In certain situations, making changes to a website to improve the bounce rate goes beyond navigation. Here are five things to evaluate:
#1 Get real with photography
While the smiling faces pointing to a whiteboard used in stock photography may look nice, they certainly are not helping your website’s bounce rate. Visitors want to see authentic photography featuring your business, customers, employees and office space. Using original photos contributes to a website’s credibility which increases user engagement. Visitors may be turned off if they see a photo on your website that they have seen on others (even worse, on your competitor’s site!)
#2 Break down the walls of words
Website users browse first and then read. So nothing is going to deter readers from your page more than paragraph after paragraph of text. It is a good idea to look at your web pages and see where you can use visual storytelling to replace large blocks of text. This means looking at elements of graphic design, illustrations, images and infographics to make information easier to browse. If you can communicate your idea using a video, try to replace three paragraphs of text with one video.
#3 Optimize your web pages
In addition to changing photography and editing content, optimizing web pages so they correlate better with the phrases that visitors are searching is a great way to decrease the bounce rate. Nothing frustrates a user more than when they land on a page that is not relevant to their search. And Google will also penalize webmasters for trying to trick users, whether intentional or by mistake. Take a look at the key phrases you are using for each page and change them to reflect page content. It will help bring quality visitors to your site and increase the time they spend on your page.
#4 Move things around
In order to reduce your bounce rate it is important to place important information above the fold. This is a traditional media term that means placing the content your user’s need to perform a desired action at the top of the screen. With the attention span of 7 seconds, visitors want to get the desired information as soon as possible. Make sure that your best information is clearly visible so they can take action on your website.
#5 Decrease outbound links
This may seem obvious, but sometimes outbound links need to be reduced in order to keep visitors on your page. This includes links to social media sites because when a user clicks on your Facebook page, it takes them off the site. Try to include widgets that get users to like or follow your social media channels right on your website.
In closing, it is good to understand that bounce rates are not always a bad thing. Very often visitors come to a site for a particular reason, grab the information they need and leave the page. Make sure that you are looking at the goals of the webpage before making changes to the content.
Did you miss part 1 in this blog series? Check it out!
If you’re looking to improve your website’s performance, contact a Stellar representative today to get started!