Improving Bounce Rate: A Balancing Act

Not long ago, I wrote a blog post called “What is a Bounce Rate Anyway?” you can think of this as a sequel. If you’re curious about bounce rates, that would be an excellent place to start. If you’ve read the post or have a firm grasp on what a “bounce” is, How bounce rate is determined, why it matters, and want to improve the bounce rate on some of your web pages, then this is the post for you!

My Landing Page Has a High Bounce Rate, What Should I do?

Alright, so you’ve got a vital landing page on your website; a staple of your business, a new product line, or just an area where you want to grow. While looking at Google Analytics or a report from a digital marketing specialist, you notice that the bounce rate on this important page is high. What should you do? 

Well, when talking about bounce rate, the most important thing to remember is that bounce rate is a measure of engagement. A visitor that clicks a link, watches a video, fills out a form, or visits a new page doesn’t bounce. A visitor who lands on your website and doesn’t engage with your website bounces. So the real question is, “how do I get more of my visitors engage with my website?” There are tons of things you can do to increase engagement: It is an overarching goal of digital marketing, web design, and user experience. One of the most challenging aspects of making an engaging and enjoyable website is maintaining fast pageF load times. This balancing act is vital to the success of any website. 

Make It Fast

Page loading time is the single most critical factor in lowering bounce rate. According to Google, as page loading time goes from 1 second to 10 seconds, users are 123% more likely to bounce. If people don’t stay on your website long enough to see it, then it doesn’t matter how great your landing page is. Page speed plays such a huge part in website performance that Google now uses page speed as a ranking factor. There are tons of reasons for slow page loading times. Check out this blog post to learn more about the numerous factors that determine page speed.

Google’s page speed benchmarks

A Balancing Act

No matter how fast your website loads, your bounce rate will remain high if the experience provided by your website isn’t satisfactory. Stripping your website of images and videos would be a surefire way to improve page speed. But removing images would leave you with a bland site and removing videos limits the opportunity for engagement. No digital marketer in their right mind would recommend this. Instead, work towards a balance between engagement and speed. Properly sizing and optimizing images and spreading out your image and video content throughout the site is the ideal strategy. 

Be smart with Images

One of the most common reasons for slow page loading time is using nonoptimal image sizes and formats or using too many images on a single page. Google recommends an entire size of a web page be less than 500kb. It’s not uncommon to find a single image on a web page with a file size larger than the recommended size of an entire page. There are plenty of options for compressing and optimizing images. My personal preference is compresser.io. If you use WordPress, the Smushit plugin is a great option. If you would like assistance with image compression and optimization, contact Ecreativeworks to learn more.

Spread it out

I am a huge proponent of including video content on websites. Well executed videos make a business appear more credible and are much easier to digest than a wall of text. Not only that but clicking on a video is a form of website engagement (hello lower bounce rate!). All too often, however, I see videos piled in one spot, like the home page or some sort of video gallery. This is a twofold problem. Videos, like images, slow down page loading times. Also, including several videos in the same place makes it more difficult for a user to find the video that is most relevant to them.

I recommend limiting videos to one video per page and making videos with a predetermined location in mind. Just like every user doesn’t need to visit every page of your site, Every user doesn’t need to watch every video. You want the right people to find the right content. Think of the most essential pages of your site and make one video relevant to that page. 

Need Assistance Lowering Your Bounce Rate?

If you’re struggling to increase engagement with your website and would like assistance, reach out to Ecreativeworks.

Written by: Brandt Tharp, Digital Marketing Support Specialist at Ecreativeworks

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