September 30, 2014

How to Lower Your Website Bounce Rate

Publisher Channel Content by
Nextiva

how to lower your website bounce rate

You have a beautifully designed website. Check. Targeted keywords on the website. Check. You have a way to capture email addresses on your website. Check. So why aren’t you getting more customers from your small business website?

You might have a decent flow of people visiting your site, but if they’re not converting to sales, it’s time to look at the reasons why. Start by examining your bounce rate.

What the Heck is a Bounce Rate?

Just like a shiny rubber ball, your bounce rate happens when people land on your site and then quickly bounce away.

You can find your bounce rate by looking at your Google Analytics. The technical definition for bounce rate is: The percent of people who leave your site after visiting just one page. The higher the bounce rate, the more people are leaving rather than looking around. The average bounce rate is 50%.

Here’s an illustration:

  • Someone searches for something they’re looking for online.
  • Your site shows up in those search results. They click your link.
  • They land on your home page, don’t see what they expected – then leave.

So the question is: Why are they not finding what they want? Why do they leave before even exploring your site?

Typically there are a few reasons for this:

1. Your Design is Unappealing

While you wouldn’t expect a visitor to your site to hold bad design against you, first impressions really do matter. If your website hasn’t been updated for 5 years, or is cluttered with ads or popups, there’s not much you can do to convince people to stay, even if your products are amazing.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this: Get a new design. Website design has come way down in pricing, and there are even templates and platforms you can customize and manage yourself.

2. Poor Keywords

Let’s say the name of your company is Red Ball Marketing. You don’t actually sell red balls, but people still land on your site looking to buy red balls. You’re probably not willing to change your company name, but you can put more effort into appearing in search results for better keywords.

You should know your top 6 keywords. If you haven’t really put much thought into your keywords, you’ll get a mix of traffic of people looking for lots of things, but not really what you sell.

Figure out the top keywords your audience is searching for and make sure you use them throughout your site, especially in your titles and static pages. For your marketing company, it would be terms like:

  • Content marketing
  • Marketing firm
  • Marketing for small business

If you continue to work to build your presence online with those keywords, as well as blogging, you should start to move up in the search results and attract people who are looking for what you’re selling.

3. You Lack Calls to Action

Now that search engines have led leads to your website, it’s your job to make them drink the Kool-Aid. If your home page lacks any call to action, how will visitors know what you want them to do? Consider your call to action your instructions for visitors to your site. Do you want them to:

  • Buy from you?
  • Get a free quote?
  • Subscribe to your newsletter?
  • Download a free ebook?

Then let them know. Make your call to action bold, colored differently from surrounding text, and simple to follow.

Your website holds the potential to convert visitors into customers. But you’ve got to ensure you’re targeting the right people with your content and keywords, and that your site is an inviting place to shop.

Then you can lower that bounce rate and increase those sales!

Bouncing Photo via Shutterstock

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Melinda Emerson


Melinda Emerson Melinda Emerson, known to many as "SmallBizLady," is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Coach and Social Media Strategist who hosts #Smallbizchat for emerging entrepreneurs on Twitter. She is also the author of, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.

3 Reactions

  1. Bounce rate is not really a bad thing. Sometimes, some people may stay on your site for a short time but then, they will still come back if they like your content. The key is to give them what they need. If you don’t, they’ll just go back and look for something else.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am not overly concerned about bounce rate only in the case of PPC ads and when it’s 15% over the average bounce rate of other pages on the website.

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