When a visitor reaches your site through a search engine, your goal is to draw that visitor in so that he or she explores your site further, fills out a form, or takes some other desirable action. But not every visitor does. The percentage of visitors who reach your site and then leave without clicking is known as your bounce rate. While you can’t prevent all bounces, there are some ways you may be unknowingly sabotaging your bounce rate, causing a higher percentage of visitors to leave your website without taking any action. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes.
One of the first elements to consider when you see an unusually high bounce rate is your SEO strategy. Do your keywords accurately reflect the content of your page? Have you targeted the right audience? Do your landing pages provide the expected content based on page titles and meta descriptions? If the visitor arrives on your site and doesn’t find the information he expects to find, he will likely return to the search results to try again.
Boring Headlines Send Readers Packing
Most viewers will not read your entire page before deciding whether to move on. They will look at your headings and subheadings to determine whether your page has the content they need. Pull them in with compelling headlines that make them want to know more. A good headline will accurately describe the content of the page, use interesting adjectives, and create urgency to act. Consider telling readers how to do something or creating a numbered list that will make them want to know more. Remember that your headline must speak directly to the topic the reader searched for in order to hold his attention and move him further into your site.
Poor Usability Creates Frustration–And Bounces
Usability refers to the way a visitor interacts with your site. It includes elements like navigation, readability, ease of taking action, and load time. Ask these questions to determine whether your site has usability problems:
- Is your font easy to read? Is it large enough, with colors that are easy on the eyes?
- Do you use short, concise paragraphs? Is content broken up to be easily skimmable?
- Do your hyperlinks stand out from surrounding text?
- Is your navigation intuitive? Can visitors easily find what they are looking for?
- Does your site load quickly on every device?
- Do your graphic elements support your content or do they distract from it?
- Can the most important information be seen without scrolling?
- Do you have a search box? Does it return helpful results, even if the user misspells something?
- Can the user figure out what to do next in 5 seconds or less?
Because you have looked at your home care website design thousands of times, you may not immediately see usability problems. Things that seem intuitive may actually present difficulty for your visitors. You can identify these problems with user testing. Once you’re ready to make changes, follow an A/B testing strategy to determine whether the new design delivers the results you want.
Invisible Calls to Action Leak Visitors from Your Site
If your website looks good, but is still delivering a high bounce rate, the problem may be your call to action. Visitors should be able to see the call to action without scrolling, and should know immediately what you want them to do. A strong call to action will stand out clearly from surrounding content and will use compelling text with persuasive action words. A good rule of thumb is to make it big, make it bold, and make it urgent.
Improving your bounce rate can dramatically affect sales and leads for your business. By taking a few simple steps to make your site more user-friendly, you can see a significant difference in the number of people who stick around to find out what you have to offer.