid disruptive pop-up and autoplay ads. Don’t immediately bombard website visitors with digital advertising right when they get to your site. If you want to use pop-up and autoplay ads, delay their appearance to give users time to view your site before receiving your promotional messages.

Don’t Guide Users Off the Page

If you want to lower your website’s bounce rate and keep users on the page, don’t tell them to leave.

While that may seem obvious, there are a few small errors you could be making to push audiences off your page. To get users to stay:

  • Include a call-to-action on every page. When users get to the bottom of a webpage, give them a reason to stick around by including a call-to-action that tells them what to do next. Guide users to the next page of information that will offer what they need and keep them on their buyer’s journey.
  • Don’t send users to another website. While it’s good to link to other sites as resources and references, you don’t want to directly push audiences to other third-party sites. Don’t use call-to-actions that send audiences to other websites.
  • Set outbound links to open in a new window. When you include links to outbound sites, make sure audiences don’t ditch your website to view the other site. Set outbound links to open in a new window so your website remains open on their browser.

Attract the Right Traffic

The final key to keeping users on your site is attracting the right audience in the first place. Users frequently ditch a site if it doesn’t offer what they need.

Always remember, it’s not just about driving a large quantity of traffic to your site; it’s about driving the right quality of traffic to your site. To target the right audience and lower your website’s bounce rate:

Match keywords and content with intent. Consider why an audience would want to find your landing pages, and use keywords that match that intent. Decide if a user would have informational, transactional, or navigational intent and use keywords, page titles, and meta descriptions that align with those needs.

Match the content to your page titles. If you make a promise with your page titles and descriptions, deliver with the content. Don’t trick audiences into visiting your page and then let them down by not proving what you promised and what they expected.

Seed your content in the right places. Take time to get to know your target audience and where they spend time online. Use strategic content promotion planning to only seed your content in the places where they are likely to it, and avoid placing your content on sites or social networks your audience rarely visits.

When you use these tactics, you not only lower your website’s bounce rate, you also attract better, higher quality traffic.

And when you attract the right traffic, you find and convert more high-quality leads.

You do a lot of work to get audiences to your webpages. So don’t lose that momentum once users get to your site. Use these tips to keep users on the page and on their path to becoming a valuable lead.

For even more tips on optimizing your online presence and improving your lead generation process, download this FREE guide.

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Also published on Medium.

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