A ‘Bounce Rate‘ is simply the percentage of users who visit your site and then navigate away after viewing just a single page.
You can make use of Google Analytics to determine the bounce rate of your site and therefore the percentage of users that are actually clicking away from your site after viewing only one page.
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Bounce rate is a serious issue for many sites, but there are effective methods which can be employed to reduce it. Below, I’ll show you how to reduce bounce rate on your WordPress site with methods that really work.
Reducing Bounce Rate
1. Increase Site Speed
Internet users are becoming less tolerant of slow loading sites all of the time. A report by Sean Work shows that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, a one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions, and that if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a one second page delay could potentially cost it $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
If you are the only provider of a specific service or type of content, and you don’t particularly care about the user-experience you’re providing, then you might consider ignoring your site loading speed. Otherwise, speed up your site as much as you can and don’t expect users to sit around waiting for your site to complete loading (they actually won’t) if sluggish.
See my article on 12 Ways to Speed up Your WordPress Website for more information.
2. Provide Quality Content
Provision of quality content is no doubt the most crucial factor when it comes to the success of a site. Providing poor content will not only increase the bounce rate on your site, but will also make you lose the trust and confidence in your users.
When users visit a site and can’t get what they want, they leave and search for other places to get it, and they tend not to return.
3. Long Articles Should be Split Into Parts
People tend to be time-poor and want concise, informative articles without unnecessary padding and irrelevant information. Give them what they want, in a form that can be quickly and easily understood and they will stay around and take more interest in your content.
4. You Don’t Have to Use Pop Ups
Pop-ups may increase subscription rates and conversions but they also run a high risk of annoying people. I myself immediately close a pop-up and navigate away from a site if I come across one.
There are plenty of alternative ways of presenting call to actions, perhaps a short announcement or subscription widget. You can also conduct A/B split testing to see what works best for your site.
5. Improve Site’s Mobile Responsiveness
With a rapidly growing number of visitors accessing the web via smartphones and tablets, you should really prepare your WordPress site to work just perfectly on small screen sizes.
This shouldn’t be a problem, as you can easily handle this by choosing themes that are responsive. If you can’t afford a paid responsive theme, trust me, you’ll find hundreds of free themes that are responsive. Check out this recent post by Tahir Taous which covers 10 of the Most Popular Free WordPress Themes.
6. External Links Should Be Opened in a New Tab
You don’t really want to send visitors away with your own links right? So when making reference to resources outside your site, you should ensure they really see the resources “outside” your site.
One method that is commonly used is to set the
target attribute in links to
_blank, this will ensure users are redirected to a new tab when they click on the links, instead of opening the link in the same page with your site. This method is often the subject of hot debate, but it’s something a lot of people do.
<a href="https://link_here" target="_blank"> Some text here </a>
7. Site Design and User Experience
Let’s imagine we open a site with the goal of reading a post or checking out their services and as we land on the site we’re welcomed with a completely yellow background, red text, and a header high enough to house your photo album.
If you’re like me, then you won’t think twice before navigating away from the site.
Site design is a very crucial element that should be well taken care of. Even if your content is not perfect, trust me, if your site is clean and pleasing, you might encourage users to stick around and check out other pages on your website.
8. Link to Internal Content and Show Related Posts
This is no doubt a good way to keep users on your site. Rather than linking to external resources all the time, referring to the ones you have on your site is good.
When users finish reading a post on your site, what do they do next? Stick around or go back to where they came from? Even though great content encourages users to read more, you have to make it as simple as possible, especially when they are interested in staying.
A plugin like YARRP will help achieve this goal without any stress.
9. Handle Ads Wisely
I understand you have to generate some revenue from your site, but if you don’t do this wisely, you might be losing in two ways: reduction in revenue and reduction in the amount of users and their time onsite.
You don’t really want to make visitors wonder what is an ad and what is the real content. Retain just a very few ads on your homepage, or better still if possible have none. On your post pages, arrange the ads the best way you can, text ads would be perfect.
10. Provide Clear Navigation
Assuming you build your business website using WordPress, creating clear and understandable navigation in the header area is ideal. If you can’t provide a clear path through your site for users, they’ll leave and go somewhere else.
For example, when users are only interested in seeing your portfolio to decide if you’d be great to work with, implementing a bad navigation system will have them searching for other alternatives in no time.
Make sure your navigation is clear and easy to access, understandable and not confusing.
Keep this in mind, bounce rate reduction doesn’t happen overnight. It is a consistent gradual process, and effective application of the strategies explained above can effectively reduce it on your site.
Perhaps you have an additional tip for reducing bounce rates? Please share using the comments section below.