Nobody wants to perform for an empty concert hall. Even worse, you don’t want your audience to leave early. You have something important to say, but how you say it is just as important as what you say. How do you keep your customers engaged and keep them from leaving early?
One of the most important metrics in determining the effectiveness of your website messaging is your “bounce rate.” The bounce rate is a measurement that reflects the percentage of visitors that enter your site and leave instead of continuing on to other pages on your site. It’s basically measuring how much of your audience is leaving early. So, how do you lower your bounce rate? While there is no silver bullet that works in every single case, here are some basic tips to decrease the bounce rate of your website.
1. Hone your inbound keywords to deliver what your visitors are expecting when they come to your website
Vague, general keywords are often the biggest contributors to high bounce rates. Keywords that are too specific can dictate landing pages that are not meeting the needs of a wide variety of visitors. Let’s say that you sell high-quality paper for doing arts and crafts.
For instance, don’t use “paper” or “high quality paper” as keywords because they are too generic. People looking for copier paper will be confused when they come to your site. If you use “thin yellow origami crafting paper” as an overly descriptive keyword and you also offer a ton of different kind of craft paper, break up your keywords to different, featured sections of your website. Feature your super specific type of paper more prominently on your landing page to get search engines navigatong customers more effectively. Find a balance between the two, general and specific, and consult your analytics frequently to refine your keyword placement in the content.
2. Have a specific call to action that stands out above the fold
Sometimes you just have to come right out and tell your visitors what you want them to do. Visitors have been trained to click buttons that have concise action terms like “Get Started” or “Learn More.” You don’t have to be too cliché or boring with your call to action, but if you get too cute or aren’t clear enough, your visitors might not know what to do. Placing a shiny button above the fold doesn’t mean all visitors are going to click that button in lieu of leaving your website. Give them substance. Tell them who you are, what you offer, and then invite them to learn more. Don’t beat around the bush.
3. Find common ground in your navigation
Customers need to find what they are looking for immediately in your navigation. But it can’t be too specific, because you likely have a lot of places where customers can go on your site. If you listed out every link in your navigation at the top level, your navigation would likely be too daunting and cumbersome for your customers to find what they are looking for. Start with a common term like “services” or “products.” Customers will always know whether they are looking for a product or a service. From there, you can display a drop down or call to action box that breaks out those items into a more specific offering. If they can’t find a link that meets their basic need, they will leave early, which won’t help your business or your bounce rate.
Overall, to decrease your bounce rate, you need to think like your customers. Are they finding what they need or expect on your home page fast enough? Are you inviting them to do a specific action clearly enough? Is your navigation easy for them to figure out? Use your landing pages, keywords, and analytics as a guide to customer behavior on your website. Then apply these tips to decrease the bounce rate of your website.