In search engine optimization (SEO), there are three little words no one likes to hear: high bounce rate.
Bounce rate measures how much time a visitor spends on your website page. The longer the person stays on your page, the better, because it can translate to higher conversion rates. When they don’t spend as much time, it means you end up with a high bounce rate and – you guessed it – fewer conversions. It’s like having a high interest rate: you don’t want it!
Thankfully, there are ways to counteract bounce rate problems and increase the amount of time visitors stay on your pages. Let’s start with a few SEO tips you can try on your own website.
Boost Your Page Load Speed
When it comes to how well your pages perform, load speed is extremely critical. Kissmetrics found that 40 percent of consumers abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, ideally, you want your pages to render in 2 seconds or less.
What’s even more shocking is this statement, from the same data release:
“If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.”
If you think that sounds atrocious, you’d be right. Amazon calculated this 1-second page slowdown would cost them even more, specifically $2.6 billion every year.
Bottom line: If your website pages are taking longer than 3 seconds to load, it’s likely contributing to your high bounce rate problems.
Nix Those Annoying Pop-Up Ads
I don’t know about you, but I love when a pop-up ad greets me at a webpage – said no one ever.
When someone clicks your link from a search engine (not an easy feat), why would you want to sabotage the rest of their experience with in-your-face ads? Intrusive advertising is one surefire way to increase your bounce rate. Ads get in the way of the content your visitors expect to find, so you can bet they’ll leave just as quickly as they came.
Good news: There are other ways to advertise on your page, but pop-ups should not be one of them. Plus, Google says they’re bad for SEO.
Create Simple Content and Calls to Action
Too much content, too many images, too many options…these are all elements of a page that can cause high bounce rates. The goal here is to make it easy for your visitors to identify the most important content and take the next step.
Are your images distracting from the page content, or are they helping to support the message? Does the information on the page encourage visitors to keep scrolling, or does it stop them in their tracks? Is the page progression logical, and will it make visitors want to heed your call to action?
These are all important questions to ask if you experience high bounce rate problems on your website. The general rule of thumb is to keep it simple and keep it moving.
At the end of the day, most websites experience bounce rates on their pages. These are just a few SEO tips that can solve your issues, but there are many other technical aspects you may need to consider.
Above all, your pages need to be “worth it” in the eyes of your customers.
Sheila Hart-O’Connor is a word geek who is passionate about all things digital. She specializes in advertising and marketing copy, with a lean toward SEO, social media, and blogging.