Anyone who has explored the Google Analytics data for their own websites (if you haven’t, get in touch today!) will know that a major metric shown is the bounce rate for the website. The term “bounce rate” may not mean very much to most people but it is vitally important to the success or failure of many websites.
The bounce-rate gives a percentage of those people who left a given page (generally the front page) on a website without viewing any other pages – i.e. they didn’t explore any further. It is totally different to another Analytics metric, exit rates, which tells the number of people who left from a particular page.
In most cases (not all), a high bounce-rate means that your site and its content are not doing the job properly. The information and the way it is displayed is not enticing site visitors to stick around and find out more about your business. A high bounce-rate is not good *.
Fortunately, there are a whole range of measures and tactics that the site owner and their website developer can deploy to reduce the bounce-rate and improve the effectiveness of a site.
#1 – Ensure that the first page loads quickly.
To do this, optimise all images on the page, right down to the minimum possible. Your web designer must use clean code and a caching plugin will be beneficial if you are using WordPress. Most importantly of all, be sure that your site is housed on a fast server (ask your business contacts for recommendations here).
#2 – Use a prominent Call To Action (CTA)
Your site visitor needs to find the CTA within a few seconds of arriving at the site. This means, if you are an online store, the SHOP NOW needs to stand out from the remainder of content on the page. If your site makes the visitor search for what to do next, you’ve lost them.
#3 – Get the Hook in
They’ve come to your site for a reason now entice them to stay. Offer value on that very first page and you’ll get the “hook” in. Think about what they want to see? For ideas on what you could do for your site, check out the front page of BCF’s website – it has Instagram pictures, video clips, bargains in the store among various other items. In my opinion, BCF has a few too many on their front page but a couple on yours would work a treat!
#4 – Avoid Distractions
Link-baiting from other sites (these are commercial ads/articles with catching headlines that lead off-site) and pop-ups are a real turn-off for most site visitors. We’ve seen them all on other sites so why do we want to see more of them when we come to your site? Don’t use content that will distract from the real purpose of visiting your website – making connections and selling products.
#5 – Get an attractive, eye-catching site design from the word GO!
Do this step right from the beginning and you won’t have to redesign later on to fix a dodgy site. Be sure to choose a web designer that has created sites that will appeal to your industry. Ask them if they know about heat maps (these track visitors use of a page) and how to create sites that draw the visitor’s attention to the more desirable parts of the page. A good designer will make everything else so much easier.
By making a visit to the front page of your site worthwhile using the the above tips, you will dramatically improve the number of visitors who stay on-site and explore a bit further. Be sure to track the success of your changes through Google Analytics – you can watch as the bounce-rate begins to fall and your conversion rates begin to rise.
* Please note: While vitally important for multi-page sites, the bounce-rate is not an important measure for one-page websites and sites that have all the necessary details for customer conversion on the front page.