There is nothing more exhilarating than beginning your business and going online. But the bad news is, you’re now one of billions on the web and standing out is a tough nut to crack. There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways you can keep visitors on your site for longer and reduce your bounce rates. What a lot of people who launch websites seem to forget is that getting traffic is only a quarter of the challenge and as entrepreneurs, the importance of a professional site that stands out against the crowd is a lengthy task in itself.
KissMetrics conducted a study that found the average bounce rate on a website is 40.5%. That’s a hell of a bounce rate, when all it takes is that one customer to stay for a healthy period of time on your site browsing. After all, bounce rates are like Iron Man and his suit. You need both to achieve successful results and reduce bounce rates. KissMetrics found that retail sites get 20-40% bounce rates, compared to content sites which get 40-60%; substantially higher.
Whilst bounce rates are distressing and disappointing to the owner of the site, it indicates that something is wrong and must be done to rectify the number of visitors that come in and out of your site.
Here are 5 user-friendly ways to decrease bounce rates on your site:
1. Your audience should be clear
As a customer, there is nothing more annoying than not understanding the target audience of the site you’re exploring. If the content does not immediately provide the information the visitor is seeking, your bounce rates will be very high. Be cognisant of the audience you wish to lure to your site and put yourself in their shoes. If the content doesn’t meet their needs, questions and queries, they will go somewhere that does. It is invaluable to use keywords relevant to your target audience and your field of expertise. For example, if you are a shoe company that specialises in organic and ethical made shoes, then this should be your focus.
2. Simplicity is key
It can be extremely frustrating when you visit a website that is practically impossible to navigate or too difficult to read. Take it back to basics and keep it sleek, clean, professional and simple. Don’t waste your time and resources on expensive state of the art animation, graphics and interactive tools that do not engage your visitors. Instead, assess your brand values and use homemade resources to show the personality of your company. If you can’t afford both a professional photographer, and graphic designer to do the layout of your site, find other ways of doing it yourself. Ask your friends, family and local businesses to give you a helping hand.
3. Fresh content
It looks highly unprofessional to new customers that your site appears to be old and dusty. By that we mean, the last entry on your blog or news section is over one year old. Anything older than that is even worse! Nobody wants to do business or read your content if there is no savviness to stay up to date with the real world. Your homepage should be focused on fresh and engaging and above all unique content that drives traffic, reduces bounce rates and answers the questions of your customers. By having fresh content that is visible from the start, it will also tell Google you are striving to improve your site’s demographics.
4. 21st century speed
We all seem to moan when a website doesn’t load after a few seconds. Despite it sounding materialistic and unimportant; to the online world, a fast website is all it takes to make good business work. We live in a fast-pace world and nobody seems to have the patience to wait. So if your site is suffering a little from speed, seek professional help - our Website Development team will be more than happy to assist you in this, alternatively, you can give your site a little spring cleaning.
5. User friendly
More than half of all internet users rely solely on their iPhone or Smartphone for browsing the web. We seem to spend the majority of our time on the web and on the go, and so Google back in April 2015 expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal. If you wish to reduce bounce rates and increase traffic to your site and up your rankings, going mobile-friendly is an easier way to navigate for your visitors on the go. For a website to drive positive results and reduce bounce rates, a balanced level of images to text should be used to provide a layout that is easy on the eye. You can incorporate categories so your visitors can find the correct information in the relevant area of your site.