In our modern, technologically driven world, the usage of the internet is so widespread that it’s absolutely inescapable. Almost everyone has a website to their name, and those who do not are bound to create one someday. Be it a personal blog, a review site, a gaming channel, a social networking profile, or what have you. This is because whether one realizes it or not, the internet is a worldwide hub where everyone from all walks of life can congregate and share their thoughts for people to see. Everyone has ideas and wants to be heard, so in this day and age, what better way to do that than to create a website?
However, just having a website and putting it up isn’t enough anymore. With over 1 billion of it floating around (as of September 2014), it can be very difficult to engage people ad get them to read your thoughts, watch your videos, and especially buy your product with all that competition. Thus, getting a potential customer or fan to fully ‘stick’ to your website becomes important – in the world of SEO, this is known as conversion rate optimization, and its biggest nemesis is having a high bounce rate.
But what does having a high bounce rate mean?
Bouncing occurs when an online visitor visits only one page of a website and then leaves right after. Depending on what kind of website you have, it can be negligible or a bad thing. Most of the time it’s the latter, as it signals your viewers’ inattention to your content, so the best thing to do would be to minimize it. That said, here are 2 methods you can employ to reduce your bounce rates:
Improve your visuals. As the old saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, yet this is done by most who bounce, an understandably so. Cheesy design and bad color combinations are guaranteed to drive people away in droves – no one will take the time to put up with a poorly designed website when there are others out there which are much better. Sure it could have the best content in all of the internet, but if it can’t be seen, then there’s no point to it. Circumvent this by:
- Using good color combinations and professional looking photos.
- Format the content and make everything visible yet also clutter-free. (For example: space out your text and avoid thick paragraphs).
- Adding moderately flashy animations here and there. A stoic site will bore visitors into leaving.
- Making your website cohesive – ensure that visitors will know where to go next should they want to browse more.
Remember that good design will give your website more credibility, thus attracting visitors to stay for longer, which increases your chance of converting them.
Distribute ideas. As aforementioned, good content cannot save a visually unappealing website. Similarly, good design cannot save a website with poor content. If your website fails to communicate any sort of useful information to its viewer, then its whole purpose is defeated and it is rendered useless. Bring your content up to par by:
- Using proper spelling and grammar where applicable. It makes you seem more knowledgeable and therefore more credible.
- Having high resolution media of all types, be it photos, videos, or audio. Otherwise, it’s more likely to be ignored.
- Mixing up different types of media – for instance, avoid having huge walls of text exclusively. Break it up with photos or videos at certain intervals.
- Presenting a clear call to action: tell your viewers that there’s something to do after they consume the site’s content. Goad them into investing into your website through e-mail subscriptions, paid subscriptions, freebies, and the like.
- Keeping your content fresh and up to date will encourage your users to constantly check back.
There are many other methods of combatting high bounce rates, but seeing as presentation and content are the main things people take notice of when landing on a site, concentrate on these elements first to induce an immediate increase in retention rate.