Before we start listing ways to reduce bounce rates on your websites and blogs, let us peek into what ‘Bounce Rate’ actually means.
Bounce Rate is the number of people that landed on your website but left the page they visited without looking at the other pages. Informally explained, the bounce rate refers to people who were not especially interested in your website, which is why they left it so soon. In fact, the sooner they do it, the higher the bounce rate percentage gets.
Now that the premise is on the table, you’re probably aware that the high value of your bounce rate indicates nothing but a problem on your website.
The purpose and domain of the business are not really a factor in the case – if your first encounter with potential customers is not good enough to keep them on board, there must be something you’re doing wrong. On the other hand, lower bounce rates indicate that the number of subscribers is increasing, and that’s exactly what all businesses around the globe desire.
The monetary relief is obviously the biggest advantage, but the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) front will also benefit from higher bounce rates. The SEO technology buzz is often underestimated on WordPress blogs, even if it plays a critical role in deducting bounce rates.
Bounce Rate is the metric for your users’ satisfaction
When a website has high bounce rates, it can easily be concluded that visitors were disappointed by it. Unless it is a single-page site, the Million Dollar homepage, or an online dictionary, it means that the website failed to engage users.
With low bounce rates, on the other side, there is something right you’re doing with your site and you should go on doing it. Want to arrive there? Take a look at these useful WordPress tips and try them!
Increase the speed of your website
Loading speed means the world to every website unless you’re running a site with specific content where loading times are not such a concern and can be ignored. In all other cases, try to make your website as fast as possible, because users won’t remain on a sluggish website that needs hours to complete loading. We have compiled a FREE ebook, so you can find there many valuable insights on how to improve your page speed score by 78%.
Walk a bit in the shoes of your user – he is reading the article and is looking to do something else. What can you do to stop him from jumping straight to the back button?
The natural way to do it is to provide great content and to make it accessible for readers as possible. You certainly don’t want that a user to leave just because he can’t find the article he wants.
Which is the best course of action here? As practice shows, you should link content internally, and use a related content widget both in the sidebars and at the end of every article.
Nothing but top quality
When it comes to website success, there is nothing more important than the quality of content. The poorer the quality the higher bounce rates will become and you’ll be risking losing the trust and confidence from previous, loyal users.
Users are most frustrated when they come on a page and don’t find what they’re looking for, and they usually leave to find a better site. What this means for you is that they will probably never return.
Outstanding mobile responsiveness
More and more users nowadays access the internet using mobile, handheld devices, and they will use those to access your website too. It is a challenging task, but you must prepare your website to be used on smaller screens, having in mind that quality should not be compromised.
Start by replacing your themes with mobile responsive ones – their price should not worry you, as there are hundredths of amazing and free themes out there.
A very critical moment for retaining users is to fix navigation on top of the screen, instead of using modern navigation bars which simply disappear when the user starts scrolling.
Fixed navigation has the throne of usability, right because it provides the user with instant access to the links they like, including the ones you deem to be most important.
In the case of mobile devices, you once again have to stick to the rule of fixed navigation but to consider all necessary precautions to prevent it from taking over the entire screens. Finally, use the responsiveness of your design to test its performance on mobile devices.
The meaning of design for user experience
Imagine that you’re opening a website because you want to read in an important post, or to check the services of a company you’re planning to hire: the first thing you see while landing is a striking yellow background, a bunch of red text, and extremely high headers. You may be a specific fan of this combination of colors, but most people would rethink their decision to navigate this website.
The design is very important and needs to be considered carefully before content is actually added to the site. There are numerous examples of imperfect content which still appears on clean and pleasant websites, and is, therefore, popular among readers. That means that good design can help you compensate for poor quality content and encourage users to stay on your website longer than you think.
The purpose of a website is most of the time to generate revenue, but adding ads should still be handled with wisdom. A chaotic page with tenths of unrelated and suspicious ads is most likely to frustrate users, and to make them wonder why they’re wasting time on your website. That’s certainly not going to pay off, don’t you think?
To start with, there must be a clear division between the ads and your content, since you don’t want users to click on an ad by chance and be redirected from your website. When it comes to the homepage, in particular, try to keep it as clean as possible, either with text ads or no ads at all.
Enable external links to open in a new tab
Tabbed browsing is more than real and is one of the keys to keeping users satisfied. Instead of opening external links on the same page or in a completely different window, and messing up the complete user experience, try to implement tabbed browsing and to allow links to open simultaneously in another tab.
That’s not a tactic that should scare you unless sticking with the idea that visitors use old browsers that don’t support tabs at all. Finally, why is that so important for lowering bounce rates?
Consider an average blog post linked to third party website’s resources. Had the external link to it opened in the same browsing window (namely in the current tab), it would mean that the user is leaving your website. On the other hand, had the link opened in a completely new tab, it’d mean you’ve given the user a chance to check out the external resource without having to leave your website.