Bounce rate is hugely important for increasing your ranking on Google and improving SEO overall. Bounce rate is also a huge indicator of how well your site is performing with your target audience. If it’s high, they’re likely not engaging and converting which is what you don’t want. Overall, bounce rate is a necessary indicator of whether your site is doing what you want it to. Keep people engaged and taking the next step you want them to. Improving your bounce rate should be a huge focus and there are multiple ways you can do that.
Check out the top five ways to reduce your site’s bounce rate:
Improve Your Site Speed
Believe it or not a one second delay in page speed can drop your page views by 11%. That’s pretty significant. If you page takes longer than 8 seconds to load, you are losing visitors and your bounce rate is increasing. It’s imperative you get your page speed down. Luckily, there are a few ways you can easily and quickly increase your site speed and decrease page loading time to keep traffic on your site.
A factor that can be slowing down your site is image loading time. You can try plugins like WPSmush to decrease image size and W3 Total Cache to minify HTML and CSS to help speed up your site. These plugins take just minutes to install. They can help shave seconds off your site loading time and decrease bounce rate.
Be Mindful of What is Before and After the Fold
You may or may not have heard, but “the fold” is kind of a big deal in terms of web design. The fold is basically wherever your site cuts off when someone opens it in their browser. It’s the first half of the screen people see. What’s above the fold is really important because it either convinces visitors to continue to scroll past the fold or not; if not, they bounce.
You want to include elements above the fold that convince traffic to keep moving through your site and not bounce. The best way to do this is to get to the point and convey value. Use a headline that communicates that value of your site to visitors in a brief and powerful way. It’s best practice not narrow down the specific, actionable value of your product that is relevant for all your target audiences. For example, on our site, we’ve replaced any industry specific headline with simply “The best way to get users updated and engaged.”
It’s simple and to the point, and has been the most converting headline. Design wise, use powerful and interesting imagery that creates a mood or encompasses your brand. This is not the time to be generic. We’ve included a mini GIF demo of how our product works. ‘If you don’t necessarily have a product to demo, you can include an image that encompasses your brand. It’s also good to include a CTA to give traffic something to engage with.
PayPal does a great job with their “above the fold” content.
Add Video and Photo Where You Can
Where you can, adding visual elements to your pages and blog posts can really increase the amount of time visitors spend on a page or blog post. Not to mention, how much they engage. Posts that include relevant photos and graphics get 650% more engagement than text-only posts. Visual elements break up text and get the gist across are really important for keeping users engaged and on a page.
For blog posts, try creating short videos that summarize with an easy video building and editing tool like Wave. Wave gives you a massive base of options for stock video to choose from that are relevant for plenty of topics that make a perfect backdrop for text and voice over summaries of your post. You can drag and drop video clips, add images, add text, music, and record voice over right within the platform and export to share on YouTube or on your site. It makes creating professional, clean, high quality videos really fast and easy.
What’s great about video is it also gets shared much more than just text posts alone. This is the perfect opportunity to turn your posts into shareable content on social media. You can create visually appealing graphics and infographics to pair with content with Canva to make your pages and posts more visually appealing and keep eyes glued. Particularly, infographics are 3x more engaged with and shared than any other type of content. Canva has some great pre-designed infographic templates you can easily customized for your brand.
Hubspot does a great job at making content more visual and interesting with super simple graphics.
Always “Open link in new tab”
Aside from the big design and content elements mentioned above, there are some small, more technical things you can do to decrease your bounce rate. When adding links or creating CTAs on your site, always choose the option to “Open link in new tab”. This way when someone clicks on a link or a button, even if it goes to another page on your site, will have multiple pages open so if they close one out, one is still open, increasing the time spent on a page and decreasing your bounce rate. It’s so simple, as simple as checking a settings box, but it can have a real impact in the long run on your bounce rate.
Provide Engaging Content on All Pages
The truth is, if you’re working on your inbound marketing strategy or creating posts and content which you likely are, you have to treat every page like a landing page. Traffic could come in through your homepage, your blog post, a services, or about page depending on how you’re promoting and driving traffic. If someone lands on any of these pages, they can either find something they’re interested in and stay on or close out. To decrease bounce rate, add engaging content to all pages. So no matter where people come into your site, they are likely to spend more time. You can easily do this by adding content in the footer or sidebar of your site using widgets and plugins. This is especially helpful for blog posts: you can get visitors to “binge read” content and spend more time.
Try Beamer for an easy way to add a newsfeed to your site. Beamer is a newsfeed that sits right within your site’s interface and can be opened when someone clicks a “What’s New” tab or icon in your interface. You can create a stream of updates for anything: new content, news, discounts, new products, etc. to engage visitors no matter what page they land on your site.
Bounce rate is such a big part of SEO and your ranking, it feels like it should be difficult to improve but it’s actually quite easy. Try these few tips we’ve proven to be effective on our own site to decrease bounce rate. They’re so easy and extremely helpful for our bounce rate and ranking in the long run!
Spencer Coon is the co-founder of three tech startups and has 10 years of experience in SaaS. Currently living in Barcelona, Spain.
**The views & opinions expressed in this guest post are of the guest author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Design Roast community as a whole.**