How to Stop Losing Leads by Improving Your Website’s Bounce Rate

posted this in
Web Design
on April 9th, 2013

The bounce rate. It either tells you that your website is kicking butt or that visitors are just not that into you.

The bounce rate for an average website is 40.5%, which means that 40.5% of your website visitors are viewing only one page and then leaving immediately. If your bounce rate is much higher than 40.5%, you are losing leads and customers.

While many things affect your bounce rate, here are some of the most common reasons people leave your website and how you can change that.

Create easier navigation

A high bounce rate may be a result of common website navigation mistakes. If your navigation is super complex and it is difficult for your visitor to find their way around your website, they’re probably bouncing.

Your navigation should be simple, easy and intuitive for your visitor. Don’t make your visitor think—put navigation in an expected place (usually on the top or left side) and use common terms like “contact us” and “about.”

Drive the right audience to your website

When somebody clicks on an advertisement (whether a pay-per-click or any other advertisement) the content on the page they land on should match the content from the ad they clicked.

For example, if you click on a Google ad after searching “best toothpaste” and the landing page itself talks about floss, you would probably leave the page because you were looking for toothpaste, right?

It’s easy to get caught up in thinking your customers will connect the dots, but it’s more likely they will bounce. If your landing page doesn’t have the content they were looking for they will go back and find a webpage that does. The web is a land of instant-gratification and if you’re not offering it, they have hundreds of other choices.

Speed up your website

47% of visitors expect a website to load within 2 seconds and 40% of visitors abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. You have only 3 seconds to grab your readers’ attention or you risk them bouncing from your website.

Images that are too large, hosting issues and unoptimized code are only a few reasons your website might be loading slowly.

Eliminate dead ends

A “dead end” on a website happens when a visitor is unsure of what to do next and ends up leaving your website. Let your web visitors know what they’re expected to do next on every page.

Your website landing pages should have clear and strong calls-to-action so your visitor always knows what you want them to do next.

This doesn’t mean you need to have a “call us for more information” button on every page either. You can simply link to other related information without being too salesy.

Open external links in new windows

An easy fix for lowering your bounce rate is to open external links in new windows. If you add a link to a landing page or blog post and it opens in the same window, you immediately have a visitor who has bounced. The chances of that visitor clicking the “back” button and coming back to your site will depend on how interested they are in your company.

If opening links in external links is not a feature built in your content management system, you’ll have to use HTML code to make this happen.

Try experimenting

Last but not least, try experimenting to see what affects your bounce rate the most. Changing up the content of an ad, trying different calls-to-action and eliminating a confusing navigation are all great ways to test what will help improve your bounce rate.

You should be paying attention to your bounce rate and trying different things to improve it. After all, if your website isn’t retaining visitors, are you really achieving your goals?

What are you doing to lower your high bounce rate and stop losing leads? Have you tried any methods to improve your rate? Send us a comment on Facebook.