10 Best Methods to Reduce Bounce Rate of your Website

11 min read

You must be working hard to increase the traffic on your website. And when it comes and leaves with converting, it gives you a hard time.

One of the most important objectives of bringing traffic to the website is conversion and businesses apply a lot of techniques for increasing conversion rate 1 on their website.

One of the reasons for the low conversion rate is high bounce rate of the website.

What is bounce rate?

A bounce rate can be defined as a session in which the visitor came to your website (known as entrance page) from any source like organic, social, email etc. but did not take any action and closed your website.

Bounce Rate is defined in terms of the percentage of all users who came to your website and exited from the same page without clicking or taking any action on the page.

The formula to calculate bounce rate is below:

BR= (PV/TPV) X 100

 

BR = Bounce rate
PV = Total number of visitors viewing one page only
TPV = Total entries to page

This can happen because of various reasons like bad content, slow page load time etc.

While you want other metrics of your website to grow, bounce rate is the one which you would want to decrease.

Bounce Rate can also be linked to another metric i.e. Time spent on the website. These two metrics are connected inherently and shows the customer behavior on the website.

 

I’m listing below some of the proven ways to reduce bounce rate of your website and increase your conversion rate.

 

1. Good Design

Your website’s design is the first thing which people notice as soon as they land on the webpage.

Did you know, the first impression users have of a website are as much as 94% design-related 2.

Quite honestly, there is no thumb rule while designing a website but there a few elements which must be considered. Some of these elements are:

The layout of the website.

Color combination: This plays a major role as colors help in defining the perception of your website. In fact, color psychology is a major contributor to affecting website conversions 3.

Navigation

Below is the example of a website which reduced their bounce rate by 30% by redesigning their website 4.

Website Bounce Rate Graph

As you can see in the example, they had a bounce rate of around 58%, when they decided to change their website design. Some of the major changes which were done on their website were a color schema, navigation menu, sliders. These design changes helped them to reduce bounce rate of their website to 28%.

Remember that your website is there to give information to your users. So, you should give first preference to user experience and then to anything else.

 

2. Page Load Time

Page load time is an important factor in the ranking algorithm of Google. In fact, the chances of your website ranking on the first page decreases exponentially if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Not only search engine ranking, page load time affects the bounce rate of your website as well. A study depicts the bounce rate of your website increases with the increase in the page load time of your website.

Below is the infographic 5 which will show you the study results:

Page Speed Infographic- Reduce Bounce rate of website

 

The study mentioned above shows you that your bounce rate can jump from 9.6% to 32.3% with the increase in page load time from 2 to 7 seconds.

It also shows another interesting metric that the page visits of your website also decrease with the increase in the page load time. Users visit an average of 5.6 pages more when page load time is 2 seconds compared to 8 seconds.

How will you measure your website speed?

Also Check  5 Simple Tweaks to Optimize Your Form Conversion

Let me show you how to check your page load time or website speed.

First, go to the Pingdom test tool. Enter your website address [https://optimizemarketing.org] on the homepage and click on “Start Test” button.

Pingdom Test- Check page load time to reduce bounce rate of website

 

Check the results be scrolling down a little

Pingdom Test Results- Check page load time to reduce bounce rate of website

 

You see that optimizemarketing.org is loading under 2 seconds. You know how I was able to achieve this?

I followed following steps which helped me reduce my website speed from over 5 seconds to less than 2 seconds:

Changed the hosting provider and moved to a better hosting provider.

I was monitoring my website speed regularly on tools like Pingdom Test or Google Page Speed Insights.

Optimized the images on my website using EWWW plugin for WordPress.

I minified CSS and javascript on the page.

3. Mobile Friendliness

How does your website show up when opened on mobile devices? Does it display the same version of your desktop website or the mobile friendly page?

In this age of smartphones when around 95% of customers are on mobile, you cannot ignore its power. You would be amazed to know that more than 58% of searches today generates from a mobile device.

Do you know that the search engine major Google has also announced the mobile-friendly website is a factor in their ranking algorithm 7?

When people open your website on their phones and it shows the desktop version which is difficult to operate, they simply close it down. It adds up to your bounce rate and diminishes your brand perception.

One of the major travel portals, Alpharooms has been able to reduce bounce rate for mobile visitors to 35% 8 just by making a mobile-friendly website. It also improved the overall performance of their website and doubled their conversions.

Alpharooms reduced bounce rate of their website

 

First, you need to test if your website is mobile-friendly or not.

Go to Google Mobile-Friendly Page Test, enter your website address [https://optimizemarkeitng.org] and click on “Run Test” button.

Make your website mobile friendly to reduce bounce rate

You will see the following result of your web page is mobile friendly:

Mobile Friendly to reduce bounce rate of website

 

If your website is not mobile- friendly then you’ll see the following result:

Page is not mobile friendly

Even if you’re getting the above result which means your website is not mobile-friendly, even then it’s not too late, start working on it now. If you’re using WordPress as a website builder tool, then remember most of the themes are mobile friendly today.

 

How would you feel if you land on a website, liked the content and want to browse other things but is unable because you can’t find where to go?

Confused, Right!

Navigation menu acts like an index in a book. It tells a person about which page to open for the relevant topic. A good navigation menu is important for all kinds of websites ranging from private blogs, corporate websites to eCommerce portals.

Below is an example of how Amazon has designed their navigation menu which shows you almost everything under relevant subheads:

Amazon Navigation Example to reduce bounce rate of website

 

Another example is of SocialPilot, they have also designed their menu keeping users in mind and are showing all the relevant pages in Top Menu.

SocialPilot Top Menu Example to reduce bounce rate of website

SocialPilot Bottom Menu Example

They have a bottom menu as well, where they are showing more links like affiliate, FAQ’s, support etc. It makes the work of the website user easier as he doesn’t have to search a lot of information.

 

5. Easy to Search

There are a lot of directories on the web which shows you the web pages in a different genre, but people still prefer to go on Google and search. You know why?

Because everyone wants customized results and do not wish to go through all pages in the category.

This is the reason why Google became a hit when it launched. Though other search engines came to the market, Google still holds more than 82% of search market share 9.

While making a good navigation menu is important, a site search functionality is also considered an important feature in website design.

Also Check  6 Tips For Maximising Landing Page Conversions

If there’s no site search functionality, your users may not even click on any link and eventually bounce off the website.

Some of the biggest influencer’s like Harsh Aggarwal also knows the importance of site search and has included it in the homepage top menu.

Site Search option to reduce bounce rate of website

Website of one of the world’s best designer Louis Vitton also shows search functionality on their homepage:

Louis Vitton Website Search Option

6. No popups except Exit Intent

Let us admit that the era of 1990’s has passed, so is the era of annoying popups. People hate popups and this is evident from the fact that 70% of people said that they found irrelevant popups annoying 10.

Would you like an interruption while you’re reading the content?

No!

No one does and that’s the reason people bounce off from the website. It interrupts the customer experience and hence not much liked by users.

Many major players do not encourage the use of pop-ups on their website:

Pop-ups don’t align with the Enchanting Marketing brand. I aim to give readers a pleasurable reading experience and don’t want their reading interrupted by pop-ups or welcome mats. Pop-ups may also undermine the credibility of a brand.

I’m happy with the conversions I get from tools that don’t interrupt, such as the one on my home page and at the top of each post to promote my free snackable writing course.

Henneke Duistermaat, EnchantingMarketing.com

On the other hand, there is no doubt that it can help you grow your email list quickly. One of the pop-ups types which can be used effectively is an exit-intent popup.

What is Exit Intent Pop-up?

According to Conversioner, an exit popup is a message that displays to users as they are attempting to navigate away from your site. The most common use for an exit pop is to show a message explaining why users shouldn’t leave the site 11.

Exit Intent Popup to reduce bounce rate of website

 

Hemper has used exit-intent popup to collect 41,008 subscribers with 22% popup conversion rate 12.

Below is the example of their exit intent pop-up

Hember- Exit Intent popup Example

 

Did you know that your exit intent popup can convert 35% of lost visitors if implemented carefully 13?

Some of the tools to add an exit-intent popup on your website are:

Sumo

Optinmoster

Hellobar

 

7. Content Readability

Would you like to read the content which is not properly formatted and written in a non-conversational tone?

No, right!

Content is the main powerhouse which converts your website visitors into customers. But if it is not done correctly then it can convert the same visitors into exits and your bounce rate will surge.

Long paragraphs are a big turn off for people. Long paragraphs discourage users from even trying to understand your material. Short paragraphs are easier to read and understand. Writing experts recommend paragraphs of no more than 150 words in three to eight sentences.

Paragraphs should never be longer than 250 words.

In fact, it is better to create short sentences which makes it easier to read. Below mentioned is an example:

Content Readability Example to reduce bounce rate of websiteSource

 

I believe that it is great to write in a conversational tone. I’m a huge fan of Neil Patel’s writing and I enjoy reading his blogs regularly.

It is also recommended to format your content properly with the heading, bullet points (wherever required) etc.

Before publishing your content, make sure that it has no errors in terms of grammar, spelling mistakes, sentence formation errors etc. Some of the tools which you can use to improve your writing are:

  • Grammarly
  • Ginger
  • HemingwayApp

I personally use Grammarly and HemingwayApp to improve my writing skills. In fact, I have installed the Grammarly extension for Microsoft and Chrome.

It corrects all my writing mistakes on the fly and avoids any kind of mistake.

Also Check  4 Steps for an Awesome 360 Degree Content Marketing Strategy

 

8. Internal Linking

A good internal linking strategy helps you keep people on the website without bouncing off. When you’re reading some content and see a link to another one, you tend to click on that link to gain something more. This way users discover other pages of the website instead of exiting.

The best example of internal linking strategy is Wikipedia. Whenever you go through a page, it will have links to other pages and hence you read those ages too. This technique binds you to the website and you spend more time on it.

Wikipedia- Internal Linking to reduce bounce rate of website

This is the reason, users spend a lot of time on websites with a great internal linking strategy.

Internal linking is also considered as one of the top on-page seo factors.

 

9. Set External Links to Open in New Windows

While developing content, you may take pieces of information from somewhere else. It is always a good practice to link back to the source giving them back the credit of their work.

External links help those readers who wish to learn more about that topic. They can click on the link and read more about it. Now, suppose you add more than 3-4 external links then a user who clicks on the link will have to click back button to come back to your website.

Wouldn’t it become frustrating for the user? And remember, our website is for user, so we can’t frustrate them.

But, what if they don’t come back to your website?

It would be counted as a bounce and all your efforts of creating valuable content will go in vein.

What can we do then?

We can set all the external links to open in new window. This allows them to click on the website which will open in a new tab while keeping your website opened.

I really like to refer studies and researches to show you statistics. That’s why I tend to link back to the source of the study as well, but I always remember to make the link open in new window.

A simple way of doing so is to add [target=”_blank”] in the link code. Below is the example:

<a href=”https://optimizemarketing.org/” target=”_blank”>Optimize Marketing</a>

If you’re using WordPress to build your website, then you can use WP external Links plugin. It’ll set all the external links to open in a new window automatically.

 

10. Display Credibility

People believe other people. This is the reason why major review communities like Goodreads, Capterra, G2Crowd are running.

Who would you believe, company A which is saying that it’s best or 100 people who are saying that company B is better?

Company B, right!

Showing that users trust you will retain the visitors on the website and they may wish to explore more about your services.

Showing your credibility induces connectivity among the users and hence induces trust. Once they trust you, they would learn more about you and may even become your customers.

There are different ways to show credibility, I am mentioning some of them below:

Testimonials

Testimonial on SocialPilot Website

SocialPilot shows the testimonials from influencers right on the homepage inducing the trust among website visitors.

Customer Testimonial on Zendesk Chat Website

Zendesk Chat (formely known as Zopim) also shows the testimonial from Foodpanda’s Global Operations Manager on the homepage.

 

Trust Badges

Showing badges from authority websites which shows your user review rating on your website.

SocialPilot Bottom Menu Example

SocialPilot has also included the badges from G2Crowd, Capterra in the bottom section of their website.

 

Conclusion

Though I’ve listed various ways to reduce bounce rate of your website, there can be many more. Some of the above-mentioned methods would give you quick results, but that doesn’t mean others are irrelevant.

You need to implement all these methods, and I’m sure that you’ll see better results. If you think that I missed something, then don’t hesitate to share in comments.

Anurag Mehra

Anurag Mehra is a Social Media Expert & a Growth Hacker who believes learning never stops. His "Social Media Marketing RoundUp" series is featured in "10 Best Social Media Roundup Blogs of 2016".

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