3 Quick-N-Easy Ways To Shrink Your Bounce Rate

Tracy Vides

In today’s overly competitive e-commerce landscape, your website plays a huge role in determining the life or death of your business.

So you’ve been pulling out all the stops to boost search rankings, improve signup numbers, and gain more leads. While you’re seeing an increase in Web traffic, conversion rates just aren’t where you’d like them to be – people are just not buying from you. What’s more, they don’t even seem interested in what you have to offer.

Why is that? Why is your content not resonating with them? Why are your products not appealing to their wants or sense of indulgence?

The answer lies in your bounce metrics.

Bounce Rate is ideally defined as the percentage of visitors who exited your site from the same page they entered without taking any action you’d have liked them to.

Here’s how Google puts it:

Infographic: Kissmetrics blog

Clearly, high bounce rates are not a bad thing. Measuring bounce rate as a standalone metric means nothing. You need to benchmark and compare bounce rates by your industry, type of website, marketing channel, campaign, content format, and purpose of your landing page.

However, you should be worried if your site’s conversion goals involve visitors viewing more than one page and your figures consistently fall below industry benchmarks. Google allows you to compare your data with that of other companies across 1,600 industry categories.

Everyone who runs a website knows how frustrating a high bounce rate can be. It is the clear-cut indicator that something needs to be changed or improved. Many a time, when bounce rates are too high, it seems tempting to scrap everything and start over.

Bear in mind, though, that online consumers today can be extremely picky and impatient. There are a lot of small tweaks that can make your website more appealing and entice people to stick around. Here are three simple fixes you can use to bring that bounce rate down to a healthy level…

Conduct deeper keyword research

Perhaps the most common root of negative results in the business world can be traced back to inadequate market research. In terms of drawing targeted and qualified visitors to your website, optimizing landing pages to rank for the right keywords is a relatively simple fix. It just requires a bit of intent-based keyword research. Take a step back and put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What are their biggest questions or concerns? What kinds of answers are they looking for?

Based on your findings, target the keywords with high-traffic value pertaining to your business. The best high-value keywords rest at the intersection of these four metrics:

  • Brand value
  • Persona value
  • Traffic value
  • Conversion value

Use tools like the Ahrefs Keywords Explorer to make sure you’re targeting the best possible keywords for your business.

Follow up on your keyword research by creating relevant content and landing page copy closely matched with targeted visitors at the corresponding stage in your sales funnel.

A common symptom of optimizing for the wrong keywords is that your website is getting decent traffic, but not many people are staying on your homepage or landing page long enough. Learning how to use heat maps and click maps correctly will help you augment the results of your research and content creation efforts.

Make your call-to-action more prominent

The call-to-action (CTA) is what all the other elements on a page should ideally lead to. A well-crafted CTA can have a bigger impact on conversion rates than you think. Even if you think positive. For example, a study by HubSpot found that simply adding anchor text to a CTA increased conversions by 121%.

When you’re putting together a CTA, every little element matters. Most importantly, it must be easy to find: 47% of websites have a CTA that takes users three seconds or less to see. This is where you want to be. The front-and-center buttons should work to either gain a simple micro-conversion or direct users to more information or product pages.

Firmoo, an online eyeglasses retailer, does a phenomenal job with the CTA on its homepage:

You can’t miss the big “Buy 1 Get 1 Free” deal when you visit the website. And there are not one but two supplementary pieces of information that incentivize visitors to click on the Shop Now button (which itself is supplemented by more copy).

It never hurts to test different variations of your copy and CTA to find what combination works best.

Reduce loading times

When you’re online, a second can feel like an eternity.

Given the impatient nature of today’s surfer, slow loading times can kill your Web visits by the second. There are all kinds of statistics out there on how fast a website should be and the effect it can have. Two big ones stick out:

  • Slow-loading pages have 72% higher bounce rates than the faster ones (Decibel Insight)
  • Over half of your users will ditch your mobile site if it takes more than three seconds to load (Google)

With so much brand messaging and e-commerce competition today, users have no problem moving onto the next website if yours is eating up too much of their time while loading.

There are a number of simple solutions to this problem. Optimizing images is a great place to start. Try scaling them down as much as you can without taking away from their significance. TinyPNG is a great tool to compress pictures without reducing quality.

Another common culprit to slow loading times is plugins. Take an in-depth look and deactivate the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary or are slowing your site speed. Also look into tools that enable you to measure and enhance your Web server’s performance.

If isn’t already, make optimizing your website’s speed a top priority to help reduce bounces.

Parting words

Bounce rates are an inseparable part of life in e-commerce or online lead generation. It’s impossible to please everyone. While there can be many factors that influence your bounce rate, a few major ones can easily be fixed. Bounce rate is one of the key metrics that shows you how your platform is performing. Always keep an eye on the pages that see the most bounces and examine their elements to determine the likely culprits.

And don’t just stop there. Tie back your conversion rates to cost per action and evaluate them against industry benchmarks for return on spend per marketing channel and customer lifetime value. Good luck!

You’ve finally gotten a handle on your customers’ e-business goals, but now they’re moving on to virtual reality. Learn more about moving From E-Business to V-Business.

About Tracy Vides

Tracy is a content marketer and social media consultant who works with small businesses and startups to increase their visibility. Although new to the digital marketing scene, Tracy has started off well by building a good reputation for herself, with posts featured on Steamfeed, Business 2 Community and elsewhere. Hit her up @TracyVides on Twitter.