October 16, 2009 – The last thing you want to happen after spending so much time and energy driving traffic to your website is to have visitors leave before they even get past the first page. The bounce rate for your website is the percentage of people who do just that, take a quick look at a single page of content on your website and then leave.
There are many different possible reasons why people are taking one look at your website and then heading back the way they came, and there is no such thing as a perfect bounce rate, but if 70% of your website’s visitors are bouncing before leaving the web page they came in on, you need to sit down and start thinking about why.
When looking for opportunities to improve your bounce rate, consider the following areas:
1. Website Usability – Is your website having technical difficulties? Do your links work? Is your internal navigation broken or confusing? Is your website loading too slowly?
2. Aesthetics – Is your website covered in ads? Do your pages feature loud or obnoxious colors? Is your content easily readable or does your font/color choices strain the eye?
3. Videos and Music – Don’t have a video on autoplay or music that automatically starts blasting when a web page is loaded (unless you are a band website), it’s annoying. If people want to watch your video, they’ll press play.
4. Content that Doesn’t Match the Keywords – If you are using PPC ads or creating organic listings for “grapefruit” and then send internet users who click on that link to a web page about apples, they will bounce. Make sure your keywords and linking strategies are taking people to content pages with RELEVANT information, if not, they’ll leave ASAP.
5. Now What – Ok, you’ve written a great article, included keywords, and people have found your link, gone to your website and read that article. Now What? If you don’t include a call to action, links to other similar articles that might interest them on your site, contact info and so on, they’ll go out the way they came. You need to keep visitor on your website and give them directions to more places on your website worth viewing!
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