Bounce Rate: What is It and How to Reduce It
The term "bounce rate" can be a confusing one for many people. Is it something you should keep a close eye on, or one of those vanity metrics that don't matter that much?
The thing is, your bounce rate plays a big part in your website conversion rate either negatively or positively. Now, your conversion rate is determined by a number of factors, including site traffic in general, user experience, and even the power of your SEO campaign.
But what is bounce rate?
Read time: 11 minutes
Skip to the section you're most interested in:
- What's a High Bounce Rate?
- The Impact of a High Bounce Rate
- What Does Bounce Rate Tell You?
- How to Reduce a High Bounce Rate
- Incorporate a Call to Action
- Make Your Website Easy to Read
- Be Honest
- Keep Things Fresh
- Use Pop-ups Wisely
- Be Picky With Keywords
- Reducing Your Bounce Rate Today
When you reduce your high bounce rate, you can enjoy high conversion rates that can send those profit margins soaring.
In this post, we'll take a deep dive into what bounce rates are and what you can do to reduce them today.
Read on for insight!
What's a High Bounce Rate?
When someone navigates to your website, they have two choices - stay or leave. Of course, this decision is influenced by a number of factors. We'll get into that a little bit further on in this post.
When someone lands on your website and decides to leave immediately, this is a bounce.
Essentially, when a web visitor lands on a page on your site and does NOT go to any other page, this counts as a bounce.
So you guessed it: a high bounce rate means you're drawing people to your website, but you aren't keeping them there.
The Impact of a High Bounce Rate
A high bounce rate can have a huge effect on all sorts of things. It may lower the number of conversions you get through your website and it can also impact your online reputation. A high bounce rate can lead to negative reviews through online portals.
It may even hinder the amount of local customers walking into your showhomes.
How? Because your website is an important part of who you are as a home builder. It's what you present to the digital world. If customers aren't listening to the story you have to share, they won't follow your brand.
What Does Bounce Rate Tell You?
Keep in mind that having a bounce rate doesn't reflect poorly on you. You haven't done anything wrong, and neither has your marketing team. Every website has a bounce rate, ranging anywhere from 26 - 70%, depending on your industry.
It does tell you something important.
People are navigating to your website. This means that you are attracting traffic to your site by some means. This is good, maybe through SEO or another marketing campaign.
They're missing something when they get to your page. It's not interesting or not relevant to what they were looking for. They feel the need to go somewhere else, usually because they need more information.
Whatever the case, we're going to work with this psychology when discussing high bounce rates.
There are many things you can take charge of today to reduce a high bounce rate.
While it's tough to eliminate all bounces, you have the power to limit that number as much as possible.
Let's dive in.
How to Reduce A High Bounce Rate
The good news in all of this? We've got plenty of tips to help you out. And as a bonus, most of these tips are easy to implement!
With a simple change in your approach and/or strategy, you'll have your bounce rate reduced. Some involve just a few more minutes of your time.
And, to be totally open, some of them are more intensive than others and may require professional help.
If you don't have the means to tackle all of these tips at once, don't worry! The important thing is to nail down a few, pay attention to the results, and go from there.
1. Incorporate a Call to Action
Your visitors are going to need a reason to a) linger on the page they land on and b) navigate to other pages on your site.
One of the best ways you can do this is with a Call to Action.
CTAs are essential for your website. Now, they don't have to be complicated. In fact, they shouldn't be. They simply have to direct the visitor to take action of some kind. Any kind.
This may be asking for a sales rep to contact them or booking an appointment to tour a showhome. But it can also be checking something out: a recent blog post or a newsletter subscription.
Keep in mind, however, calls to action should make your content relevant. They are supposed to directly confront the visitor - in the nicest way possible, of course.
They can also hook your visitor in. If you want to have this kind of CTA, it helps to think of it as the introduction to a gripping essay.
One key thing - you want to make your CTA something visitors have to click. So it needs to look like something clickable. A great place to start is a button that enables visitors to sign up for something. Maybe to receive a free e-book or sign up for your e-newsletter.
CTAs are powerful because they are gripping and instantly noticeable. Most importantly, they are essential to lowering a high bounce rate and retaining visitors.
2. Make Your Website Easy to Read
No one likes navigating to a website that's filled with dense, unreadable content. Who has time for that?
Let's start easy... ease up on the content. Make your pages easy to read, break up huge blocks of text and whenever you can, remove what you don't really need. You know, the "filler" that doesn't serve a purpose for you or your site visitors.
Save the paragraphs for your blog posts. Even then, these shouldn't be paragraphs per se. They should be digestible tidbits of information that can be easily skimmed.
Make sure you only have relevant and critical content on your home page, in particular. Anything else is intimidating and uninteresting, which leads to? Yep, a high bounce rate.
Utilize smart website design:
- find a layout that breaks up content for you in scrollable chunks
- rely on the magic of headers and subheaders
- don't forget bullet points and short, concise lists
Providing easy to read content from the get-go will help your visitors respond to your Call to Action faster. It will also free up navigation, showing a clear way to a purchase decision.
3. Be Honest
Let's keep talking about the content on your website, especially your homepage.
Customers value transparency. This has always been the case, but it's more urgent now than ever before. Because let's face it, as a home builder, people are inherently leery of you. They worry about the process, usually because they don't know much about it.
Users want to identify with brands that prioritize honesty. They do NOT want to be lured into a sale. They're wary of dishonesty and companies that 'just want money'.
Even if wanting to reduce a high bounce rate does have pretty much everything to do with conversions, set the standard for honesty on your site.
Be upfront with the content you deliver. The clearer you can be with your intentions, the more likely you are to attract and retain visitors.
4. Keep Things Fresh
A lot of users navigate away from a site when they see that it's out of date. Users want fresh, updated content. They want to know that the companies they follow are staying in the loop.
Make sure that you regularly update content on your website, especially your blog. Listen, don't keep a blog if you can't keep it fresh. You should be releasing new content on a consistent basis. We recommend weekly at least.
When visitors see relevant, in-the-now content, they'll be more likely to stay. After all, they want a company that's willing to engage with them This. Very. Second.
Wait! This doesn't mean changing up your website home page every week. But do try out different CTAs, maybe some A/B split testing. Give your customers different offers in order to generate new subscribers (AKA increase conversions).
5. Use Pop-Ups Wisely
Don't you hate it when you can't see a site's page because of pop-ups?
Customers hate it, too. In fact, annoying pop-ups are a HUGE factor in high bounce rates. No one wants to be bombarded with pop-up information in the first seconds of navigating to a website.
Yes, it is definitely possible to use pop-ups wisely. They can be a great call to action, actually, and can substantially grow your subscriber list.
So, if you do choose to use pop-ups, be careful how you use them. Make sure they appear after your visitor has had a chance to experience the page's content. Make sure they are also simple, small, and direct. They should have a clear CTA button and an honest intention. You remember, how we talked about above?
Oh, and please don't implement pop-ups on every page. Customers get annoyed after closing out of one pop-up and then experiencing another. Wouldn't you?
6. Be Picky With Keywords
A high bounce rate can come from the wrong keyword optimization.
SEO is an essential part of any business's digital marketing strategy. When used correctly, SEO can earn you a higher Google ranking and drive traffic to your site.
However, the wrong keywords can actually lead to a high bounce rate.
This may be because you've used keywords with double meanings. Check to see if you have any keywords that could mean another thing.
An example would be "arms." Do you mean weapons or the body part?
You may also be choosing keywords that don't have high value. High-value keywords are designed to bring high-value customers your way. These keywords aren't just informational. They're also specific about the type of product you offer, like townhomes or single-family, for example.
Use Google Keyword Planner to really hone your keyword selection. Make sure you are optimizing content for keywords with the highest value possible.
Or, consult marketing professionals for assistance generating a high-performing SEO campaign.
You need to put in the time and research to make sure you're finding the right keywords for your site and make sure you use your marketing analytics to stay on top of your keyword performance.
7. Boost Your Website Speed
People don't have the patience for dense, unreadable content or annoying pop-ups (see above!).
They don't have the patience for slow-loading sites, either.
Make sure that the loading speed of your website is top-notch in order to keep visitors on your site when they get there. You can boost your website speed by incorporating the right image files on your website and eliminating unnecessary plug-ins.
You may also want to switch up your hosting platform or invest in site uptime maintenance and monitoring.
8. Always Think Mobile
This tip is one of the easiest to implement and probably the most crucial when it comes to lowering a high bounce rate.
Mobile device use is on the rise. In fact, people are more likely to do their searching from their smartphone than they are from a desktop computer.
But you knew that, right? ;)
So, your website must be optimized for mobile use! This means that your content will adapt to any screen size. If your site isn't optimized, make it happen. You'll be surprised at the results.
9. Never Forget Your Market
Your audiences matter. Reducing your bounce rate means making sure you're targeting the right market.
Make sure your visitors know that when they visit your website, you have what they're looking for.
What does that mean?
If a user finds your website content irrelevant, they may feel that your website is only for a certain kind of customer. And that customer isn't them. If a searcher is looking for detail on custom homes, but you don't do that, ensure you don't have content that would target them on your site.
Make sure you are always identifying your ideal buyer persona when you're generating website content.
The more targeted and personal your approach here, the greater your odds are for reducing a high bounce rate.
Reducing Your Bounce Rate Today
It is possible to attract visitors to your website and keep them there.
Lowering your bounce rate means paying attention to your web design and content, and adjusting with your strategies further.
Make sure you're choosing the right keywords for your SEO campaigns. Optimize your website for mobile use and make sure your loading speed is top-notch.
Generate readable, useful, and targeted content with clear Calls to Action. And, most importantly, always create content for your ideal customer.
At Marketing Ninjas, we help our clients transform their inbound marketing game. Learn more about what our program can do to lower your bounce rate today!
Originally published July 23, 2019