Web Design Tips to Improve Bounce Rates

Feb 7, 2020

A question asked early on from clients considering a redesign is about traffic not translating to leads or sales. “I’m getting the traffic, but they aren’t sticking around long enough to see what I have to offer.” If you’ve found yourself asking this question aloud, or the little voice in your head screaming it, then you probably need to redesign your site. Conventional wisdom states a good bounce rate is anywhere from 50% and lower, the lower the better, but not always attainable. For the most part, like grades, an average and acceptable page exit rate is somewhere in the 70’s percentage range.

First, I think the definition of bounce rate needs to be addressed. Do we go with Google’s definition, or do we come up with our own for each use case? Best bet is to stick with Google’s definition. A single page view with no other interaction. Pretty simple, right?

While I could do a deep-dive into bounce rate and how they effect sales and all that, I’m going to leave that on the back-burner for now, and focus on how to alleviate some common woes which lead to high page exits.

PageSpeed Bounce Rate Correlation

Gone are the days of dial-up modems and waiting patiently while a 1mb image downloads. While faster and faster internet options, the amount of patience shown by users is pretty minuscule. And to be frank, that’s okay. We definitely want to deliver the right information as quickly as possible. Definitely don’t want to give anyone enough time to ruminate all of the problems they’re facing with your site.

Reducing loading time can be achieved by optimizing images and underlying HTML, eliminating cumbersome script files, and the unnecessary addition of plugins or widgets. In WordPress sites especially, plugins are not all created equal. By adding plugin after plugin, you open your site up to unwanted database calls.

Optimize Navigation To Deter Bouncing

Ever walked a college campus and seen a straight diagonal track across a grassy area? As pretty and less prone to dog poop sidewalks are, sometimes you want the quickest path to your destination.

A well designed website is one that has a well thought out navigation scheme, so visitors can attain the information they need quickly. When the scheme is complicated or convoluted, visitors can get discouraged and choose to bounce to a competitors site instead.

Spotify presenting a masterclass on design basics to prevent early page exits
Spotify: Minimalist design with easy to read font and navigation placement

Font Choice Plays A Part In Good Navigation

There used to be a time of teeny-tiny fonts adorning super cool looking websites. All Flash and rarely function. Your text, especially your navigation menu text, should be easily legible. Of course there needs to be a balance. Unless you know for a fact your audience are older folks with extraordinarily bad eyesight, don’t make the font Godzilla sized either.

Another quick aside, this one is more for the designers out there, yellow backgrounds and white text aren’t cool either. Poor color scheme choices often lead to high bounce rates.

Get To The Point, Quickly

Your visitors came to your site for one reason. Get the information they need, buy the product they wanted, or read the latest article. Unless you’re running an entertainment site, with amazing content — most users are going to “hit and run”.

Links, Should Link Or Audience Will Exit

If you’re offering a free service, download, whatever, make sure that link works. That’s it. How often have you bounced from a site after click the search result to be met with zilch?

Users bouncing off your site, like Tigger on his tail
Pretend this is users finding a broken link…

Interlink, recommend and relate

Most modern websites include a blog. It’s a quick way to generate fresh content and keep your site in the good graces of Google.

If your site isn’t already linking related posts or pages, you need to be doing that manually. No matter how tedious it may seem, the interlinking of your businesses pages is just as important as gaining quality back links.

Something as simple as linking to a previous post, like a flashback in your favorite TV show, can do wonders in keeping your audience engaged. This tactic alone generally leads to lower bounce rates for most blogs.

Images and/or Video Definitely Help With Bounce Rate

Know why YouTube is considered the second largest search engine? Because people want to know things, and want to get to that information fast. Only college students can see a wall of text and get happy, and most of them aren’t that happy about it. As I’ve stated before, break up the monotony of your posts and pages with well placed multimedia.

Well planned pages, leave room for images and video to be strategically placed. Consider your countries first language when thinking of image placement.

Definitely stay away from over saturating your page with images too. Too many cooks, spoil the stew; too many images make your page load slow.

Need a redesign or audit of your current website? Get in touch with a TopOut Group expert today and learn how we can optimize your site for better bounce rates.

Christopher Snelling

Christopher Snelling

Working as a professional developer and project manager for the last 8 years. Specializing in JavaScript frameworks and SEO, Chris has been a valuable asset to TopOut from day one.

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