…*Bounce rate*… Just the utterance of this compound noun can make a once confident marketing manager turn queasy. It’s a word that, perhaps unlike another other, has the power to bring even the most experienced of online marketers to their knees.
OK, maybe this is a slight exaggeration (or maybe not?), but no matter how you slice it, bounce rate is a significant barometer of relevancy in relation to your marketing message, design, and site copy.
But what if it’s not my fault?
Well… a high bounce rate is always technically your fault, but what if your bounce rate is high for a reason that’s well within your control? What if you’re crippling your chances for success and you don’t even know it?
If this sounds all too familiar, here are some common sticking points worth double checking:
If your site takes forever to load, people will get annoyed and leave. On the web even a brief moment can feel like an eternity. It’s been found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
I hate Flash. Don’t put flash on your site. Search engines can’t crawl it, it often looks tacky, and it’s just not worth the effort. If you must use Flash, let it be a side dish and not the entire meal. But seriously, get rid of the Flash.
Retro / cheap / out of touch design that looks like it’s from 1996
Yes design is highly subjective, but lazy design always sticks out like a sore thumb. If your site looks like it hasn’t been touched in a decade, do you really expect visitors to brush it off and show you some love (in the form of sticking around)? Not going to happen.
Complicated or unclear call to actions
This is a personal pet peeve. If I land on your page, especially one that’s driven by paid search, I want to know exactly what I’m supposed to do next. Are you trying to convince me to open my wallet? Subscribe to a newsletter? Fill out a form? The clearer this is communicated the happier the visitor will be.
Hapless site architecture
How are your internal links stacking up? How can person A, move from page A, to page B, to page C, and so on. Stay mindful of this sort of stuff. Hire a good UX specialist if need be.
Not a definitive list by any means, but a starting point nonetheless.
Fix just one of these five problems and you’re well on your way to a lower bounce rate.