Keeping Your Bounce Rate under Control

In the world of websites, there are thousands of things to manage and maintain. From attractive designs to security modules, there is always something to get distracted with. However, you should be most concerned with two metrics. The first is the number of visitors you are getting to your site. And the second? Your bounce rate. These two factors combined are not only a metric that determines the effectiveness of your website, but they also have a huge impact on the amount of money you make.

But what is your bounce rate and how is it different from an exit rate? Your bounce rate is the percentage of users that choose to leave your site after visiting only a single page. Basically, a bounce rate of 100% means that you failed to capture the interest of all visitors to your site, while a bounce rate of 0% would mean that everyone who visits your site visited at least one additional page. Your exit rate, on the other hand, measures how many people leave your site on a per page basis.

If your bounce rate is in the stratosphere and you don’t know how to keep it under control, consider the following tips:

Your Website Isn’t Easily Navigated

Not having a good navigation system or menu in place is a fantastic way to turn off visitors to your website. It is extremely irritating trying to hunt around on a site for the information you are look for, and hidden or poor menus can make your bounce rate shoot sky high. Make the following considerations if your site lacks good navigations:

  • Do you have any broken links?
  • Did you have any technical errors, 404’s, or formatting problems (such as on a mobile device)?
  • Is it easy for you to navigate your website?
  • Is your menu and navigation system hidden or hard to find?
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The Page Load Time is Too Long

A page that fails to load or simply takes too long to load is going to send your would-be visitors to another site. Part of this problem is due to the general impatience of your average web browser. As a society, we have been conditioned to expect access to information and products extremely quickly.

Fortunately, there are many ways to increase the speed of your page load times such as using caching plugins and limiting the number of pictures you post per page. Remember, some users have limited bandwidth, and you need to streamline your page load times.

Requiring Visitors to Enter Email before Accessing Your Site or Content

This one is a huge no-no! Though some people feel this option is great for building a newsletter audience, you could turn away a large chunk of potential site traffic by requiring an email address. Have you ever been to a site that wouldn’t let you enter until you coughed up your email address? It was infuriating, wasn’t it?

Be Careful with Pop Ups

More often than not, pop up advertising will irritate visitors to your site. In addition, it will give your site a cheesy, sketchy, low-quality feel. Deciding to run pop up ads, though great for the monetization of your site, is going to increase your bounce rate.

However, in some rare instances is a pop up ad ok. It shouldn’t open a new browser or tab. Instead, it should open a small, concise web form or message in the user’s current browser tab. If you want, you can request their email address and present them with the opportunity to opt in to your newsletter, but it shouldn’t be mandatory. It needs to load quickly, be generally unobtrusive, attractive, and provide the visitor with an easy way to say “no thanks.”

No Internal Search Options

Two things you can do to decrease your bounce rate is to offer a search bar option for your website as well as add on-site links to your content. If your content doesn’t link to other pages of content, you aren’t doing your bounce rate any favors. Instead, you are giving visitors the opportunity and the encouragement to browse to another site.

Also, a search bar is a great way for users to find the information they are looking for on your site extremely quickly. It helps make your site more streamlined and navigable.

Considering External Links

This tip is extremely simple, but it is overlooked more often than not. You need to setup your website so that external off-site links open in a new window or tab instead of reloading a new page on a visitor’s current tab. The latter would just give them incentive to leave your site and never return. Just make sure that links to external sources don’t exile your visitors from your website.

A high bounce rate can be very disheartening, but keeping these tips in mind can help boost visitor engagement on your site as well as conversions.

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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