Generating traffic on your website is essential, but it is not enough! Web entrepreneurs, to see your turnover increase, visitors must be interested in your site and want to read it carefully. If the Internet user visits only one page, Google considers that he “bounces”. You want Internet users to discover your offers without going directly to the results page. The question is simple: how to lower the bounce rate and improve the conversion rate of your pages at the same time? By engaging your audience. Discover in this article 9 tips concrete and effective to keep your readers on your website.
1. Understanding the bounce rate: essential to lower it
The bounce rate is a ratio provided by Google Analytics. This KPI (key performance indicator) corresponds to the percentage of visitors leaving a page without having carried out internal navigation. Several manipulations by the Internet user can generate this figure:
- it closes the tab or the browser;
- he clicks on “back” to return to the Google results page (also called SERP). This action is called “pogo sticking” when the time spent on the landing page (destination page of your website) is very low;
- it follows an external link that redirects it away from your site;
- he remains inactive on the landing page for more than 30 minutes.
Note that a reader interested in your content will be counted as a bounce if they do not browse several pages of your site. However, he will have obtained an answer to his question thanks to a relevant text. To remedy this, you have the possibility to adjust the calculations. The trick is to define a time limit beyond which the user is considered “engaged” in Google Analytics. Thus, you will distinguish your regular readers from those who backtrack when arriving on your site.
Know that there is no “good bounce rate”. The percentage is to be taken on a case-by-case basis depending on the categories of pages and your objectives. The advice that follows therefore concerns those whose reduction in the bounce rate would increase the conversion rate. For web entrepreneurs who own an e-business, these 5 tips to improve the conversion rate of an e-commerce will also interest you.
2. Publish relevant and optimized content
To satisfy your readers and the Google algorithm, you have to provide solutions to Internet users and know how to write for the Web.
Meet the needs of Internet users
What could be more annoying than reading results that have nothing to do with your search? Internet users use Google to find answers to their questions. Therefore, the search terms must match your content. Beware of using keywords that are too generic. For example, the query “ski vacation” is vague, while “ski vacation in the Jura” is more specific. By doing so, you can more easily target the real search intent of the user.
To bring added value to readers, think about long tail queries. These are expressions made up of several words. The search volume is lower, but the competition is less. Thus, the reader will be satisfied to see how your content offers precise and targeted solutions.
Write for the web
To generate targeted organic traffic, several writing rules must be respected:
- write without spelling mistakes, typos or typographical errors;
- produce airy and structured content;
- insert keywords strategically (title, introduction, subtitles);
- work on the semantic field;
- involve the readership.
Professional ghostwriting is a profession, it cannot be improvised! Need help? Call on one of our web writing freelancers. These SEO-trained professionals support you in choosing key queries, optimizing existing texts and creating new relevant content.
3. Work on the ergonomics of the site
Improving the user experience (UX) makes it possible to retain Internet users. Thus, the bounce rate will logically decrease. To make navigation on your site pleasant, consider:
- choose a suitable design;
- choose a readable font of at least 14px;
- do not abuse advertisements;
- limit pop-ups according to your conversion strategy;
- integrate an internal search engine;
- customize your 404-error page.
Since the majority of searches are now done on smartphones, it is essential to have a site adapted to mobile devices, ideally responsive. The Google Mobile-Friendly tool allows you to check the good compatibility of each page on mobile.
4. Do tests to lower the bounce rate
Do you dream of being a mouse to observe the behavior of your visitors? A click maps or heatmap (also called treemapping) can help you determine the hot and cold areas of your site. This tool analyzes the elements of the site most clicked on by Internet users. You then have the information you need to simplify your menus. Results? An effective site and a drop in the bounce rate.
If you hesitate between two options for your pages, an A/B test will bring you the solution. AB testing is a method that allows you to compare two versions of the same web page. The results provide an opportunity to make wise choices to encourage the reader to engage more on your site.
5. Organize the internal linking of the pages
Do you want a user to discover your site? Suggest that they complete their reading. Depending on the context, carefully determine the information likely to interest your audience. Then offer him the possibility of easily accessing it thanks to an internal link (link connecting two pages of the same site).
The anchor (or link text) is optimized if it contains the main keywords of the content, it directs your reader to. For example, if you offer a page on dog training to your reader, favor an anchor such as “how to train a dog”. Conversely, “click here” is an empty anchor to avoid. A good anchor allows the Internet user to know where you are directing them and to Google to understand the relevance of the link.
Have you identified the priority pages to which you want to guide Internet users? Perfect! You can implement an internal linking strategy that will lower your bounce rate.
6. Control external links
External links prove your expertise and provide comprehensive content to the reader. However, they redirect the visitor away from your website. So be careful not to multiply the exit doors, in order to lower the bounce rate of your pages. To limit hasty departures, it is not recommended to insert external links at the beginning of content.
Another tip is to check the “open link in new tab” box when adding an external link. This forces them to open in a separate tab. The reader thus keeps an eye on your content.
7. Integrate a Call to Action to improve the conversion rate
A CTA (Call to Action) helps to involve readers. It can take several forms: request for an email address in exchange for an offer, incentive to purchase a product or service, visit to another page, etc.
The choice of your CTA will have an impact on your bounce rate. You should know that emotion plays an important role in decision making. Choose short and positive texts for your anchors. Let’s take an example, which do you prefer between “buy now” and “I’m interested”? The second option is more encouraging.
Do not hesitate to highlight your CTA with a contrasting-colored background. It must be visible and entice the Internet user. The A/B testing trick allows you to identify the most effective CTA.
8. Optimize Page Load Time
Are you impatient? Your readers too. A slow website is pushed aside by the user. Worse, he will revel in your neighbor! Moreover, it is a criterion of relevance for Google. Visualize the loading speed of your pages with Page Speed Insights. This tool provided by Google will even offer you some areas for improvement.
Very often, it is the images that slow down the display. Depending on your CMS, there are a multitude of plugins allowing you to optimize your media. For example, reSmush.it or Imagery are good solutions under WordPress.
First impressions are very important on the web. Know that 88% of Internet users do not return to a site deemed too slow. Today, a site whose pages load in more than 3 seconds is a site perceived as slow.
9. Reassure the visitor
On the Web, a user adopts the same behavior as in real life. He seeks to be reassured before carrying out an action likely to commit him. Provide a safe environment with:
- complete and transparent legal notices;
- T&Cs if necessary;
- a responsive after-sales service;
- an accessible contact form;
- a detailed and relevant FAQ;
- a secure site in https by opting for an SSL certificate.
As you will have understood, lowering the bounce rate involves many actions:
- understanding the bounce rate is essential to lower it;
- publish relevant and optimized content;
- work on the ergonomics of the site;
- run tests to lower the bounce rate;
- organize the internal mesh of the pages;
- control external links;
- integrate a Call to Action to improve the conversion rate;
- optimize page loading time;
reassure the visitor.