5 ways to reduce the failure rate
12 months ago on October 21, 2022
Building and ranking a website doesn't always lead to immediate success. Even the first page of Google's search engine results page (SERP) can have terrible web analytics metrics. One of those metrics is bounce rate, a metric that, in my opinion, is the unsung hero of a successful website.
In over a decade of working for two digital marketing agencies, I've helped many business owners and webmasters take their websites to new heights. A key element of my strategy is to improve my bounce rate - in any case, I never want the bounce rate on a website, whether my own or my client's, to exceed 50%.
Bounce rate is a critical metric that everything depends on. If you can't get it under control, you may have to say goodbye to any chance of real and lasting success for your site. To help you control your bounce rate and keep it as low as possible, I've put together a quick guide on the subject that outlines the strategy I use with my digital marketing clients.
But first about what is a bounce rate?
Marketers use the term "bounce rate" so often that many business owners are afraid to ask what it really means.
Fortunately, it's not such a complicated concept. Bounce rate is the percentage of unique visitors to a site who leave after viewing only one page. Bounce rate is expressed as a percentage: Take the total number of visits to one page and divide it by the total number of visits to the site.
What causes a rebound?
There are countless potential reasons that could cause visitors to your website to leave, but below I've listed the most common ones.
- Clicking an external link (or a link that returns a 404 error)
- Leaving a page inactive after switching tabs
- Closing the browser
- Redirects to a new URL via the address bar
- Go to search results
Five solutions to improve your bounce rate
1. Look at mobile devices differently
Bounce rates are higher on mobile devices than desktop devices because pages are not optimized for vertical viewing on a small screen. If a viewer opens a site in a mobile browser and elements are off-screen, disorganized or out of place, there is a high probability that they will leave at first glance.
In addition, viewers usually have little patience when viewing a poorly rendered or slow-loading site. To remedy this situation, I recommend:
- Ensuring that all elements load and scale correctly in the mobile browser
- Limit image file sizes to 500 kilobytes or less
- Maintaining a maximum image width of 2500 pixels
- Choosing a reliable host
- Make sure your theme is responsive if you're using WordPress
2. Data visualization
We are visual creatures. If your visitors are "bouncing around," it may be because there isn't enough visual content on the site to hold their interest.
When I noticed that one of my websites was underperforming, I tried diversifying its content with infographics. Essentially, I searched the internet for facts, historical information, sales data, and just about any other data relevant to the site's niche. I then substituted this data into Canva's pre-made infographic templates.
Soon 90% of my articles began to contain infographics strategically placed at the top of the article. Everyone loves a little eye-catching, and a visual representation of data and relevant information is often enough to engage readers.
3. use more accessible formatting
Treat your page as a canvas. Just as artists strategically use white space to let a painting breathe, you should use blank spaces to bring important content to life. Recognize this: No one wants to read endless walls of text. Personally, I'll skip any site that doesn't have text organized in short paragraphs.
I always try to keep the text on my website to no more than four visual lines per paragraph. I also always try to add bulleted lists or images to make content easier to read and digest. These simple formatting changes can significantly reduce your bounce rate.
4. Reduce the number of widgets and advertising elements
Widgets, promotional elements and ads cluttering up your site's sidebars and headers can cause some serious rejection. I wouldn't go overboard with sidebar materials. Instead of cluttering up the emblems and award icons in the sidebars, it is better to move these materials to the footer of the site. This way, the presentation of the site will look much cleaner.
You don't want to overwhelm visitors with too many "empty" elements. Rewards and trust signals are fine, but it's easy to overdo it. If in doubt, reduce their number and make sure these elements don't distract from the content of the page.
5. Allow customers to tell a story
Speaking of trust signals, including customer testimonials is one of the best ways to build trust in your brand or content. If you have an e-commerce site, consider adding a pull-out bar with real customer testimonials.
Often visitors will leave a site if they feel that the content is illegitimate or untrustworthy. Including testimonials from real customers can generate enough trust to keep visitors from leaving the site.
Putting it all together
Remember, don't worry too much about the bounce rate. It doesn't reflect the whole picture. Moreover, many argue that Google doesn't take bounce rate into account in its ranking algorithms. But even a highly ranked site won't lead to high conversions if customers are constantly bouncing. Ultimately, bounce rate is just one measure of a site's success.
By following the steps outlined above - optimizing for mobile devices, incorporating infographics, shortening content, cleaning up your page, and adding testimonials - you can reduce your bounce rate and keep visitors on your page.
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