The bounce rate for your website is the percentage of people who visit your site and then leave without clicking to any other location. They are single-page visitors and then they “bounce” right off your site.
There are many reasons a person might leave your site before exploring further, all of them not necessarily bad, but this article will help you determine and remedy some of those reasons.
1. Easy to Read – Make things as easy for your visitors as possible and reading time is no exception.
Some things you can do to ensure this are:
a) Make your paragraphs small. Big blocks of text will deter people from continuing on with your site. Use white space to your advantage.
b) Use bulleted or numbered lists when possible. The eye will be attracted to easy-to-read lists.
c) Use bold headlines and subheadings.
d) Use straightforward text. While the fancy fonts may look nice, they do not help your content get read.
e) Make sure you use a color of font that works well with your background color. Most people would say black text on white background is best.
f) Use images in all your posts. Scatter them throughout for more effectiveness.
g) Always use simple and concise language. You don’t need to use fancy words. Make your content easy to understand, as if talking to a friend.
2. Site Search – Be sure to have an easy to find search box on all pages of your site. You don’t want your visitors to play hide and seek the search box. If they cannot find what they need, they will leave.
3. 404 Error Page – The dreaded 404 error page can be annoying but if done properly, can be helpful as well. Don’t just have the standard, “This Page Does Not Exist” message. Add useful information so your visitor can easily continue through your site.
For example: Have an entertaining graphic with your homepage link and/or other pertinent links with a message like, The page you were looking for is gone but we have lots of other good pages.
Be creative and use some humor for your 404 page. Make people want to stay on your site.
4. External Links – If you have external links on your blog be sure to have them all open in a new window. If people go to those links they can then easily get back to your site.
If you have a WordPress site, there is, of course, a plugin to do this for you.
5. Ad Invasion – Most of us have some ads on our site for affiliate programs, ad programs, etc.
But some words of caution:
a) Ads can be distracting and turn your potential customer’s attention elsewhere. You could lose sales from people clicking on the ads and going to another site.
b) Ads clutter up your site and cause slower load time.
c) Ads could cause you and your site to lose credibility.
d) Ads can make your site more confusing and harder to navigate.
Limit the number of ads on your site and make sure they will not cause you to lose visitors or sales.
6. Update Regularly – Add new content to your site often and keep things fresh and new for your visitors. If they come back and see all the same information and content, it will, more than likely, be their last visit.
7. Mobile Friendly – More people are going mobile all the time so you must make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. If you have a WordPress site there is a plugin called WPtouch Mobile Plugin that will make your site mobile friendly.
a) Don’t use flash.
b) Don’t use pop-ups.
c) Keep things simple.
d) If you are comfortable with it, you can also make changes to your CSS coding.
8. Internal Links – If you want people to stay on your site, give them lots of links to other information or content they will want to check out.
When you post an article include internal links to other related content within that article. Add internal links wherever appropriate to keep that person clicking from one page to the next.
9. Focus on Your Target Market – High traffic is good but what you really want is targeted traffic. People that are coming to your site because they are interested in what you offer is your goal.
Optimize your keywords and site description to bring in the right audience. Zero in on that target market.
10. No More Auto-Play – If you have videos and/or music on your site, by all means, do not have start playing when a person lands on your site. Turn off the auto-play and give the person the option of watching/listening or not.
In general, make a visit to your site, easy, pleasant and non-intrusive. Provide the content to make people want to come again.