What do we mean when we say, “reduce bounce rate”? First we have to know exactly what a bounce rate is.
According to Wikipedia, bounce rate “represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than continuing on to view other pages within the same site.”
With that in mind, is your website effective in keeping visitors browsing your website?
If not, then your website has a problem, but these 5 simple solutions can help decrease your bounce rate drastically.
But before we talk about that, why do some websites have extremely high bounce rates?
1. Lack of page relevancy.
2. Poor text format.
3. Navigation issues.
4. Misleading meta descriptions and titles.
5. Bad grammar.
6. Poor website speed.
Think about each visitor as a unique individual. He or she most likely wants to find information that is helpful, wants to find it fast, and has a very specific problem to solve.
For example, if your article solves a specific problem that is costing people money, you article can be:
But if someone wants to learn about website costs, they won’t read a 3000+ word article on the subject. More than likely, they will prefer a 500-1000 word article that gives a descriptive, but quick overview of website costs.
Understanding your customer is the first step in any strategy to reduce bounce rate on your website.
What services do you offer and who are they for?
For example, let’s say your business helps clients plan wedding events.
We can assume several things:
1. Your client has money they WANT to spend.
2. They want to spend it on the right person.
3. They want it to be easy, they already have a million things to deal with.
4. They want an unforgettable event that pleases them in every way.
On the highest incoming traffic page (for many wedding planners this is the home page), a wedding planner will want to have all this information in a format that can be easily skimmed. Below is a quick mockup that shows you how this is done:
<Title: Some dazzling words why the planner’s wedding events are great and memorable>
The title serves to tell them exactly what you do and how it benefits the customer. Below is an example of copy that educates the customer instantaneously on what they are about to read:
We know this page is about running events, and we know people don’t stop talking about them (which most people assume is because the event is great).
<Body: Short explanation of who you are, what you do, and some pain points they may have.>
This short section is to keep visitors thinking, “I’m in the right place.” At this point, visitors are still apt to click the “back” button. Remind them that you run events, tell them who you are, and include some pain points through the use of bullet points. Do it in as few words as possible.
<Body: Gallery of professional photos taken at your events>
They want an awesome event to be thrown for themselves, show them how awesome your events are!
Now that the customer knows exactly what you do, who you are, and can see real proof of your events because of the gallery, it’s time to hit them with some hard social proof.
The mockup above, with some formatting magic, can be skimmed within the first 10 seconds. Creating a website that users can skim for all the information they need is a sure-fire way to reduce bounce rate.
On the flip-side to this example, let’s say our customer is someone who is trying to sell a a business seminar and needs a freelancer to research long-tail keywords for them. This customer has no problem reading a 3000 word blog on the subject. Understand your customer first, then optimize your page for better bounce rates.
Here are some simple tips that can drastically improve your bounce rate:
1. Create Highly Descriptive Meta Descriptions
When people find your page through a search engine, their initial impression isn’t your home page. It’s your meta description. Here’s an example of a good meta description:
This is a result you get when typing “wedding planner San Francisco” into Google’s search engine. The highlighted areas tell us that they are wedding planners, serve the San Francisco Bay Area, have served many newly weds, and do everything for your wedding (making it easy).
2. Support Your Meta Description With Immediately Relevant Information
After someone clicks on your meta description, they are expecting a web page that is 100% relevant to your meta description. Remember to include the main topics your audience is searching for in the title and first paragraph of your pages copy. You cannot reduce bounce rate if your webpage isn’t consistent with your meta description.
3. Make Your Website Navigable
Once you convince someone that they are in the right place, they will want to find out more. Include outbound links to other web pages in your website’s copy when applicable. Maybe you mention an important service you offer or article you have written. Go ahead and embed a link in a couple of words related to that service, for example:
When someone is interested in something you said, they may want to find more information. Give them the option to find it! Just make sure it opens the link into a new tab.
4. Use Open Loops
This is great for articles and blogs. Remind your reader that there is a solution within your article, and that if they keep reading they will be given this solution. Open loops is a tactical writing tip many writers, copywriters, journalists, and authors use to reduce bounce rate. Here is an example:
This loops essentially promises that readers can recreate an article with the same results. For people who are getting very little shares, this is an enticing proposition because the article they are reading has over 80 shares.
5. Remind Readers What They Get For Reading, and Then Tell Them What They Can Do To Get More.
In the beginning of this article, I promised that “these 5 simple solutions can help decrease your bounce rate drastically.”
You know exactly what you are about read in the first second.
Even the title and meta description of this web page repeat this exact sentiment. Readers are constantly reminded what they will get.
There is a psychological reason for this. When spending time reading an article, we are giving up a resource called “opportunity cost.” Instead of reading something else, you are choosing to read this. Every piece of content, whether it is web copy or blogging content, must justify itself. Again, this is accomplished through reminding them what they will get, and for website copy, by catering to your customer’s needs and offering the information they need to make decisions.
6. Increase Website Speed (BONUS)
Although out of the scope of this article, your website speed maybe slowing down because of image size. And website speed is a large factor that can help you reduce bounce rate. Click here to find out more about how to increase website speed.
Smart copy keeps customers reading and entices them to find out more about your services or products.
Understand how your copy works together to educate, persuade, and incite and apply this information to your website’s copy to reduce bounce rate.
Just keep to this simple checklist if your aren’t sure whether your website is meeting some basic copy standards:
• Meta description explains exactly what my web page is about.
• The title includes the subject of the web page.
• The first paragraph includes the subject of the web page.
• Customers are reminded what they will get.
• There are open loops in the copy.
• Context is being given about your web page in a simple and efficient way.
Now that you know how to reduce the bounce rate of your web page, maybe you want to know how keyword research can drastically improve your search engine rankings. Begin your education on keyword research here to further improve your SEO efforts.
Have any questions? Need to have your website redone, audited for improvements, or need to implement a content marketing plan the drives results? Contact us and we will be happy to help you out!
Our Number: 727-237-2035