With it, you’ll have no problem converting your website visitors into genuine leads.
Without it, you can advertise all you like—you still won’t be able to see the ROI on your advertising dollar that you’d like to see.
The variable in question? A high-quality bounce rate. If you have a low bounce rate, it means that fewer and fewer of your customers are clicking away from your website and more and more are staying on to make a purchase or find out more. But what does a high customer bounce rate mean—and what are some common cures to fixing it? Here are a few ideas:
Diagnosing (and Understanding) a High Bounce Rate
First things first: why bother? Your bounce rate is defined as the rate of every 100 visitors who bounces. If you have 586 visitors who stay out of 1,122 opportunities, you have a bounce rate of approximately 48%.
That’s pretty simple math—but what goes into determining your company’s bounce rate can be much more complicated. While a high bounce rate might not matter for some websites (such as information-based websites where the goal is to inform the reader and then send them on their merry way), your goal should be to remain “sticky.” In other words, you want your website to be as fascinating and engaging as possible. The more people who remain on your site, the more potential customers you’ll have.
Why does bounce rate matter? Because it gets to the heart of why you make (or fail to make) sales online: with a poor bounce rate, your site isn’t engaging enough or persuasive enough to convert visitors into customers. With a high bounce rate, you’re making the most of your web traffic—and you’re ready to take on more growth.
How to Get a Lower Bounce Rate
As it is with golf, the lower your score here, the better you’re doing. You want your bounce rate to be low and your conversion rate to be high. When that happens, you’re free to focus on enhancing your advertising and marketing strategies—and not so much on-site optimization.
How do you secure a lower bounce rate for your site? Here’s a list of everything you should consider:
Inbound Marketing Problems
Although it might not seem like it, a surprisingly large amount of customer bounces can come from the expectations you set in your social media, branding, and advertising. That’s right: something you’re doing is priming your customers to bounce before they ever view your site.
- Branding problems: Does your brand accurately reflect what your company provides? Does your branding appeal to your target audience, or is it “off-message”? Is your branding vague about what solutions you specifically fix? If so, you might find that a large amount of your incoming traffic was never full of “potential leads” in the first place.
- Advertising problems: Are you on the wrong platforms? Are you in tune with your target demographic, or are you simply hoping for the best when you reach out on social media? Targeting the wrong audience segments might result in more traffic for your site, but it can also yield all sorts of traffic that’s less likely to convert than someone who reaches your site organically.
On-Site Marketing Problems
If you don’t believe the two problems above are an issue, here are some common on-site causes of high customer bounce rates—along with suggestions for fixing them:
- Load time. A long load time will test the patience of even the most qualified traffic. Make sure you test your speed routinely to keep an eye on your load times.
- Strange or confusing navigation. Don’t suffer from the “restaurant with a big menu” syndrome. You don’t want to give your potential customer too many choices. It may seem like this is a great way to engage them, but “decision overload” may kick in and force them to go somewhere else—some place with simpler choices. Cut down on the confusing navigation and make your site easy to read.
- Bad look. In this modern age of professional-style website templates, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that two websites that offer the same content but look different can still see completely different bounce rates. It’s worth it to look into your site’s bounce rate to make sure that it’s doing everything it can to attract the right kind of customer.
- Intrusion. Interrupting your traffic with an invite to sign up to a newsletter? Giving them too many pop-ups? Too many distractions? This kind of intrusion can drive away someone who was already on the fence about your website in the first place. If you want to improve, simply delay these or cut them out of your website experience entirely.
- A poor call to action. Even when you’ve attracted your target audience to your site—and even when you have their interest—you can lose them when you don’t give them a clear path to purchase. This is called increasing the “friction” of your purchasing process, which in turn only inspires them to click “back” and browse elsewhere. The best way to fix this is to improve your call to action—make it clear, obvious, and full of everything the customer needs to feel good about their decision to purchase from you.
- Mobile incompatibility. Some 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase with their phone in the past six months—and that number will only increase as the world of Ecommerce grows more mobile. If your site isn’t mobile-compatible, you may be losing on one of the most valuable blocks of customers you have. Consult with your web designer or purchase a template that’s mobile-compatible—and make sure that you test your website repeatedly on your own mobile device as well.
It doesn’t always take much to fix a high bounce rate once you’ve identified the problem. But it’s important to make sure you’re aware of that problem with proper analytics and a willingness to examine your site and ask where you can make improvements.