How to beat the bounce and keep users on your site | DMA

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How to beat the bounce and keep users on your site


Whether yours is an old website that could be working harder or a new one that isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped, a high bounce rate is never happy reading.

Your bounce rate is essentially the percentage of visitors who leave your website after visiting one page. If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like, it’s usually a sign that your site visitors are either struggling to use your website or they aren’t finding what they’re looking for – which means you need to make some changes.

According to Google, retail websites should expect a bounce rate of 20-40%, which increases to 70-90% forlanding pages. So if yours is markedly higher, here are our tips to help bring your bounce rate down and keep users on your site.

1. Make sure you’re getting found for the right keywords

If your website is ranking for the wrong search terms, it’s hardly surprising that your visitors are bouncing immediately; if your content is not what they’re expecting, they won’t hesitate to hit the back button and look elsewhere.

Instead of using generic keywords to attract as many visitors as possible, do your research and stick to specific, relevant keywords to attract the right visitors. Key phrases related to your products and services, your brand name and the location of your outlets will do a much better job of encouraging potential customers to visit your website – and they’re much more likely to hang around once they get there, too.

2. Have a clear layout that prioritises the most important information

Your website may look pretty, but if it’s tricky to navigate then it’s not fulfilling its purpose. User experience (UX) is vital, so if you think yours isn’t up to scratch, take some time to do some UX testing and see where you’re going wrong.

The focus should be on quick navigation, a prominent search function and easy access to your most important content – things like services and prices, contact details, booking forms, etc. That’s what your potential customers are looking for, after all, and a high bounce rate and low page views suggests they’re just not finding it.

3. Ensure your website is optimised for mobile devices

With mobile traffic overtaking desktop and Google favouring sites which are mobile-friendly, a mobile optimised site is huge must for multi-location businesses. According to Google, 61% of mobile users said they are likely to leave a website if the site isn’t mobile friendly, so to be able to compete on the high street and tune into the on-the-go demands of the modern consumer, your website needs to be accessible to devices of every size, shape and form.

Of course, a mobile website comes with its own set of rules, so remember to think about mobile UX design principleswhen you’re designing it. Consumers expect limited scrolling and pinching, finger-friendly buttons and a click-to-call option as well as an efficient design.

4. Decrease page load time as much as you can

You know as well as we do how much of a pain slow loading times can be. If you want to prevent your visitors from hitting the back button in frustration, it’s a good idea to keep load times as short as possible. Ideally you want your page to load in under a second – any longer and your content will need to prove that it’s worth the wait.

5. Provide good content that draws your customers in

Your content should be split into sections that follow a clear reading hierarchy. Start with the obvious main message in the header, then move onto the details using smaller subheads and short sections of text – the trick here is to be concise. Your content should be complemented with relevant calls to action (CTAs) to support your user journey, allowing customers to move quickly and intuitively to the next step.

Use personalisation and localisation techniques like content masking to make your pages hyper-relevant to your target audience. Each of your outlets should have its own localised website – a scaling multi-location platform can help you achieve this cost-effectively.

Essentially, in order to keep your users engaged, your website needs to be easy to use, whatever device your customers are on, as well as full of useful content. If you think your website is selling you short, our five tips above should get it going again – so dig into your analytics, get some UX testing going and bring that bounce rate back down.

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