When brands are building and maintaining a website, the focus tends to lie on design and content. While those are definitely important aspects of a website, the reality of a successful website is a bit more nuanced than the two. Great content and design might attract users, but it is more important to keep them engaged and keep them from leaving your website.
In a nutshell, that is what bounce rates comprise of. It is the rate and speed at which users leave your website, and having a high bounce rate can be extremely telling. It usually means that your site is able to attract users (great!) but is not succeeding in keeping their attention (not so great!)
So how do you keep your bounce rate down? There are some tips you can start incorporating into your overall digital and website strategy now to keep that rate as low as possible:
1) Strong website design
The first step in keeping your audience on your site? Designing a strong website. It sounds easier said than done, but the truth is, it is easier to accomplish than you might think. The first mistake that many people make with website design is sticking to cookie-cutter formats in an effort to be safe.
However, that ends up boring the end user and ultimately is not good enough to really keep any engagement. These users are on your site to learn about what makes you unique, so use your website to showcase these qualities and keep their interest. Work with professionals who understand best practices in website design in order to mitigate this.
2) Catering to your audience
Use your unique qualities as the starting point when thinking about website design. Professionally designed websites are able to give users exactly what they want and keep their attention. Before embarking on that process, think about what it is that users seek out. Is it your content, or specific information, or a combination thereof?
Use that as a guiding principle in working with a team in constructing a design that allows users to engage with your brand the way they want but also keeps their interest as they peruse the site.
3) Creating visible call-to-action graphics
The next few tips are all geared towards creating different ways for users to engage with your content. One way to accomplish this is to create visible call-to-action graphics that garner interest and are conveniently located throughout the site.
Heavy text on a website might be tempting when conveying information, but it does not encourage users to stay throughout. Having graphics will break up text in a natural way while still capturing their attention and thereby lowering the bounce rate.
4) Asking for small commitments from the users
One of the challenges for many websites is to keep users engaged and keep them moving down the funnel. The best way to do this? Ask for small commitments from the users. This might come in the form of the aforementioned graphics, or simply providing snippets of content and ending with a ‘read more.’
This will not only keep users engaged with your content, thereby lowering your bounce rates but it will also provide greater insight into what content seems to resonate most with your users. This is incredibly important as it will also allow you to further refine your digital strategy and continue to lower the bounce rate.
5) Call to actions throughout your website
Not all users are created equal, which means that not every user will land on your homepage. They might find your content elsewhere, or be searching for a term that leads them to an interior page rather than the main one.
To keep those users from bouncing, ensure that there are visible calls-to-actions throughout the interior pages (either in the form of text, or graphics or a combination). Make them easy to find, and this will help them navigate your site even if they are not on the main page.
6) Multiple ways to engage with content
Finally, provide users with ample ways to get deeper into the website in order to keep them from bouncing. Whether it is text links, images, buttons – these are all ways to keep users engaged with your content and your website. Having these elements will make it easy to navigate, while still giving users the opportunity to learn more about you and what makes your business unique.