Imagine a scenario. You have successfully launched an e-commerce business and it’s doing well. To take it to the next level, you invest in a top-notch web designer or developer and supplement your business with a swanky new website. You made investments because you saw potential. You played your cards right and took whatever steps required to make sure maximum people see your website when they search for certain keywords. What happens next?
After the initial few months of consistent traffic and hence, conversions, things start to slow down. Suddenly you find yourself struggling to get people on your page; you get fewer and fewer subscribers signing up and search traffic has reduced. All these factors end up impacting your business as well.
Does this story sound familiar? If so, you’ve come to the right place. One of the many reasons why this might be happening is because your website probably has a high bounce rate. This means that your potential customers are going off your page before you even get a chance to convert them into customers. So they click on your website but don’t end up going beyond the first page. Your bounce rate is the number of all web users who visit and exit on the same page, without proceeding to other pages on your site. Exit rate counts the number of users who exited your website from a specific page which may or may not be the first page. One of the causes for a high bounce rate could be that the content on your landing page isn’t enticing users to go any further.
So now that we have identified the problem, what do we do? The first step is to find out what is the ideal bounce rate for your website. It is important to know that bounce rates cannot be standardised because they depend on the type of page and the source of traffic. So, find out which category your website falls into and then decide.
Here are a few ways to reduce the bounce rate for your website :
In 2013, a study revealed that company websites with 40 or more landing pages get 12 times more leads than those with 5 or fewer landing pages. Therefore, increasing the number of landing pages using high-value keywords that are specific to your target audience will automatically increase organic traffic. In such cases, if these landing pages are easy to navigate and are linked to your homepage, users will be compelled to know more and explore more instead of exiting. The quicker people find what they are looking for, better are your chances of reducing your bounce rate!
If potential customers don’t feel like reading what’s on your first page, it is unlikely that they will move to the second page on your website. Avoid long paragraphs and large chunks of text because they make you lose the reader’s attention instantly. Make sure your content is easy to read and process. In such cases, less is more. Resist the urge to overload your landing page with information/testimonials. Stay minimal and to-the-point. Whether your website contains blogs/articles or lists products and services, rethink your layout. Ask a few friends to look at the layout and see what they say. A fresh perspective always helps. A few things you can use while designing your content are subheadings, bullet points, infographics, charts, images, quotes from industry experts, screenshots, etc. Anything that highlights the point you are trying to make. For your potential customers, time is money. They may not be spending hours on your page, but their chances of coming back to your website are higher if they find your content relevant and easy to read. Understand the science behind how people read. They are constantly looking for something that grabs their attention. Therefore, it also helps to update your content regularly. Fresh content that is helpful and relevant will grab their attention, give them tips to implement and make them want to come back to your website.
Smart about Pop-ups
There is no right or wrong answer about whether you should use pop-ups or not. Some people manage to use them successfully, get more subscribers and better conversions. However, from a user’s perspective, pop-ups tend to be a nuisance. No one likes to be interrupted while they are browsing or reading content on your website. With ever dwindling attention spans, do we really need another distraction that might put a potential customer off enough for him to close your webpage? If you must, then choose wisely to make sure your pop-ups are as unobtrusive and minimally annoying as possible. Well-designed popups will convert visitors into long-term readers, which is part of improving conversion rates. But, when a potential customer is visiting your website for the first time, what will win them over? An extraordinary user experience. If you have jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon and have ads on your web pages, make sure they do not distract the user from the essence of the content on your website. The user’s attention should not be pulled in multiple directions.
Why has the user come to your website? Once they have the relevant information they need, is there an action you want them to take? One way to ensure that the user clicks on it is to make it crystal clear and enticing at the same time. The user should be tempted to click on it. The size of the text might be small, but all aspects related to the Call to Action button must be taken into consideration while creating it. The text size, each word or letter used, colour, placement and In short, it should compel users to click and see what is on the next page. An example would be e-commerce websites that add one-word CTA link to relevant products or pages can increase their sales conversions by up to 17%. Another example would be os social media management websites offering free trials to users. People are more likely to click on a button that says “Try for Free” or “One-month free trial” rather than one that says “Month plan is $4.99”.
We know that designing the content of your webpage smartly grabs the user’s attention. However, it is just as easy to lose their attention if the content isn’t compelling enough. There is another aspect of the users’ personality that your brand can appeal to, to keep their attention-the emotional side. This can be achieved through storytelling. Before putting this suggestion into practice, think about what you want your brand to represent. People are always interested in good stories. It is these stories and the feelings they elicit that people associate with a brand. For example, web designers for skin care products tell stories about how women have felt more confident with clearer skin. They put up before and after images of not only models but real customers, which builds even more credibility, and credibility brings trust. Trust always enhances the user’s experience. Make it all about the customers! However, we must also remember that trust stems from truth. If your SEO company is talking about helping customers gain the most hits, you should be okay with sharing stories of failure as well. There is nothing wrong with admitting that some things may have gone wrong, list your learning from it and move on. It just might be the story that potential customers want to hear. It makes your company seem more relatable and human. Lying, on the other hand, can seriously hurt your credibility. Your readers and potential customers can usually see through deceit and manipulation.
One of the simplest ways of improving search performance is to target high-value keywords. Why? Because that is what brings in high-value traffic. According to SEO agencies, the perfect high-value keyword is defined by found major aspects: traffic value, brand relevance, conversion value and personal value. High-value keywords that are relevant to one website may leave another website completely in the dark and away from consumer attention. Designing a great website and writing compelling content is important, but it’s only high-value keywords that will bring in traffic. High-value keywords bring in high-value customers. The purpose of using them is to make sure that potential customers spend more time browsing and reading your website. This directly cuts down the bounce rate and increases their chances of returning. If a user is searching for ‘Web Designers in Sri Lanka’, ‘IT Companies in Colombo’, ‘Web Design in Sri Lanka’ or ‘Web Development in Sri Lanka’, they may be searching for these keywords but may not be fully committed to going in depth with these topics. If, on the other hand, someone searches for keywords like ‘Freelance Web Designers in Sri Lanka’, ‘SEO Consultant Sri Lanka’ or ‘Graphic Designers Sri Lanka’, it means they have a specific requirement. They want to search for potential service providers and narrow down on the best one. If your content is persuasive enough, the readers would be happy to spend time reading and further sharing it with others.
Optimise for Relevance
After investing time and effort into writing great content and designing it to attract and keep the user’s attention, if the wrong users are coming to your website, your bounce rate will remain high. This is why top digital marketing agencies ensure that sufficient budget is set aside specifically for content. They have seen the impact of the right content on the right audience. If your content strategy isn’t bringing about more customers, it is time to rethink the strategy. There is nothing more powerful than publishing the right content for the right people and bringing the two together. This does not mean that the content you are currently publishing is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Different layouts and writing strategies work for different target audiences. For example, readers of one industry and background prefer lengthy blogs or articles that answer all of their questions, whereas other industries prefer short, bullet points to summarise what they want to know. Its all relative! Think about what the user is looking for. Is the user looking to learn something or buy a product? What problem are they trying to solve? How are you planning to help them solve this problem? Introspection about these questions can help you identify the best strategy for your website. It also helps to constantly reach out to them and take as much feedback as possible. The right content made available through the right channels reaches the right people and hence, optimises your bounce rate.
Time is Money
Have you ever been in a hurry to search for restaurants near you while you are starving? How long would you wait for a page to load before you get impatient and move on to the next one? A few seconds? Definitely less than one minute! Studies suggest that after 3 ~ 10 seconds, users do not wait for a webpage to load. Slow webpages will not only make customers leave your website, but it will also make your ranking slip. Statistics clearly state that not only do slow pages experience a higher bounce rate but also that fast web pages experience higher conversions.
Think about why you came to this page today, to read this article. What was it that brought you here? What keywords did you search for? Use the same analogy for your content and your customers. What do you want them to know, learn, or buy? How will they find you? And lastly, why should they buy it from you? Create a content strategy that is suited to your industry and target audience, which is constantly updated and easy for your customers to find. Go to the root cause of why your website has high bounce rates and you’ll automatically know which of the above solutions will apply.