An effective guide for reducing your website bounce rate

When you’re setting up your website, the specifics of how it will look and function largely depend on how you intend to use it. However, there are some things that all websites have in common. For instance – reducing your website bounce rate is a definite priority for all websites. If people aren’t staying on your website long enough to consume your content; something is definitely wrong. ConvertMore goes beyond the ability to help you boost conversions. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some fundamental steps that you can take to lower your bounce rate!

Page loading time

A lot of digital marketers dive into a faulty premise and start blaming a website’s bounce rate as a result of the content on your pages. In reality, page loading speed is one of the dominant culprits for high bounce rates. It is a factor that site visitors notice before getting the chance to look through the content. Sure, there are plenty of different technical issues that a specific page might have; that being said, slow page loading time is definitely one of the worst among them. Let’s face it; there’s no point in providing excellent content or other functionalities if people don’t stick around long enough to experience them.

A block of code against a black background on a laptop screen.
Be sure that your website load speeds are not the cause of the bounce rates!

Experts state that most Internet users have come to expect their pages to load in less than two seconds, meaning that this is the load time that you should strive toward. In other words, on-page optimization is absolutely essential if you want to lessen the bounce rate of your website. Furthermore, if we’re talking about mobile sites – page loading time becomes even more important. Delays that range in just a couple of hundred milliseconds have become a deal-breaker for the average Internet user.

Accessible content will help in reducing your website bounce rate

How many times have you visited a promising web page or a blog post; only to see that you’re being greeted by an intimidatingly huge wall of text? This happens to everyone from time to time. And this is unfortunate for the owners of the websites in question since most of us tend to look elsewhere in such a situation. So, even if your content is unique, informative, and able to bring a lot of value to readers; you need to make sure that the way in which you present it encourages them to read on. Otherwise, they could turn to a less valuable source that simply seemed more professional.

Thus, smartly designed page formatting is crucial for reducing your website bounce rate. In other words, if a visitor doesn’t have to strain themselves in order to find and understand the information or function that they want; they are far more likely to continue using your website. The last thing people want to see are huge paragraphs without any visually appealing elements. If you want to make your content more appealing to the average website visitor, include:

  • Headers
  • Proper structure with headlines and sub-headlines
  • Bullet lists
  • Appropriate images with captions

If you properly utilize the formatting options that we’ve described above; you will be able to ensure that your content is accessible enough to entertain and inform the reader without turning them away. It’s vital that each reader has the ability to easily skim through all of your content. That way, they will be able to easily identify any points which are important to them.

Be careful with sidebar content

When you’re creating a webpage, what you’re trying to achieve is having a relevant platform for useful content, different materials, and advertising offers – all of which are available to your users. This is particularly true for blog pages; you’ll rarely be able to find a blog that doesn’t offer some sort of promotion via its sidebar. But as common of a practice as this is; the last thing you want is to overwhelm your readers with sidebar content. If they see too many promotions, offers, and ads; they’re quite likely to bounce away in search of a less cluttered and aggressive website.

A woman holding browsing a website on her phone.
You need to be certain that your website is easily accessible from all devices.

If you truly want to make relevant content that’s present in your sidebar stand out, make sure that you do approach the user with additional value before offering them blatant ads for products or services. For instance, if you offer article recommendations that tie into the topic that your blog post is already tackling; this goes a long way towards making your website more legitimate in the eyes of the readers. And if you do include promotional content; be careful about who you’re linking to. You want to be certain that these are only reputable sources and that the links are noopeners (open in a different tab when users click on them).

Look at bounce rates within the proper context

As you might have already figured out; no metric that’s related to your website will tell you much about it on its own. Before reducing your website bounce rate; it’s imperative that you don’t consider this metric the sole indicator of the performance of your website. Instead, you need to see this indicator as a small part of a bigger puzzle; though definitely a crucial part. This will allow you to figure out precisely what’s wrong with your site in general, instead of fumbling around “in the dark”.

A laptop on a table with a Google tab opened in a browser.
Make sure that your other metrics are in correlation with the bounce rates as well!

For example; there are all kinds of issues with bounce rates. You could be having problems with a particular page, or a whole array of pages (like the entire blog section or the product pages on the site), or perhaps the website in its entirety. Take a look at your Time on Site information to learn more. If you find that these metrics are decent in general, but you’re noticing higher bounce rates on the pages of your blog; the content that you’re posting is almost certainly to blame. On the other hand, if the Time on Site is also lacking; this is a sure sign that you’re having issues with the site as a whole. 

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