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Reduce the bounce rate on your webpages

Friday, June 21st, 2019 by Helge

If you to some extent started analyzing the traffic on your website (if you do not already, then get started) you have surely encountered the term “bounce rate”, or as we say in Swedish: bounce rate. But what is this really, and why is it among the most important things to keep track of?

When a visitor reaches a page (any one) on your site, this is usually called the entrance page. If the visitor then leaves youbounce-rater site without visiting other sites, it is called a bounce, or rejection. Explained, the bounce rate is simply the percentage of the total number of visitors bouncing. You can easily see your site bounce rate in Google Analytics. A high bounce rate can be a clear sign that you are doing something “wrong” with your website. Often, this means at least that your website is not sufficiently attractive and well organized, and that it lacks clear inputs and so-called call-to-actions to interest the visitors and facilitate the interaction with them.

The rejection rate is an important measure in several ways. For whatever you believed or heard, the main thing is not that people visit your site, but how they interact with it. The longer visitors stay on your site, the more time you have to turn them into subscribers or customers – which is of course your overall goal. But, what can you do to convince visitors to stop and look at more pages than the ones they landed on? Fortunately, there are a number of simple and free ways to improve your site’s bounce rate and increase your chances of loyal customers and profitability.

• Create (good, neat and consistent) content

Creating (right) content frequently and consistently is one of the best ways to keep visitors longer and to have them visit multiple pages. Useful and engaging content will simply drive traffic to your site. With a wide range of, for example, informative blog posts (which guarantees an ever increasing traffic), the chance that more visitors continue to read and eventually become subscribers or customers also increases. According to a study by HubSpot, companies that published 16 or more blog posts per month received about 4.5 times more customers than companies that published zero to four posts a month.

So, set up a content plan that is consistent and that offers something for everyone in your intended audience. Try to vary the content with graphics, video, slideshows and the like. And don’t forget the so important internal link between your various related posts (more on linking at a later point). It is an effective way to improve the bounce rate.

• Make your content more accessible with smart formatting

Have you ever clicked on a blog post or web page just to meet a huge, scary wall of text? If so, you already know how dissuasive this can be for readers. Although your content is extremely interesting and unique, it doesn’t matter if your visitors are frightened by a miserable formatting.

Here are some ways to make content less visually scary:

• Air between pieces

• Appropriate use of headings and subheadings

• Suitable images, videos and complementary graphics

• Lists and separate text boxes

By following the above formatting guidelines, your content becomes more accessible and also enables the reader to quickly scan or skim through the content to identify parts that are most relevant to their needs.

But, on the other hand, you should not exaggerate this by insisting on using a line break or a picture between every little sentence – something that can be at least as annoying as big text shock.

• Speed ​​up the page load

We have mentioned the importance of having interesting and relevant content on your pages, but it does not help if the loading time is too long. Of all the problems a website may have, slow pages are probably one of the absolute worst. It does not matter how good or bad a page’s content is if a user has to wait to get to know it (surveys show that today’s users expect a charging time of max. 2-3 seconds.

This applies to an extremely high degree in the mobile phone – therefore the speed should be given the highest priority. It can be a crucial factor in improving your bounce rate. So before you even start looking at the content of your pages – make sure your visitors will actually be able to see them within a reasonable time. If you carry out any form of e-commerce, slow pages will, without exception, cost you both customers and revenue.

• Use sidebars, widgets, popups and banners sparingly

Certainly, you know of course that your informative pages (such as blog posts) are an ideal platform for providing relevant content, campaigns and other material to your target audience – and finding a blog with interesting content that does not simultaneously display some form of advertising is difficult. or offers. However, if you completely surround your content with ads and flashing messages, the risk is imminent that you will drive the rejection rate in the opposite direction to what you desire.

Therefore, make sure that all links and widgets feel like a natural complement to the content that the visitor has landed on. And act carefully with pop-up windows with offers of newsletters, events and surveys – give the visitor some time to deepen the content of your website first. Do not press too hard, too fast.

However, a type of popup that can be very rewarding to use is so-called exit-intent popups, simply explaining a popup that is displayed when the visitor is in fact leaving your site. There you can, for example, put in a nice offer in the form of a discount or an interesting white paper – or ask them about their experience of the visit.

• Use a relevant – and useful – internal link structure

You’ve probably heard and read prompts advocating that you should always include dozens of internal links in your content – and this is a smart way to improve your bounce rate. Although this strategy can work well, it can also have a negative impact by focusing on your content. We have all seen websites that link internally in every other sentence. This not only looks bad, it also tends to degrade the user experience of being on a page that on its own actually offers something of genuine value.

Everything is basically about relevance. If you have a useful content that complements or deepens the content of the current page, then of course you should link to this. But resist the temptation to internally link to each article in your archive and focus on linking to useful articles or pages that are relevant and useful to your visitors. Plugging each text full of links quickly makes the content feel confused and tiring, and can rather get visitors to refrain from clicking on any links at all.

• Go for a single clear call-to-action

Just as you should get a grip on what your target audience wants before you serve them a specific content, you should also consider what specific action you want visitors to take when they have consumed content you offer. Once you know this, it will be easier to include a crystal clear call-to-action, whether it’s a direct purchase, newsletter subscription, conference entry, or trying out one of your services.

The more call-to-action prompts you bake on a single page, the more likely you are to confuse and overwhelm your visitors. Sure, it would of course be wonderful if you could naturally include several call-to-actions on a single page and trust your visitors to carefully examine and evaluate everything before they act – unfortunately so rarely is the case. Your website should make it easy for visitors to find – and do – what they want in a quick and easy way. Always focus on what goal the user has with their visit and on how your pages can help the visitor achieve this goal.

• Make sure you have a good search function

An important aspect ever since the beginning of the network. Sure, most visitors will use Google to search and then come to a specific page on your site. But you should make sure that you have a good and fast search function on your website to make it easier for the visitor to find the right one. For example, if you have a corporate blog with a lot of content that you want your visitors to take part of, it is only foolhardy not to give them the tools to quickly and easily search for specific articles or topics. The easier users can search and find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to stay longer on your site.

• Prioritize your mobile

We should hardly need to say this in 2019, but unfortunately there are plenty of websites that are still not optimized to be visited via mobile devices. It is a sure way to ensure a miserable rejection rate. The proportion of visitors using mobile devices is already more than those using computers – and absolutely nothing indicates that that growth will stop.

Google has also redesigned its algorithms so that the mobile search index is now prominent. The world is mobile. Therefore, you should not only optimize for the mobile phone – but prioritize it the most. It is also very important to remember the advice we gave higher up: it doesn’t matter how beautiful your site looks on an iPhone if one takes a minute to load. So make sure to speed up the page load as much as possible – perhaps you should consider whether Google’s AMP feature is for you?

These are just some of the steps you can take to improve the bounce rate of your site – there are, of course, several additional pieces in the puzzle. And it is a continuous work that you must always follow up and revise. What are your experiences and best tips for keeping visitors on your pages? Please tell me!

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