Eight tips to keep your bounce rate under control
Bad bounce rates are not inevitable. But you have to make sure that the right internet users come to the right place and give them good reasons to stay.
An important indicator of the early internet, bounce rate has to be taken with a lot of tweezers these days. This KPI measures the percentage of internet users who leave the site after consulting a single page, the page they came from. We could therefore consider that the lower the bounce rate, the more visitors visit the site, click on other sections, visit other pages and explore their content. In this case, it would logically be necessary at all costs to implement strategies to reduce the bounce rate. But this analysis has limitations. Christophe Cotin Valois, co-founder of Welcome Max, a consulting firm specializing in UX strategy and design, gives us eight tips to help publishers analyze and track the bounce rate at its true value based on their goals.
1. Analyze your bounce rate based on your goal
You might logically think that a low bounce rate is any publisher’s holy grail. But this statement needs to be nuanced. By itself, bounce rate can affect site performance analysis. This must be done in light of the publisher’s goal. “There is no absolute good or bad bounce rate. If I have a news site, my bounce rate is high, but the time spent on content on my page is significant, I can rejoice that my audience is engaged with my article, ”explains Christophe Cotin Valois. Conversely, an ecommerce site whose visitors spend time browsing pages without converting will have a low bounce rate but won’t meet its sales goal. “Put your bounce rate into perspective with at least one additional KPI linked to your goal.” For the blogger, it is the time he devotes to it, for the e-merchant, the transformation, etc.
2. First observe the origin of the traffic and adjust it if necessary
“It is difficult to assess the bounce rate without looking at the origin of the traffic,” sums up Christophe Cotin Valois. “You have to work on your SEO so that it attracts traffic that aligns with its value proposition, or else people will leave.” Once this step has been successfully completed, an entire user experience mechanism should allow you to generate “clicks”, that is, make these visitors want to stay and continue browsing the pages and sections of the site.
3. Provide the answer the Internet user is looking for from the first three seconds
The traditional inverted pyramid rule comes into play, but it is often overlooked on the web: essential information must be presented first, details come later. “People don’t use the Internet like they read a print magazine: they browse for information, which is generally available from various sources. Many studies show that the page must provide information in three seconds, otherwise the Internet user is gone. “You must keep your promise and provide the visitor with the information that led him to the site:” You have about three seconds to prove them who are in the right place, on the right site and on the right page “.
4. Nurture your narrative to move forward
Attracting the visitor’s attention and letting him stay for a few seconds is the hardest part, but it’s not enough. Even if he is convinced of your legitimacy to give him the right answer, he should be motivated to stay once he has found the items he was looking for. “It’s not a call-to-action button, but the mechanics of the story that make him want to stay and explore your site.” Ideas should be well articulated and produce a satisfying progression: “The text should also give the visitor a sense of rarity, exclusivity and relevance.” But beware, many bad practices of “captology” have made storytelling famous on the Internet: readers do not allow themselves to be deceived, ethics and seriousness allow them to be maintained or even preserved.
5. Work on your internal link
Your article should contain links that allow the reader to visit other pages on your site to delve into, broaden, or answer new questions that arise as the text progresses. “If the Internet user realizes very quickly that you can give him a lot of information on the subject and that the links to it are immediately recognizable and accessible, he is likely to stay.” Also, be specific with the recommendations surrounding your article – they should be of the same level of quality and relevance. “Don’t leave these spaces to generally stupid automated tools. This content should be the result of an editorial strategy ”.
6. Avoid long articles: create several
Instead of providing all the answers in one article that the internet user won’t read until the end, tell your story in several short separate articles. The internet user will be happy to be able to deepen step by step or discover other facets of the topic. Your site’s indicators (bounce rate, time spent, clicks) will improve dramatically.
The overall architecture of your site should be easy to understand for the user, who should be able to move smoothly between the different sections and pages. “Always work the course with the context and needs of your goals in mind.”
8. Make sure your page loads fast
Page download speed is an important competitive advantage. A user who performs a search opens multiple tabs at the same time because he is in a hurry to find his answer. The site that loads first will grab the visitor’s attention much more.