20 effective ways to fight a high bounce rate
Want your visitors to not leave your site in the door way and stay a little longer. Good. Then this text is dedicated for you.
The Bounce rate is a way to measure how effective an entry page is at making a new visitor stay on your site. The reasons why we want to keep the bounce rate low could be for example if a visitor enters our home page we want him to dig deeper into our content because we want him to find and accomplish the tasks he was there for. If he just enters the home page and then quickly leaves it could be a sign that the content he was looking for wasn’t easy to find or, if you’re running a blog with ads you maybe want the visitor to view a lot of pages in order to expose him to a lot of ads so you could make more money. You also want to expose the visitor to your awesome content in order to make him want to come back again.
There are a lot of ways to optimize your web site in order to fight the bounce rate. The following list is somewhat geared towards blogs but you could easily switch the word “blog” to “product page” if that fits your site better.
Here’s the list:
Offer content above the fold
Make sure your visitors don’t need to scroll down to start consuming the content.
Focus on the content
Offer a clear, non distracting reading environment.
Make sure the content is easy to scan and comprehend. Use interesting and clear headlines, bullet points, quouts and images.
Place an internal search form at the top of the page
If the visitor doesn’t think that the page deliver exactly what he was looking for make sure it easy to explore the rest of the web site by putting the internal site search in an easy to reach area.
Promote related content
This is highly effective and there are a lot of ways to promote and create related content such as:
- Cross linking inside or outside the article.
- List similar posts / forum topics and discussions
- List recommended reading (ex more or less advanced instructions about a subject)
- Use related category and tags links
- Create a related biography and fact pages about the subject
- Use breadcrumbs in order to let the user travel one level up in the hierarchy.
Show popular posts next to the article.
Show recent posts next to the article to let the visitor discover fresh content.
Sometimes just showing autogenerated popular or related content is good enought. Sometimes it’s better to manually promote it yourself. Promoted content could be single posts, themes or categories
Drag your visitors into the content by offering them stuff to interact with. Interactive articles could be contests, polls, quizzes, open questions and such.
Use post excerpts for category pages
Offer the visitors only a glimpse of your content by not publishing full posts on category pages. This approach is more user friendly because it lets the visitor to browse quickly through your content and therefore discover more.
For multilingual sites — direct people to their own language version
It’s always easier to read and understand content written on your own language.
Move important stuff up
Turn off related Youtube videos
If you have embedded videos from Youtube disable the related content that displays after a video clip. If the visitor clicks on one of the links in the Youtube video he will be directed to Youtube.com and you might lose him forever.
Don’t use popups
That stuff scares people off. Period.
People who read this also read this
Show a list of other blog posts your users have read after they visited the post.
Related articles around the web about bounce rate:
- Reduce Bounce Rates: Fight for the Second Click
An article by the usability expert Jakob Nielsen
- Six Tips For Improving High Bounce Rate / Low Conversion Web Pages
A more in depth blog post about the reasons behind bounce rates by the web analytics expert Avinash Kaushik
- Bounce rate on Wikipedia
An article focusing mostly on how to measure bounce rate
- What is bounce rate — Avoid common pitfalls
Another article about the subject that among other things talks about the difference between bounce rates and exit rates.
Do you want to add any more tips? Please use the comment section below.