Your website bounce rate is the metric for measuring one-page visitors to your website. In the immortal words of Avinash Kaushik, author and Google employee, a bouncing visitor thinks, “I came, I puked, I left”.

A high bounce rate is a problem faced by many business websites. Getting people to visit your website is tough and when you’ve got them there, it is very disheartening if they immediately leave.

So what can the busy business owner and entrepreneur do? The good news is that it’s easy to fix and cheaper than paying to acquire new clients.

Why is bounce rate a problem?

When we search on the web, we are all impatient. We know what we are looking for and search engines have made it easy for us to research options that match our needs. We are “bouncing” off a site if we visit, read quickly and then leave. During the search process we have become adept at rapidly assessing a web page and deciding if it fits what we want or not.

This means that as business owners we need to align our website content with consumer search needs.

Visualise two circles overlapping in a Venn diagram. One is called “Customer Intent” and the other is “Web Page Intent”. The greater overlap you can create between what the customer wants and what your web page offers, the lower likelihood of the visitor bouncing off your website without viewing more than one page.

Creating robust landing pages which have a clear purpose is a new skill and an important one for modern businesses who use their website proactively.

Why aren’t your marketing team working on this already?

Marketers like myself dream of extensive above-the-line awareness campaigns – it’s what we are built to do. That and the ‘sexy’ 30 second advertisement plus billboards and an entry to Cannes for a Lion Marketing Award.

Many of us forget that there are cheaper and easier ways to improve website metrics for clients. Not so “high profile”, not such high budgets but nonetheless effective at turning a strong return on investment for marketing spend.

Chief among these is bounce rate. That is the beauty of bounce rate – at a macro level it shows how much your website stinks.

Increasing the time on site and the number of pages viewed by each visitor can significantly improve your website metrics and the KPIs or goals you have set. So learning specific tactics to implement on high bounce pages is a must.

Three ways to reduce your website bounce rate

  1. Improve your website engagement – ensure your website content is relevant to the customer’s needs and use design to push them towards engaging (clicking, phoning, emailing) with the business. Use website analytics to find your high bounce pages and review them for page intent compared to customer intent.
  2. Improve website loading times – many New Zealand websites load very slowly. This is partly a function of internet speeds and partly website design. Ask your web design team to recommend speed improvements.
  3. Have a clear customer journey – plan the pathway through your website for different types of visitor. Get the marketing team to align customer personas with a journey map. On each page ask, “What is the one thing I want the customer to do next?” That will help determine the changes you need to make.

In a digitally competitive world where it takes only seconds to hold or lose a user’s attention, getting engagement on your website is more important than ever.

Rebecca Caroe is the founder at Creative Agency Secrets.

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