9 Expert Tips for Reducing Your Bounce Rate

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There are over 1.7 billion websites online as of last year. If your site isn't eye-catching enough or has certain defects, it could be enough to make your users bounce and go to a competitor's site. This is bad for your business and bad for your SEO.

What is bounce rate? Put simply, your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site who visit your site and then leave without visiting any new pages. They bounce off the first page they come to and don't go any further into your site.

As well as giving you fewer opportunities to market to customers, a high bounce rate can spell serious trouble for your site's ranking in search results. Google will assume that as users aren't staying on your site, your site isn't authoritative and thus, isn't worth a high ranking.

In this guide, we're going to take a look at smart ways your site can reduce its bounce rate. These will enhance your website, boost your SEO, and may help your business win more customers.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

1. Page Speed

Does your site take a while to load? If it does, you're probably increasing your bounce rate. Put yourself in their shoes: if a site is taking an age to load, wouldn't you back out and find a similar site in the search results?

Slow pages are frustrating and if one page took a long time to load, the chances of them wanting to load another page on your site are slim. Page speed also directly impacts your SEO. Page speed is of vital importance and it's something that's not too hard to improve.

One of the best ways to boost your page speed is by buying better hosting. Shared hosting, where many websites are hosted on one server, will always be slower than dedicated hosting.

Your page's elements also affect speed a lot: are you using uncompressed images on your page? Do you have a lot of scripts running on your site? Do you use a minimalist design or something that's much more complex?

For best results, use dedicated hosting, give your website a lightweight design, and compress your images down from their huge originals.

2. Content

How does your website's content read? Bad or poorly-written content can be a huge problem for your website's bounce rate. Interesting content that targets highly-searched keywords can be one of the best ways to increase traffic to your site, but if it's low-quality, people are going to leave right away.

This isn't to say that you need to become Ernest Hemingway or Margaret Atwood when penning content. We're talking about small and easily-corrected stuff like grammar, spelling, or awkward phrasing.

There are some great tools online that can help you out with this such as the browser extension Grammarly and Hemingway Editor.

3. Mobile Support

Today, we spend a great deal of time browsing the internet on our phones. According to recent statistics, the average American spends three and a half hours on mobile internet every day. If your website isn't designed with phones and tablets in mind, your average bounce rate is going to skyrocket.

Your mobile website must not be the same as the desktop version: it is awkward to use on mobile and has far too many small buttons. Design your mobile website with smaller screens in mind, using larger buttons, smaller images, and content divided into short paragraphs.

As with page speed, this is also a ranking factor when it comes to SEO. Google puts a premium on how your page performs on mobile, indexing this version of your site before your desktop version. If you have little or no mobile support on your website, your ranking in search results will drop.

4. Use Media to Grab Audience Attention

You need to make use of multimedia on your site. If your site is text-only, you're going to have a harder time grabbing your audience's attention. It's not impossible but it will be a lot harder.

When browsing modern websites, you can't fail to notice that a great deal of them use large images as fullscreen backgrounds. This isn't for its own sake: high-quality images grab your visitors' attention and keep them hooked. They may not be worth exactly a thousand words, but they're worth a great deal of engagement.

If you're not certain of where to find images you can use, check out Wikimedia Commons or Flickr for royalty-free images (check the licensing terms) or you can sign up to a stock photo service.

Videos, too, are a great way to engage your audience. A good video on your site that tells a story or shows off your products and services is a fantastic way to show off your site's best aspects. Make the most of video marketing to retain traffic, rather than increasing your bounce rate.

5. Build a Sense of Trust and Security

Put yourself in a customer's shoes. Are you going to hand over your credit card information to a company that you've never heard of before without a certain amount of trust? Building trust in your business is an involved process, but you can do a lot with your website's design.

For instance, if you've received any awards or endorsements from professional bodies, display them on your website to show that you are an established and trustworthy firm. Customer testimonials go a long way here too: feature customer endorsements on your website with pride.

If you want to demonstrate your site's security, you should get an SSL certificate and use HTTPS as your website's protocol.

6. Web Design

If your website is ugly and badly-made, people aren't going to trust it as much. No one wants to deal with a website that looks like it was vomited up by Geocities in the 1990s.

There are a lot of website builders out there that can help you build a clean, modern-looking website, such as Squarespace and Wix. If you're not confident in your abilities or would like to make your website a little more unique, we'd recommend hiring a web design company to create your website.

7. Craft Meta Descriptions With Care

Meta descriptions are the small descriptions that show up below links on search results. They're meant to give users a brief overview of what to expect on the page and how the page can help them. If the meta description doesn't offer a good description, users may click the link and if it's not what they were expecting, leave again.

You should put a lot of care into your meta descriptions. Ensure that they're small enough to show completely on Google and be honest about what the page contains. Don't talk about something that's not on the page: give prospective visitors the facts about what they can expect on the page.

This can draw in people who might not otherwise click on the link to your page and stop people from getting irritated and annoyed if it's not what they expected.

8. Use Exit-Intent Pop-Ups

If a user wants to leave your site, you've got one last window where you can try and win their favor. This is where exit-intent pop-ups come in. When you see that a user is about to leave your site, you can flash up a pop-up that offers them a fantastic discount or asks for their email address.

A sign-up window for a newsletter or other recurring service is great for your long-term bounce rate. If you can capture an email address, you can use email marketing to draw users back to your website and potentially, make them into customers.

9. Offer a Good User Experience

This is a broad point but the bounce rate can be neutered with a good user experience. User experience encompasses a huge range of ways that you can help your customers out, from well-designed websites to offering prompt customer service via live chat.

If a customer feels like you value them and you can help them out, they're more likely to stick around on your website. If they feel like you don't care, they won't.

If you want to improve your user experience but aren't sure how, you could hire a UX designer to help you out.

Decreasing Your Bounce Rate Is Vital to Continued Success

If you want to make your website successful, you need to decrease your bounce rate. All of these improvements are good for your website and your user experience in general and can help you a great deal. Decrease your bounce rate and you'll rank higher in search results too: it's a win-win.

If you want to increase your traffic, you can also use a traffic exchange system like ours! Members of our traffic exchange system visit each other's sites and give each other increased traffic and better metrics. Sign up today!

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