5 Ways to Decrease Your Website Bounce Rate

by Aleks Vizulis on June 20, 2016

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Nobody likes a high website bounce rate – a sure sign that viewers are glancing at your web pages and then leaving seconds later without doing anything. Some truly accidental bounces are acceptable, but others will lose you conversions, which is unacceptable. So let's talk about how to reduce your website bounce rates through effective web management!

 As with all business plans, it's important to know both where you are and where you need to go before beginning. That's why we suggest you take some time to research both 1)your current bounce rates throughout your website and 2)the average bounce rates for your industry. Because of how people shop and purchase, bounce rates can vary wildly between businesses: You need to know if a 50% bounce rate is acceptable in your industry or a serious problem. Hubspot has a useful infographic that dives into this more deeply. When you're ready, improve your website bounce rates this way:

1. Increase Your Performance – Particularly Your Site Speed

We've talked about this before, but it's always worth a reminder: Site performance is vital when it comes to dependable conversions. Clients and customers, especially younger generations, have no patience for slow-loading web pages. If they have to wait longer than a few seconds, they are going to hit the Back button and try a different site instead. If your site speed is low, many of your bounces could be due to frustration or boredom – people aren't even getting to your content in the first place. Fortunately, improving site performance is a guaranteed way to avoid these problems. At 21 Handshake, we like to use an auditing toolset from Raven Tools to check for major website issues so we know where to begin.

2. Take a Look at Page Layout and Answer the Important Questions

By this, we mean, "Answer the important questions that a viewer would have." These are questions like, "What's this web page for?" or "What's this post trying to tell me?" or, ultimately, "Where's the answer that I came here for?" Every web page should instantly answer these questions through clear headers and titles that explain exactly what's going on. No viewer should have to scroll or double-check to see what the web page is saying. A strong, clean layout can do wonders for your website, especially if some pages are….messier than they should be.

3. …And Then Check for Readability

In addition to layout and headers, make sure you take a look at overall readability. This means looking at your font sizes, your font style, your paragraphs, and generally how your text looks. If it isn't immediately readable, or if you have clashing colors or a dreaded wall of text without any paragraph breaks, then viewers are going to think, "Nope!" and bounce away to try another site.

4. Check Your Tags and Other Metadata

Your metadata tells both Google and viewers exactly what your web pages are about. This is particularly important because viewers are going to expect certain information based on the link they clicked on. Whether that's your own anchor text, or a web page that Google's search engine pulled it, it needs to be accurate. So make sure you tag content and add other appropriate metadata so that people know what they're getting – and won't be unpleasantly surprised by something they don't want.

5. Improve Online Targeting

This is the other side of the metadata coin: You need to target carefully so that your content precisely define the content that you are offering. If a lead follows an ad to a web page, but that page doesn't offer the expected discount or is for an entirely different kind of customer, they will bounce. So target carefully! Also remember that noisy banner ads or annoying click-through/video ads also lead to higher bounce rates – so don't invest in advertisements that drive people away.

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Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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