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If your website has ever experienced a jump in traffic, you may have simply given yourself a pat on the back and called it a day. Perhaps more likely, you sat yourself down and analyzed the pages that were viewed and how visitors interacted. After all, despite so many new visitors, this doesn’t guarantee they are making any unique interactions or downloads. In other words, your website’s traffic can be misleading, and your bounce rate can be a lot higher than you think.
Here are a few ways that you can lower your website’s bounce rate, and keep your visitors engaged.
Keep your website architecture consistent and easy to follow
One of the keys to engaging your visitors is to ensure that they can easily understand and follow your website’s layout. The big culprit here is the way your navigation menu is set up. Some companies overload their navigation menu with too many links—others use too few. Typically, this menu should house the following assets:
- Home Page
- About Us / Company Profile
- Contact Us page
- Product/Services Page (this can be a drop-down that leads to additional pages)
- Resources Page (a place to house your blog/downloads, if applicable)
- Careers Page
- Search Bar
In addition to structuring your navigation in an organized manner, keep your language consistent and understandable to your general audience. If a page is titled “Who We Are,” you should be focusing on what your company does, who it helps, and maybe provide some background for your team. If you’re trying to throw in industry research, quotes, and statistics into your About page, a visitor is going to bounce their way out of there without second thought.
Provide enticing calls-to-action to encourage more interaction
By providing calls-to-action (CTAs) across relevant webpages, you give your visitors a reason to continue through a conversion process. Your CTAs won't always be a static link or image; you can use pop-up forms that appear when enough time has passed on a page, or when a visitor scrolls down a specified amount. When displaying these CTAs, you want to ensure they are easy to find but also not intrusive or overly aggressive.
However, you don’t want to go overboard! Imagine clicking to a new blog page on a company’s website. When you reach the page, you are immediately greeted with a CTA to download an eBook, before you’ve even read a single sentence of the blog. You ignore it, and scroll down to read. Oops! It looks like you spent longer than 15 seconds on the page. Here comes CTA number two, and it’s a pop-up!
The bottomline is, be sure to place your CTAs at either the end of a page or—for pop-ups—when a reasonable amount of time has passed.
Share a Brand Story that compels visitors to stay on your website
We’ve stated before how important your brand story is when a visitor comes to your website and how it encourages someone to stick around and continue learning about your company.
For a compelling brand story, you want to speak to your audience in a manner that puts their needs first. You shouldn’t just be boasting about every accomplishment your company has had in the past few years (though a couple of those can’t hurt, if they’re relevant). When a new visitor comes to your website, there should be a strong message about your brand waiting for them.
In order to make a solid first impression, there should be an equal amount of effort put into the visual design and copy you use. With regards to copy, share your company’s brand story in a way that feels like actual storytelling. Create a sense of urgency around a common industry challenge and how your company can solve it. End each section with a lead-in to the next part of your brand story, and include section headers to help space out your copy.
A visitor will typically bounce if they lose interest in what your website/brand has to offer, or if they feel discouraged from continuing to explore. Hook them with your webpage design, then reel them in further with a compelling brand story.
Oh yeah, and don’t neglect your mobile website!
Here’s one last tip to lower your website’s bounce rate. If your company has a mobile version of its website, you should be paying close attention to its navigation, calls-to-action, and load times. A visitor’s mobile browsing may not be a one-to-one experience with the desktop version of your website, but it should carry over the same quality of loading, menu navigation, visible CTAs, and use of whitespace. By doing so, you can keep your mobile visitors from feeling discouraged and bouncing before they even reach a call-to-action.
With these strategies, you’ll be on the right track to lower your website’s bounce rate, and encourage more engagement from your audience. If you’re looking for additional website design guidelines, you’ll want to check out more of thinkdm2’s blog content!