Why is Bounce Rate So Important?
Reducing the bounce rate on pages that have the highest volume of traffic from your highest converting sources means more engaged visitors and a greater chance of conversion.
What follows is a list of 20 considerations for reducing your bounce rate. These are by no means absolutes and are relative to everyones unique value propositions and audience, but generally speaking, these are worth thinking about.
Pop-up ads annoy people. In some rare cases they offer something worth the roadblock, but usually they disrupt the user experience.
Dont make your visitors feel dumb (or think youre dumb) for not
providing them with clear and obvious paths to get the content they may
be looking for.
The most common reaction to not being able to find something that
should be obvious is frustration and if youve ever been on a web page
where you cant figure out how or where to navigate, this is exactly
how you feel.
Heatmaps are a great way to gain visibility into where users might be trying to click, giving you insight into what should be clickable. A great tool for this is Crazy Egg.
Im not just talking about gradients and drop shadows; design now
transcends the whole user experience. Your content needs to be
attractive; both in terms of graphical treatments and readability.
Design for your target audience, which may not necessarily be the
audience you already have, or at least not the majority of it. Design
has become a legitimacy signal and the lack thereof can directly impact visitors (and prospects) perceptions of the quality of your business and services.
This pretty much goes without saying these days but nothing really
effects bounce rate like having a web page that takes 10 seconds to
Not only is this a confirmed ranking factor and lends directly to user experience, but it can cause your follower reach to stall, negatively impact your search rankings, and destroy your conversion rate.
I realize that is far from proper English, but I feel it makes my point. Being mobile friendly is ideal, but being mobile usable is critical.
Websites can still be effective as long as content can be accessed and used from a mobile device or tablet.
Furthermore, mobile usability does not necessarily mean from a design
compatibility and accessibility standpoint, in many cases it means is
the language on your site simple and clear enough that people on the go
(on mobile devices) can still make sense of what they need to do to find
information and at the very least contact you if necessary.
This comes back to the last consideration, are your target conversion
or content points clearly presented on your pages? Can users
immediately get a sense of what they should expect to find or are
expected to do while on the page?
Websites tends to have two paths to conversion:
Are you effectively managing the expectations of your visitors? A
good litmus test for this is if you are able to trigger your primary
page conversions more than 20 percent of the time.
This is another perspective on creating content that is designed to
be digested and consumed. Readability is important here but so is the
idea of grouping content into segments or categories this is most
often seen in blog posts where header tags are used to break apart large
walls of text.
This is a more detailed take on information design, and ensuring that
based on the keywords your visitors are using to get to your pages, you
are serving them an experience that address their expectations.
This is often talked about in paid search and display advertising,
where the highest bounce rates are created from advertisers not closing
the loop between the ad copy and the landing page copy and design. The
experience needs to be consistent from start to finish or you risk
breaking the users intent loop.
This is still a bit of a new idea (especially to advertisers) but if possible avoid the standard ad units. Not only have web users developed ad blindness but Google has also started penalizing pages that have too many ad units above the fold, and hint: they are looking for standard ad unit sizes.
Furthermore, from a publisher perspective, I can understand it’s
great to squeeze an extra handful of impressions in per pageview, but if
you look at some of the high performing niche ad networks, you will notice there publisher websites have a general lack of intrusive ads.
Lazy loading, in case youre unfamiliar, is a design pattern process
for deferring the loading of objects until they are needed. Mashable
is a fantastic example of this in action, notice how their pages load
almost instantly and then new content is loaded as it is needed (as your
scroll position advances toward those pixels).
This is done both for speed and user experience, and can be specified programmatically on a component by component basis.
Readers need contrast. Contrast between colors can make a dull story
into an exciting one and conversely can turn the most exciting content
in the world into a palette of indiscernible whites and grays if not
given proper consideration.
Contrast is important to consider as the web moves faster towards
different mediums of content, with more and more happening on the pages,
it is important to use colors and patterns to draw your reader’s eyes
toward the important parts of the page.
This is another consideration when it comes to focus and attention.
Remember you only have a few seconds to translate value to a new
visitor, so dont make them guess.
Taglines are a great way to quickly translate purpose, but if you
dont have one another simple way is to place your sites purpose in
plain text in an obvious place (like the header or the top of the
sidebar). If you sell something, say that.
I wish I could say this goes without saying, but I still run into
website on a weekly basis that autoplay audio and video. These are
distractions and intrusions that aren’t expected and break the experience.
Cutting out distractions not only leads to better bounce rates, but usually dramatically increases your conversion rates.
If you dont offer related content on your pages, or intuitive
navigation (hopefully with some sort of hook or teaser) then you’re
missing out on a substantial number of pageviews and the opportunity to
be more of a sticky resource.
Related content gets really powerful when you’re able to target it
within the same categories or tags, as these segments of content tend to
be attractive to visitors who make it through related posts in the same
If you don’t currently offer search functionality on your website or
if you don’t regularly review internal search analytics, then you’re
missing the boat. Web users have become so used to search that it is an
easy behavioral pattern to accommodate and leverage for improved
To take this a step further, you can use newer tools for crowdsourced FAQs to literally create a content roadmap for what matters most to your audience.
This is an incredibly simple concept that is still often overlooked,
but if you’re going to link out to a resource on your website, make sure
you have it open a new window instead of redirecting the user off your
The best (and easiest way) to do this is to simply add
target=”_blank” into the links tag. So for example;