Imagine you are a salesperson and every time you knock at a door, the householder opens the door, takes a look at you and then shuts the door just as you are beginning your sales pitch. You obviously will not get any sales if that keeps on like that and you may need to figure what is wrong and correct it.
Bounce rate is a similar situation only that it is happening on your site. If visitors are clicking on your site but not going beyond the landing page or spending just a few seconds before they leave, then you have a bounce rate problem. There are different reasons for this and identifying them can solve the problem. Here is how you can reduce the bounce rate and increase engagement.
Make the Site More Attractive
Different aspects can contribute to the attractiveness of a site. In general, the level of attractiveness will determine the user experience. If a visitor does not have a good experience, they will not stay long on the site.
Start by ensuring the formatting is pleasing to the eye. Chunks of paragraphs are intimidating and hard to scan which will make the visitor switch to another site with better formatting. Some of the things you should do to improve the formatting are:
- Bold headings and subheadings
- Use bullet points for lists and to explain certain points
- Illustrate words with images or graphs where necessary
- Have subheadings to introduce new ideas
- End with a clear headed conclusion that also has a call to action
Do not Interrupt With Popups
You may be eager to put your call to action across, but do not become like a nagging child by placing popups that are just going to be a disruption. According to a survey done in 2013, 70 percent of people surveyed said they found irrelevant popups annoying and they were at the top of the list of reasons they left a site.
If a person is looking for particular content and before they have a chance to look at the content on your site they are being asked to sign up for a newsletter, it is very likely they will abandon that site since they did not even have a chance to know what kind of content they will receive in the newsletter.
Optimize Your Call to Action
Okay, just because you should not annoy the visitor with the call to action, does not mean you should abandon it altogether. The call to action is key towards achieving success and can prompt visitors to go beyond the landing page.
Place the call to action in a strategic place where it will get noticed without interrupting the user experience. You could consider making it stand out from the rest by having it a different color or using different font style and size.
According to statistics, not having a well-optimized call to action accounts for close to 50 percent of bounce rates.
Do Not be a Snail
We live in a fast-paced world that gives you only a few seconds to attract the attention of your targets. If your pages take ages to load, you will have that door shut on you before you have the chance to pitch. Loading speed is a big issue that causes high bounce rates.
Find tools that can help you test the speed of your pages so that you are sure the visitors will not be left looking at a blank screen which will obviously send them to your competition.
Get to the Point
Going back to the salesman at the door, if the homeowner opens the door and you begin rumbling on and on about nothing specific, that will prompt the homeowner to shut the door and return to whatever more interesting thing they were doing. Similarly, a site needs to avoid beating about the bush. If in the search results your site promised to give information about getting your dog to do tricks, by all means, get straight to how dogs can do tricks. Do not go on about irrelevant stuff or else the audience will just leave.
Earn Their Trust
If a visitor comes to your site for the first time, they will be a bit skeptical about whether to trust you. It is your task to get them to believe you are credible. If possible, display independent reviews about your site, have content that may show you are an authority site or if your industry needs some kind of certification, then display that too, but remember not to annoy with popups.
Utilize Visual Communication
Most sites are about text, but you can make them more engaging by adding visuals. Videos, images, graphs, and animations can help drive the point home with less text. Many visitors are attracted to videos and high-quality images. You, however, should avoid videos that will start to play automatically. A visitor may worry about their data being depleted or they may be in an environment like a library where they need to be quiet and a video that just starts playing on its own will prompt them to quickly exit the site.
Sometimes, there is not much you can do about bounces. A visitor may click on your page and then their attention may be drawn away by something happening in the real world like a baby crying and they will leave. Other times they are just interested in a small bit of information like your tagline which they got and left quickly.
The majority of bounce backs, however, will occur because there is something you are not doing right. Investigate and correct it also get more information about how to design an effective call to action.