If your site is not generating the desired hits or traffic, signups for email is low and the number of clients being generated is not satisfactory, it is a clear sign of high bounce rate. Visitors who could be converted into customers or clients may leave as a result of high bounce rate and the term bounce off is literally known as the short spans of time spend by the visitors. The visitor also known as the reader, while visiting a web page and leaves without moving to other pages of that same website is linked to terminates the session. It sure is evident that Bounce rate is in inverse proportion to conversion rate.
Bounce rate is a factor that determines the site’s search performances. Having increased bounce rate would reduce site’s search performances. A smart marketer would therefore pay intent attention at the bounce rate on the landing pages and come up with re-worked strategies on the design aspects of the pages in order to reduce the bounce rate.
There are many issues which are the possible gaps that the reader or visitor is slipping through and needs to be plugged, that would reduce bounce rate. The important and easily plugged ones are listed here:-
#1 Content’s Readability factor
Lack of readability is one of the main reasons for readers leaving the page in a short time span. Some pointers on this aspect:-
- The content has to be legible and readable.
- Avoid using large chunks of text, as this creates quite an intimidating effect on the reader.
- Using bold and underlined heading would draw readers’ immediate attention. A relevant heading would provide a good pointer to the reader of what the page is all about.
- Using bullet points, like this part has been written, makes for easy reading and grasping the issues being discussed.
- Try to make the content intuitive, with reader participation in active mode. The content would sure be a sort of story.
#2 Storytelling to sell the brand
This point is closely related to the readability feature of the site as brought out in the last point above. It is natural to narrate the story of how the brand came to be and what it is going to be. It is a very natural and common marketing strategy followed by the experts all over the world. If the narration, also termed storytelling is not used judiciously it would lead to high bounce rate. Adam Toren from Forbes states that to bring a brand to life, the way is good story telling technique. Once again the reader is the chief patron to be kept in mind. The common tendency is for the reader to scan the page content for words or phrases that they are in search of.
Working out what these items could be and placing them in sub-headings or highlighted text would draw the reader’s attention. The reader has the ability to retain in memory these factors and the rest of the content must connect these elements together. It is the content which connects the customer to the brand and gain trust.
Some important features to be borne in mind to make a marketable brand story:-
- Making the reader a hero in the story-line. Ann Handley says that this practice makes the reader retain in memory the story or content in this case. It also makes the reader want to share the story with others.
- Telling and sharing the truth with the reader once again induces trust in the customer. Sometimes putting down the failures which the business house has experienced in its life cycle turns out to be trust gaining brownie points.
#3 Popups not favored by readers
More than 70 percent of users had voted for popups are irrelevant and annoying in a recently conducted survey. It is however a fact that the line to distinguish an irrelevant popup from a relevant one is quite thin. The thumb rule therefore can be stated as, to avoid popups as far as possible. However there are marketers who have used popups and gained customers especially via the additions to their email lists. It therefore is a debatable issue so far as bounce rate effect goes.
#4 Call-to-Action (CTA) the button of consequence
The term CTA is that button on your landing page that links up to other resource pages of the same domain. While rampant usage of links leads to higher bounce rate, studies have shown that about 70 percent of small business websites do not have a clear CTA button. Once again, paying attention to small details while making the CTA would ensure it helps decrease bounce rate.
Some of these points are listed here:-
- CTA must compel the reader to look what’s on the other side
- Pay attention to the font used on the button
- The CTA button must be very distinct from any other link buttons on the web page.
#5 Improving the page loading time
As per the studies an average reader could wait for 2 to 3 seconds for a web page to load. Pages taking more than the above mentioned limits would eventually lead visitors to skip visiting, which results higher bounce rate. It is not just the reader’s point of view that matters here. Google also maintains the webpage loading time when ranking the site in its search engine result. A site that takes more time to load is ranked lower in the results thrown up by Google. Not only various statistical study results highlight this issue, Smart Insights have also confirmed that higher conversion rate has been possible with pages that load faster.
- First and foremost the current speed of page loading needs to be checked. Pingdom is one of the most effective tool that can help you optimizing loading speed..
- To get as close to the 2 second load time benchmark removing query strings from the static pages helps a lot.
- The .htaccess file requires some tweaking also.
- Of course heavy graphics on the landing page does lead to slower page loading, but this factor many do not consider worthy of attention.
- Use smush.it from yahoo or wp super cache to improve page load time if you are using WordPress as your content management system.
This is but the tip of the iceberg so far as reducing bounce rate and increasing conversion rate goes. Formulating a well thought of strategy and time frame for the web page construction would be necessary to ensure low bounce rate right from the start.