You work hard to create content that drives traffic to your website, but for some reason, the visitors to your site aren’t sticking around.
The obvious answer to why this is happening is that your content isn’t answering the problems users are having, which means they’re bouncing away to find something that will. However, that’s not always the case.
In this article we’ll look into the many reasons that could be causing these visitors to leave, and explain exactly what you can do to keep these potential clients and customers engaged and interacting with your website in the way you want them to.
What is bounce rate?
First things first: website bounce rate is a metric used to measure website performance. The bounce rate is calculated as a percentage and refers to visitors that enter a site and then leave (or bounce) without viewing other pages on the site or interacting with elements on the page, such as filling in a contact form or posting a comment.
Bounce rate is an often overlooked metric but is crucial to ensuring your content is what visitors expect to find when they click through from search.
What is a good bounce rate?
As you would expect, a lower percentage of users leaving your site is a good sign. However, it’s not as straightforward to define what a ‘good’ bounce rate looks like. Different types of content have different purposes and users engage with each type of content in different ways.
For example, a searcher might land on a blog post, read the content and then move on with the information they were looking for. This is even more likely to happen if that user came across the article while browsing social media.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing providing you are serving visitors with the information that they are looking for. Providing useful content to these types of users in this way can be a great part of your brand awareness strategy.
However, if a high volume of users are landing on your service pages and returning to the search engine results page (SERP) without enquiring it can be a sign that your landing pages aren’t fulfilling your users intent.
This infographic by ConversionXL.com explains the typical bounce rate to aim for for different types of websites and the content pages on them:
Note: If your pages are showing a bounce rate of less than 10%, it is likely a sign that your Google Analytics isn’t tracking correctly.
What factors can influence bounce rate?
There are a number of factors that can influence the bounce rate of your site. These can include aspects such as:
- Page load times
- Formatting of content or readability
- Bad quality web design
Or it can be as simple as the content not being clear enough about what you want visitors to do next.
It’s also worth considering the type of page that users are visiting. For example, a blog post that is purely informational and is not selling a service or product may see a high bounce rate as readers get the information they need and then leave.
The bounce rate on other pages, such as a service or product page, will also be influenced by elements such as the cost, negative reviews or the quality of product photography - all of which could turn off a potential customer, causing a high bounce rate.
In this blog post however, we’re going to focus on quick and simple content tweaks that you can implement with ease.
Content upgrades to reduce bounce rate
Now that we’ve gone through what bounce rate is and what can affect it, here are some of our top tips for enhancing your content to keep people on site and drive more engagements.
1. Reduce image file size
Speed is vital to keeping a visitor to your site engaged. According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.
One of the most common reasons for a slow load time is large image files. Image sizes can often be reduced without impacting the look or quality of the imagery on the site.
These changes can include:
- Reducing the file size to match the pixel width of the content block
- Optimising the file type
- Altering the quality settings of the image
The above image demonstrates you won’t lose out too much on the quality of an image by reducing its size.
Shutterstock have an in-depth guide on how to reduce the size of your images without affecting the look of your page here.
You can check how well optimised your images are by viewing the page source (ctrl+shift+I), selecting ‘Network’ and refreshing the page to see which elements take the longest to load.
2. Decide on the goal of the page
As the owner of an online business, you will likely be striving to grow in many areas at once, for example, driving enquiries, email newsletter sign-ups as well as shares and follows on social media.
However, if all of the content across your website is trying to achieve all of these goals at the same time, it’s likely that you’re not properly optimising the page for any of them as well as confusing your website visitors.
By deciding on one clear goal for the page, your copy can be tweaked to ensure people reading the content are being driven towards one specific goal and are less likely to leave the page without first engaging.
3. Write for the internet
You can have the best content on a topic, but if it hasn’t been optimised for the internet and the devices that people use to access the internet, then users are more likely to click off the page.
So, how can you do this?
According to Statcounter.com, more than half of internet searches occur on a mobile or tablet device. As most people now access the internet this way, your content needs to be written in a way that is easily readable on a small screen.
Furthermore, in the age of social media, people are more likely to scan for eye-catching headings rather than read the main body of your article.
All of this means that when writing for the internet, you need to keep your content blocks short and to the point.
The reason it’s so important to keep paragraphs punchy, is simply that it makes the content easier to read. If someone is searching for specific information, they can search for subheadings to find the relevant section.
Whereas if someone stumbles upon your content from social media, brevity makes it easier to take in the information and is more likely to keep them from clicking back.
Some quick tips to make your content more readable are:
- Using descriptive subheadings often
- Keep sentences short
- Keep paragraphs down to under five lines
- Employ bullet point or lists (like this one)
To help you review your copy so that it meets all of these objectives, you can employ an app like the Hemingway web app. This app works as a text editor that helps to simplify your content by highlighting complex sentences you might have missed when writing the piece.
4. Ensure your content answers the questions being search for
It’s simple: users will bounce off your web page if the content isn’t answering the query that they were searching for in the first place.
How can you avoid this?
Often the title is the first thing decided when writing a blog post, and this can lead to the title suggesting answers to a problem that aren’t offered in the main body.
It may seem counter intuitive, but to avoid this and make sure users get the answer they were expecting from your page then the headline and introduction to your article should be the last thing you write.
Doing things this way means you can review the content of the post and write an introduction that tells users what to expect from the following content.
However, if you have done your keyword research and are determined to answer or discuss a specific topic that is relevant to your products or services, then it is essential that you stick to answering that question and don’t deviate.
It can be a good idea to get someone else to take a look through any copy you write before it goes live to ensure you have stayed on topic.
How we can help with your bounce rate
To fix these elements, it’s time to consult with a web designer and/or a SEO specialist and let them delve deeper into what is - and what isn’t - working on your website.
If you need help to define what changes are needed to lower bounce rate and drive engagement from your content, our specialist CRO & UX team can identify areas of improvement and our team of expert content strategists can develop your website content to drive new users and keep existing visitors engaged.
Contact us touch today for a free consultation.