12 Ways To Decrease Website Bounce Rate

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Bounce rate might not sound like a big deal to those without hands-on marketing experience, but it happens to be one of the most crucial metrics that determine a brand’s success online. 

The definition is simple: bounce rate simply means the percentage of guests to your website who leave after viewing only one page. In other words, these guests are out the door as quickly as they walked in. That spells bad news for your sales and the bottom line of your business. It could also mean good news for your competitors if they end up pogosticking from the bounce to their company sites instead.

That’s why so many ecommerce experts are finally taking bounce rates more seriously and crafting strategies to reduce them in any way possible. 

Some of these methods should be obvious to anyone with ecommerce experience, while others are more outside the box. Let’s see what marketing pros recommend to reduce bounce rates and keep website visitors engaged from first impressions to checkout. 

1. Determine Key Bounce Metrics 

It all starts with the who, what, and where of the bounce rate across your site. With these variables understood, you can start to figure out the “why” and map out solutions for your business website. 

“It all starts with gathering data, which goes beyond the bounce rate percentage itself,” said Chris Vaughn, CEO of Emjay. “Find out how visitors are finding your site and map out the journey from beginning to end. Dive deep into Google Analytics reports and look for things like average session duration and number of sessions per user. These additional metrics will give you context to make sense of your bounce rate and proceed along the right path, rather than just navigating in the dark.” 

2. Identify Bounce Triggers 

We’ve all bounced from a website before, and maybe couldn’t even give a reason why. Marketers must discover the clues for why bounce rates are so high on their company website. 

“Get all the facts you can gather as they relate to bounce rates before you jump to conclusions and start reworking your entire website,” said Daniel Patrick, Founder of DANIEL PATRICK. “Consider every possible reason why someone may be quick to leave, whether it’s a landing page, a product page, a blog article, or another aspect of your site. From there, assess the quality of the content and UX on each page, from design elements to written copy and navigation options. There is always something in need of improvement, so treat this as a work in progress.” 

3. Streamline Homepage Design 

One of the biggest bounce rate culprits is a matter of design, specifically how the homepage looks and feels. Improve this first impression and watch bounce rates plummet fast. 

“The majority of first-time viewers will end up on your homepage, which should make this your top priority for design and usability,” said Jared Hines, Head of Operations at Acre Gold. “Declutter your home page, make it inviting, and intuitive to navigate. Once you have a winning homepage with a minimal bounce rate, then you can start applying those lessons to the rest of your site and create a cohesive user experience.” 

4. Monitor Customer Feedback 

Customers are rather vocal in the social media age, so listen to what they have to say about your site and the shopping experience overall. It may be harsh feedback, but the insights can point you in the right direction for improvement. 

“It’s not always comfortable to tune into what people are saying on review sites or social media, but when it comes to your site and bounce rate, you are obligated to pay attention,” said Fred Gerantabee, Chief Experience Officer at Foster Grant. “Any glaring issues will become apparent once you start listening more closely and getting a broad range of opinions from the public.” 

5. Test Out New Options 

Reducing bounce rate is all about optimization, which means accepting a bit of trial and error in the process. Get comfortable testing various options and seeing what works best. 

“The A/B testing model is tried and true, and still gives you a ton of insight for a metric like bounce rate,” said Shaun Price, Head of Customer Acquisition at MitoQ. “This is your chance to take some risks and see what components are conducive to more clicks and impressions. You will discover the best formula for your brand by testing rigorously and tracking progress.” 

6. Easy On The Extras 

Nobody wants to be bombarded with tons of pop-ups, push notifications, and in-your-face attention grabbers. Keep the extras to a minimum so that visitors can feel at ease from the start. 

“Widgets, promo elements and ads crammed into the sidebars and headers of your website can be a major turn-off,” said Amine Rahal, CMO at Regal Assets. “I would avoid overdoing it when it comes to sidebar material. Instead of cramming award emblems and badges on your sidebars, consider relegating that material to your website footer. This way, the presentation of the site looks much cleaner. You never want to overwhelm your visitors with too many ‘fluff’ elements. While awards and trust signals are great, it's easy to overdo them.” 

7. Put Products Front And Center 

People show up to your site for a reason: to browse and buy products. If your products are hidden in a maze of menus, a high bounce rate is inevitable. 

“We like to feature new arrivals and popular styles right on our homepage so that visitors instantly know they’re getting into,” said Sumeer Kaur, CEO of Lashkaraa. “There is no need for users to learn the layout or navigate the menu systems when the products are readily accessible. This is a great way to cut down on bounce rate.” 

8. Make Your Site Mobile-Ready 

A huge segment of shoppers now uses mobile devices to browse the web and shop. Dramatically reduce bounce rates on mobile by optimizing your pages for this on-the-go format. 

“Not only are mobile-centric sites more user friendly and formatted for small screens, but they also load faster and have a more intuitive browsing experience,” said Ricky Nariani, President and Co-Founder of WANTD. “Mobile sites are great, obviously, but your eventual goal should be to build an app that people want to download and use directly.” 

9. Try Interactive Content 

Who said that content needs to be boring and bland? More businesses are putting interactive content in the spotlight to reduce bounce rates and create memorable experiences for audiences. 

“It’s easier than ever to include interactive content on your site, from minigames and quizzes to surveys and animated infographics,” said Katie Lyon, Co-Founder of Allegiance Flag Supply. “These are assets that might be pricier to produce at first, but will have an immediate impact on reducing bounce rates and sparking interest in the rest of your site.” 

10. The Need For Speed 

What use is a slow-loading site in an age of instant action and gratification? Do everything in your power to speed up your website on every level and visitors will be more likely to browse. 

“A fast-loading site is critical to your success,” said Michelle Abdow, President and Founder of Market Mentors. “Even minor improvements will allow you to lower bounce rates, increase conversions and improve your search engine rankings. When designing websites for clients, we’ve found that speed is an integral part of the overall user experience. But it’s important to remember that you can’t set it and forget it. We see a webpage as a living, breathing document that consistently needs to be audited and updated to achieve optimal performance.” 

11. Compelling Calls To Action 

While CTAs might get a bad rap in the world of marketing, they are absolutely essential to keeping bounce rates low. Of course, there’s a right and wrong way to structure CTAs, so use them sparingly and stay true to best practices. 

“Just one call to action can make or break a first impression, so they must be crafted carefully,” said Brandon Amoroso, Founder and CEO of electrIQ marketing. “I recommend making calls to action less aggressive at first, and offering something in return for their input. For example, a free report or ebook is an ideal asset to exchange for an email address or quick survey.” 

12. Always Offer More Value 

The final point that must be understood: across the web, valuable content keeps people coming back for more, no matter the context. 

Offer a broad spectrum of content that makes it hard to leave your site behind. 

“Value can come in so many different forms, from information and education to fun visuals and humorous written copy,” said Seb Evans, Co-Founder of Banquist. “Tap into what makes your brand unique and explore all the ways you can generate value for visitors. Blog content is a popular way to keep higher-level readers engaged. So are photo galleries and enthusiastic user-generated reviews. Build up assets like product guides and FAQs. Eventually, your site will be an authoritative resource that everyone knows and trusts, meaning newcomers will be far less likely to bounce.” 

The Bottom Line On Better Bounce Rates

There may not be a way to get your website’s bounce rate to zero (or even under 20%), but these tips can help get this metric into the upper percentile for your industry. 

By cutting website bounces down and reducing pogo sticking, you will be on the right path to success without helping your competition.

Before long, these reduced bounce rates will translate to more sales, a bigger audience, and a thriving brand that lasts for years to come. Bounce rates might not get better overnight, but if you keep working on it then your website will be better.

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