‘Bounce rate’ is a term which is thrown around a lot in the search engine space. Basically it is a quality metric and most often, people talk about it in absolutes i.e just by following a set of procedures, one can improve the bounce rate of his/her website. But sadly that is not the case.
While certain procedures do work towards the general betterment of the site, for the major part, these procedures can heal or websites depending on conditions, conditions such as those actually influencing your bounce rate but you can only see the symptoms of the cause and not the cause itself. For example a high bounce rate might indicate any two of the following:
- The wrong kind of traffic is heading to your page(s).
- The right kind of traffic is heading to your page(s).
Surprisingly, the second point stands true in raising the bounce rate of your website. Most people tend to think that is the first case always, because that is the most common and sort of obvious one, but not always.
How can the ‘right traffic’ raise your bounce rate?
- A user comes to your site looking for a solution.
- He finds exactly what he is looking for, is satisfied, and immediately quits the page/site.
- At such, he doesn’t need to surf through the entire website, surf through pages, and build up a conversion.
Bounce rates and success of website:
High bounce rates hamper conversion. You need your visitors to stick around the website, spend time clicking all over it, pursuing content and help grow toward a conversion. You should always focus on increasing the amount of time a user is likely to spend on the site and the number of page views will directly correlate to the success of your site. Since people often confused bounce rate as exit rate (there’s a vast difference between the two)
Here are some ways in which you can reduce your bounce rate without compromising on content or quality of your site:
- Avoid pop–ups as they do nothing but annoy people. Even though they might offer some valuable content, the very nature of this form makes it sort of a nuisance.
- Use ‘Intuitive Navigation Mechanisms’ such as heat maps. You do not want the user to feel dumb when he is at your site, being unable to find exactly what he is looking for after clicking at a dozen places. He is likely to get frustrated and won’t ever return to your site. To avoid that, use heat maps which give insight into the areas a user is most likely to click on. Here are great tools to improve your bounce rates through tools http://www.crazyegg.com
Intuitive Navigation also comes handy in another way where content is offered keeping specific persona in mind; ‘related content’ can keep visitors for a considerable amount of time on the site by the use of ‘categories’ and ‘tags’.
Poor design is not appreciated. Design your website keeping in mind your target audiences, such that they form a favorable perception of the quality of your business and reputation.
- Build your website using an HTML engine that makes it light, and hence faster to load. You wouldn’t want your website to need 30 seconds to load. It can frustrate the user and negatively impact your SEO rankings and damage your conversion rate.
- Make your website ‘mobile friendly usable’. Even low end phones have internet connection these days and a large number of people surf the internet using their phones. Make sure your website is of a design that allows users to easily access your content without much of confusion.
- Use contrasting colors in the design of your website and posts to make it look appealing.
- See to it your target conversion and content postulates are clearly stated on the page.
- Break your content into segments and categories which makes it easier for users to find what they are looking for and at the same time lowers the bounce rate.
- Do not host too many ads on your website; it’s intrusive to the user experience.
- Allow external links to open in separate tabs or windows.
- The search box should be easily locatable.
- The 404 page should be helpful as it can turn a negative experience into a positive one.