Increasing traffic to the website is a large part of any digital marketing strategy. But mere increase in traffic won’t take you places. Along with footfalls, what a website needs to be successful is quality user engagement. This is where bounce rate comes in.
Website development is not about hits
A website may get hundreds of hits per day but if the visitors are all hurriedly leaving the site after arriving, the number of hits don’t matter much, do they? Worse, in these cases, the website does not have what the visitor is looking for or is badly designed or is a clickbait, thus greatly reducing chances of a revisit.
On the other hand, if visitors are lingering on your website, browsing through more than one page and engaging with the content, then the bounce rate is likely to be lower. Evidently, this augurs well for the website’s success.
What is bounce rate?
Simply put, bounce rate is a method to analyse the activity of your visitors on your website. It refers to the percentage of visitors who ‘bounce off’ your website as soon as they land; which means they are not interested enough to browse your website and have left as soon as they arrived.
When do websites have a high bounce rate?
Though it is a difficult task to examine why your visitors are not engaging with your website, there are often very good reasons for it. Some common reasons are:
- Your website does not provide what was promised in terms of content/information.
- Your website takes too long to load, making the visitor impatient.
- Your website is unwieldy and difficult to navigate, confusing the visitor.
- Your website is not optimized for all devices.
Tips to lower bounce rate
That said, there are tried and tested ways to reduce bounce rate and encourage your visitors to engage more deeply with your website. Here are a few tips:
- Design and loading time - The most vital aspect of a website is its loading time and its design. If the landing page, however charming, takes too long to load, it will only frustrate and not please your visitor. Same goes for the design of your website. Keep it clean, simple and professional to enable visitors to engage with it .
- Keep the content flowing - You cannot expect your visitor to do all the work -- explore your content, browse your website and navigate to all the pages you have put up. If you want to lower your bounce rate, you need to present your content in a continuous flow so that the visitor does not have to think twice about moving from one page to the next. Slideshows and gallery should be automated and sections must overlap. This will help maximise engagement .
- Optimize for all devices - Often the best of websites have a high bounce rate because of a technical problem. Your website might show up beautifully on a desktop but if it morphs into an unresponsive or a cluttered page on a mobile, it will obviously put off your visitors. Keep testing your website to ensure that it is responsive and adaptive on all devices .
- Keep it simple and honest - Make tall promises only if you can keep them. Nothing puts off a visitor more than a false claim. You might be able to lure in visitors with such fanciful stuff but if you are unable to deliver on what you have promised, your bounce rate will zoom. Avoid heavily cluttered landing pages that carry the risk of being unresponsive. It is better to be specific and simple, while ensuring that your content is of quality and design easy .