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Whether you’re struggling just to get people to your site, or perplexed why more than 50% of them leave immediately, it can be very frustrating running a successful website for your business. Obviously, you can’t read the minds of your visitors, and analytic data can only tell you so much. In reality, there are only four reasons people don’t like a website. In this article, you will learn how to prevent them and reduce your bounce rate.

1. Make Sure They Know They’re in the Right Place

If your site is getting more than 10 visitors a month, chances are that at least half of the visitors are coming from outside sources. This includes social media and search engine results. If you’ve done your SEO properly, more than two-thirds of your traffic is coming from search engines. This means that your visitors type something they are looking for and then click on your link expecting to find it.

There are two main ways a visitor looks to see if they have found a site that can help them. First, they will look at the site’s title, tagline, and the of headline the page they are on. Then they will skim the content very quickly to see if it’s what they expected. This analysis and decision to leave or stay happens within 5 seconds!

If your site does not have a clear focus that is stated in the title and tagline, or if your title and tagline are not easily seen immediately, visitors will usually click away. If your page headline and content does not make it easy to skim and get a clear idea of what it’s about, visitors will bounce. You must have your content structured, focused, and easy to skim (with things like images, video, subheadings, and bullet points) so that visitors think “yes, I am in the right place.”

2. Make it Easy to Find What They’re Looking For

Sometimes, a visitor will come to your site and realize that the page they are on is wrong, but your site may still have what they’re looking for. Or they like what they’ve read so far and want to dive deeper into the subject. This is why navigation needs to be crystal clear and easy for anyone to use.

Here are a few ways to help visitors find their way around your site:

  • Observe web standards. Your main navigation menu should be horizontal along the top, or vertical down the left side. Horizontal menus should never be more than one line!
  • Utilize “Related Content” links. This is especially helpful on blogs or sites with a lot of content on one topic. At the side or bottom of a page, list 3-5 related pages so visitors can quickly jump to them if they’d like.
  • Use interlinking whenever appropriate. If you have a page discussing any topic in depth, and then you briefly mention that topic on another page or blog post, make that mention a link to the “in-depth” page so visitors can read more about it if they’d like. This is also good for your SEO!
  • Make a sitemap that is actually usable for people as well as search engines.
  • Add a search bar to any site that has more than 10 pages.

3. Make Sure the Website Looks Trustworthy

Every day, Internet users become more savvy and more wary of “scam” websites. Even those who are not technically inclined have begun to categorize certain site layouts and elements as untrustworthy. When they see these on a website they will immediately click away. It’s important you avoid these elements to show that you are not a scammer.

  • Lots of ads (at least 70% of the content on your site should be your content – not ads.) If you have more than one “flashy” animated ad, get rid of them.
  • An immediate sign in box. This is tricky, because sometimes you do have content that you only want members to be able to see showing up in search results. When a new visitor sees a sign in box before they have had any contact with your site, though, it will turn them off from ever coming back. A workaround is to add a few links within the sign in box to free content for them to check out instead.
  • Poor design. Understandably, not everyone is or can afford a professional website designer. But with the many options for templates, content management themes, and easy design tips available, there is no excuse for someone not to take a couple of hours and make their site look at least presentable. No “my nephew made this for me in MS Word” pages!

4. Publish Original Content

Let’s face it, much of the content on the Internet is not original. It is rehashed, restructured, and repackaged to appeal to different audiences. It’s ok if your website covers the same topics that someone else has already covered, but that does not mean it needs to be a carbon copy of someone else’s work.

When you are writing your pages, articles, or blog posts, it’s important to write from your own experience, knowledge, and personality. If you need inspiration, pull from at least three different sources. This way, your content will be all you and not give a visitor suspicious feelings of deja vu. If you are directly quoting from another website or writer, make absolutely sure you credit that person and that readers can clearly see it is a quote.

Visitors have gotten a bad reputation for being picky and unpredictable online, but in reality they are very easy to understand. After all, they are people. Think about how you would like to see and use a site you’ve never been to before, and you will be on the right track to lower bounce rates and higher conversions.


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Cory is the Director of Content Development at Eyeflow. He graduated with a degree in Multimedia from Point Park University, where he held focus in print writing and online content. When not at work, Cory spends his time conquering Pittsburgh's hills on his bike, tackling DIY projects and crafting creative recipes.

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1 Comment » for 4 Ways to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
  1. Hi Cory

    It’s really a fact, Nowadays many bloggers are getting high bounce rates on their blog which is really a head ache for them.
    Due to high bounce rate, they aren’t able to generate sales. I am also one of them.

    Since last 4 months, I have been noticing that my blog is getting high bounce rate and my visitors are leaving my site so frequently.
    They aren’t engaged with my content.

    So to solve this issue, I was doing research on it and searching for some best ways which I can implement to reduce bounce of my blog.
    While doing research, I have learn’t below points which can help to reduce bounce rate of the blog.

    1. Fresh & Helpful Content

    During the research, I was noticing few blog content and I found a big difference in them.
    I have seen two blogs and one of them writing content just to sell their product and to drive traffic. The writer of that blog just writing articles based on keywords and their articles aren’t enough informative.

    On that blog, I only seen content which aren’t helpful to me.
    On the other side, the second blog is filled with awesome content.

    Articles on the second blog is completely eye catchy and even after reading their titles, I wasn’t able to resist myself from reading those articles. I read almost 4-5 articles there and they all are hub of helpful information.

    Difference which I noticed in between these two blogs is, 1st blog is only writing for sales and traffic But 2nd blog is writing just to help their readers.

    2nd blog was focusing on creating high quality content which can solve issue, which can create results.

    The writer of 2nd blog was giving brilliant solutions and writing in-depth articles.
    He was focusing on readership and building relationship with their readers.

    This was the big difference in these 2 blogs. & I learnt that content should be of such kind which can create results and solve issues. 😀

    2. Updating Old Articles

    2nd thing which I learnt is, Updating old articles.
    I have learnt If we will not update old articles with fresh information then there would be high chances, the reader will surely leave our blog because they might not be getting what they really want.

    So updating articles with fresh information would be a technique to hold them and engage them on our blog. Right? 😀

    3. Content Readability

    I myself never read those articles which have so long and thick paragraphs. I have seen some websites which writes so long and thick paragraphs which scare readers to read them.
    I also scare when I see such long paragraphs and I don’t read them.
    I always love to read short and clean paragraphs.

    So we should must improve our content readability so that readers can find it interesting and helpful. 😀

    There are also some other points like improving blog design etc etc But I can’t mention all of them in a single comment. 😀

    Your article is really helpful to me and I learned so many points from you.
    Thanks Cory for sharing such a great piece of content with us.
    Happy Blogging 😉