July 11, 2014

8 Ways to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate

While you will never get your bounce rate to zero, there are plenty of ways to reevaluate your content and reduce bounce rate.

Bounce rate is the direct enemy of your conversion percentage. Every time someone “bounces off” of your page, that is a lost opportunity to get the visitors to enter your sales funnel. While you will never get this number to zero, there are plenty of ways to reevaluate your content and reduce bounce rate.

1. Make sure people know what they are supposed to do right away.

This must be part of the primary planning process for every page on your site. While you are familiar with the ins and outs of your site, your visitors aren’t. Even simple web pages generally have several elements on them. You must make a map for your visitors or they will simply give up and leave.

2. Skip the popups.

No matter what anyone says about their conversion rates, they annoy everyone. When was the last time you were happy to see a popup? Popups are a crutch for those with poor design skills. Good design practices allow you to move that content onto the page and still make it just as noticeable.

3. Loading times matter

Loading times should have been addressed back in the build phase, but if a page is having trouble with bounces, you should revisit it. The page needs to load in just a second or two, even with a mediocre connection, or people will move on. Fortunately, if you have a loading time problem, there are usually ways to improve it without damaging the integrity of your page.

4. Don’t autoplay any audio or video.

While once upon a time people had to hunt through their tabs to figure out which one was playing audio, many browsers will now tell them which one they need to close. It is the same concept as popups— don’t intrude into their space unless the visitor expressly asks for it.

5. Ensure consistency

Ensure that your content matches what people expect it to. While you do not have complete control over the descriptions in search results, you can give them suggestions. Make sure to set the description meta tag, and tighten up the opening paragraph so that it sums up the content on the page.

6. Target Blank External Links

Another simple task for your content curators is to ensure that all links from your site will open in a new tab or window. There were simpler ways to reduce bounce rate than to make sure you aren’t the one sending people away from your site. Some people may come back on their own, but opening links in a new tab does not give them the opportunity to stay away after clicking.

7. Use social media to engage visitors before they visit your site.

When you publish content you need to get it out to the people who are interested in reading it and purchasing products from your company. With search engines, you get a mixed bag, but on social media you can get your message out to people who are already interested in your company. With this technique, you reduce bounce rate by increasing total traffic, which is definitely an added bonus.

8. Ensure a smooth mobile experience

Take a look at how your website works on mobile devices. Most analytics dashboards should allow you to separate traditional and mobile bounce rates. If your mobile bounce rate is significantly higher, then you will need to do some coding to improve it. You can use redirects to shuffle mobile users to a separate site, but that leaves you with two websites to manage. The better choice moving forward is to use CSS, and maybe a little javascript, to change how your site appears on small devices to better reflect their needs.

To reduce bounce rate, as with any website metric, the most important thing is to make adjustments, test and then adjust further. Your website is a living, breathing entity that needs to evolve along with the needs of your users. By taking this approach to website design, you will be better equipped to identify problem areas that are damaging your customer engagement.

What’s a Rich Text element?

H1 example

H3 example

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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