hippity hop, bounce, executivesWhen referring to digital marketing strategy, people usually first think of SEO, paid advertising, or social media. But how often do you consider the bounce rate? It is the proportion of your visitors that enter the site and leave it without viewing your other pages, and it’s an essential metric. Unless you’re a portal or referential content site, the bounce rate is key to analyzing the effectiveness of your landing page. If you’re not doing a good job of continuing to interest and engage your visitor upon first visit, your bounce rates will be high. In fact, a bounce rate that is higher than 60% should concern you, and is usually a symptom of one of two main causes:

Misguided Traffic

–          This is self-explanatory. You’re not getting the people into your site that you want to engage. Time to also look deeper into your SEO and paid advertising strategy.

Easily-fulfilled Traffic

–          A surfer comes into your site and finds everything they need on the home page. They have no point in sticking around, but for you need the visitor to click, view, and convert.

So, How Can I Reduce my Bounce Rate?

1.      Design

The main sensory organs we use to peruse are, of course, our eyes. So whether you created your own Geocities Page in the 90s, or even had a professional designer develop your website, it’s time to take another look at what might be hurting your visitor’s eyes.

You now need to deeply consider your user experience. Is your navigation too small, cluttered, and uninformative? Or maybe it’s the opposite and not conveying the elements of your content well enough.

Your site itself should be clean, legible, and minimalist – no one wants to be distracted online. Well thought out segmentation and opening external links in new windows is key

Finally, make sure your website is not only viewable on mobile, but functions well on a mobile device as well. It’s too often that I see a website that can be easily explored on my phone, but has so much information that I just can’t dedicate my on-the-go time to. Cut down your content. There are many more design elements that Nick Eubanks does a great job defining, so make sure to read his tips, too.

2.      Cut out the Annoying Third Parties

Pop-ups, even if they are for information from or registering for your own site, are often the most frustrating experience a visitor to your site can go through. Leave them for absolute necessities.

In addition, pages with poorly place ads can be penalized by Google, but more importantly, will be cursed by your visitors. If they’re irrelevant, placed in a preferred space where content should be, even just above the fold, a user will be irritated.

3.      Target the Right Audience

Scott Cohen lays it out clearly for you in Why Conversion Optimized Landing Pages are the Key to Online Marketing Success. While you should obviously be linking to your home page everywhere you can, attract the right audience to stay and click through your website by placing conversion optimized landing page links in your social profiles, status updates, and Guest Author Bios, for example.

Develop a creative but simplistic and informative design, with your preferred user in mind. Increase the speed, ease, and usability of your site. Target the audience you want. There is far more that you can do to reduce your bounce rates, but these three steps should get you started on minimizing this important metric.