I like to think of reducing bounce rate as How To Keep My Visitors Happy! To do this, we first have to know the following:
- What is a bounce rate?
- What is a landing page?
- Why should I care about my bounce rate?
If you know the answer to these and want to skip to answering the question below, click here.
- What keeps people wanting more?
Getting the definitions out of the way…
What is a bounce rate?
A bounce rate is the number of single page visits on your website. This means that a visitor found himself/herself onto your website, didn’t feel the desire to look around, then left your website.
There are many reasons why a person leaves a website:
- Confused / Lost
- Too much work
Unless you’re that cynical, these are all feelings we want our visitors to avoid.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a single page of a website that a visitor goes to. This could be your home page, a blog post, or a product page. They get there from:
- A link on Google
- A “link in bio!”
- Typing in the url
Generally, a “formal” landing page is meant to take a stranger from the internet and convert them into someone who buys your product, registers to an event, becomes a member, donates to your cause, etc.
We’re going to be using the broader definition: any page a visitor lands on.
Fancy, we know. This means that it could be any page on your website. A simple blog post or product page is generally where people find you. This is because they are looking for something specific using Google.
So, does every one of your posts have to be the perfect landing page? I mean, kind of, but not really… We’ll answer this a little better by asking the next question.
Why Should I Care About My Bounce Rate?
So, now we know that, unlike that awesome bouncy ball we had back in
high sch… elementary school, a high bounce rate is not great. This means that people are finding our website – good, but then leaving right away – bad.
We want people to see everything that our website, and therefore, our brand, has to offer.
The best way to explain why we should all care about low bounce rates is by giving an example.
These are the 10 steps I hope someone takes when finding a post on RevampedWebsites.com:
- Someone googles “how to reduce bounce rate” (or something similar)
- This post is optimized and Google loves us, so they come across this post.
- The information is found easily and gathered from the post with the tools given to them.
- They see that Revamped Websites has more to offer and is an awesome website like they are trying to make.
- The visitor finds more posts that help them improve their own website.
- They come back to RevampedWebsites.com anytime they have a new problem or question with their website.
- Maybe they later decide they want someone else to rebuild their website and they know we can do it for them.
- They know they’ll be happy with our services because they have seen what we do for others.
- The visitor tells other people about us because they are happy every time they come to the website.
- They don’t stalk us but come as close as a person can get to stalking a website without it being creepy.
All of this usually takes more than seeing one page of the website and then leaving. This is why a high bounce rate is not ideal.
Where To Begin...
Get Ahead of Your Visitors!
The first step is having the information, product, service, etc. that your visitors are looking for. You need to know this before people look for it so they find the information on your website. A great free tool for this is Google Keyword Planner. This allows us to see how many people are looking up keywords on Google every month. Talk about what they want and answer their questions before they can even think about them.
A great way to see what people are trying to find answers to is by using Google’s Keyword Planner. This allows you to enter in a keyword or sentence and see how many people are looking for that each month. If it’s only 1-10 people, you might be wasting your time. Most people aren’t looking for that information.
Look for keywords that have 100-1k people googling them a month. This is a good range for small businesses. It’s enough people to spend time writing for, but not too many where you’ll have be competing for Google’s front page by large brand companies writing for the same key words.
Your visitors will be happy when they find the answers they are looking for consistently. This is done a few ways:
- Writing about what they want
- Making the answer clear and easy to find while scanning
- Using conventions
- Visual hierarchies
- More important = more prominent
- Related logically = related visually.
- Visual hierarchies
- Keeping the noise down
- Having a consistent website overall so they know where they are and where they’re going next time they’re here.
- Navigation Bar with the essential -logo, site name, tagline, utilities. To see more of how and why to use these in more depth, click the following link that will open a new window and check it out after finishing this post – Top 10 Things a Website Should Have.
Just because someone leaves today after getting an answer, doesn’t mean they won’t come back tomorrow. But, they still have to be happy with what they saw and felt when being on your website – and get the answer they were looking for.
There are worse things than someone who goes to your website, gets the answer they want and then leaves. This could happen… they could not get the answer they want, throw up in their mouth a little, call the better business bureau, complain about the seizure they just had from your webpage, leave a horrible review on Yelp, tell their children and children’s children to never go to your website, and make it a lifelong mission to get your website off of the internet. …It could always be worse.
The best scenario is that someone finds your website, they feel your website helped them, click on more links within your site, buy anything you’re selling, add your website to their favorites so they can go back every day, and call all of their friends and family to do the same.
The more likely scenario that we can strive for is someone finding your website, getting what they were looking for, maybe looking around – maybe not – but having a feeling of delight in some way and thinking about your website next time they have a similar problem/question.
So how do we make our visitors have that feeling of happiness/fulfillment and look around our website or at the least, come back tomorrow?
Think about what websites you generally go back to, they:
- Are easy to navigate
- Don’t take five days to load
- Don’t have ads jumping in your face
Consistency And Clarity
If you implement Top 10 Things a Website Should Have, you have a great start at lowering your bounce rate and keeping your visitors happy. For the items in this list, we’re going to go through it thinking about a new visitor, we’ll call him Jerry, getting to your website for the first time. We’ll use examples from RevampedWebsites.com to help as well.
To begin, imagine Jerry trying to figure out an answer, or trying to find a product, or wanting the perfect cat picture for his living room wall (whatever you offer, Jerry wants!). After going to Google to find an answer – Jerry comes across your website. That’s awesome! But now what?
Jerry is in a new place. He thinks he found the perfect product, but can he trust where he is? He found the perfect answer and now he has new questions, does he feel like he can look around and not waste his valuable time?
This is why your website has to be self-evident! This means that Jerry should know what your website is for from any page or post he is on. The best way to do this is with a great tagline. There’s a reason why this is number 4 on the Top 10 Things a Website Should Have.
A great tagline is going to tell anyone that sees your website what your brand is for and how it will help them.
Example: Revamped Websites’ tagline shows people that we give information on building awesome and effective websites as well as building them for you so you can focus on your brand.
The tagline is great because if you read the Top 10 Things a Website Should Have – it will be in a persistent navigation and be on the top of every page.
This persistent navigation is something that will keep your visitors happy as well. It’s rare that a website doesn’t have its navigation up on every page. What is more common is finding navigation links that are so broad that it doesn’t tell you anything about the website or where you’ll go once you click on it.
The main idea for the navigation is to outline your website. This will show your visitors where they can go and what your website will do for them.
Revamped Websites keeps it simple with the following links:
- Home – easy to get back to the home page
- Start Here – If you are new to the page, this is the perfect place to start. It gives the main information paths and answers the main questions someone might have when coming to our site.
- Services – explains what we do for you if you pay for our website builds
- Blog – the main page with our blogs full of information to help with small business website design and builds.
Most people are not going to read everything on your website. People want their information and they want it fast. I’m sure most people aren’t reading this part of the blog right now. They will generally stop and look at
- This bullet point
- And maybe this bullet point
- By this bullet point we’re already losing people.
The main idea here is to keep your website readable. By readable, we mean billboard readable! Design it like someone is cruising by and just needs to pick up the main points. That’s why you’ll notice that most of our blogs are lists of top [some #] items. These are the easiest to skim and get good information.
Even if the blog isn’t titled and formatted in this way, it is still designed to be skimmed and get most of the information. Just as a billboard is. This goes along with having white space and images on our list of Top 10 Things a Website Should Have.