For a website owner, bounce rate is the source of all evil.
If people do not commit to go deeper in your website, you have a problem.
Reducing your bounce rate has the effect of driving more traffic to your pages, effectively increasing pageviews and giving you more data to work with when you want to make further improvements.
For this reason, fixing your the bounce rate of your best landing pages should be your priority.
There are essentially two aspects you should address in order to reduce your bounce rate:
- enhancing clarity of the web page;
- giving people something compelling to click OR get them to ‘take an action’.
In a nutshell, clarity is conveying what your page is all about without stressing out the visitor. A page is clear when it answers the questions the visitor has in mind.
A clear page helps get the message across effortlessly… and leads the visitor to take action.
Here is where “giving them something compelling to click” comes into play.
In fact, if it is not clear what the user should do next, she won’t take any action.
Tip: when on Hotjar session recordings you see people scrolling the page up and down several times and then leave... it screams poor clarity.
Since attention spans are getting shorter, it's your job to make sure it takes the least possible amount of time for your visitors to figure out your message and know what they are supposed to do next.
If it takes them too much time or effort to comprehend all that, it won’t be long before they click out of the web page and/or move on to some other website.
Let’s now take a look at different ways in which a website owner can bring down the bounce rate.
1. Use large readable fonts.
Not all fonts are created equal.
That’s right! Some fonts are much easier to read than others. Pick a font that’s easy on the eye!
A great resource to pick the right fonts is fontpair.co.
There you can see how the page would look with a pair of fonts title/paragraph… great stuff.
Also, your font size should be adequate enough.
Make sure the size encourages effortless reading without stressing out the reader or straining their eyes. This is especially important on mobile!
If necessary, use CSS to change the font size on mobile.
2. Use a visual hierarchy.
Visual hierarchy is quite a complex topic that requires a detailed article of its own.
Anyway - essentially - it comes down to the use of elements of different size and colors throughout the content.
The idea is to have the users noticing exactly what you want them to notice while skipping on the less important information.
Things like font and button sizes are essential elements of a good visual hierarchy.
Tip: when you build up a mockup for the visual hierarchy of your page, you want to do it in black&white, so you are forced to focus on sizes and not colors.
And yes, you ALWAYS should make mockups when you build a new page. No excuses :)
3. Use colors properly.
Use simple yet appealing colors that make the important chunks of information stand out.
Color contrast is especially important for links and CTAs (Calls-to-action) as it grabs the attention and prompts the user to take an action.
Tip: use your brand colors as much as possible!
If you don’t have your brand colors defined black-on-white, this page is a good place to start to build up your brand color identity.
4. Use bullet points for quick skimming.
Bullet points break down crucial chunks of information in a way that’s easy to consume and comprehend. It also helps the content flow.
Bullets are easier on the eye and foster quick reading.
They are an excellent way to keep the visitor engaged and busy reading the content instead of making them give up midway.
In other words, use bullet points for:
- break down crucial chunks of information;
- make content easier to digest without forcing visitors to read walls of text (they won't anyway);
- improve content flow;
- keep the visitors engaged;
- make your point.
...see the difference? ...same information but much faster to read :)
5. Use section titles to break down the page.
You can think of titles as basically the skeleton of a piece of writing.
They highlight all the major points on your page, helping users quick-scanning and skimming having to read the whole thing.
One look at all the titles should give the user a good sense of what the page/website is about in its entirety (see this very page for example).
6. Use bold in the right places.
Like section titles, the strategic use of bold at the right places helps visitors to understand the content without being forced to read the whole entire thing.
The use of bold text spread throughout the page draws attention exactly where you want.
Bold one/two words max in a paragraph and make sure they are the ones who convey meaning or emotions.
The goal, again, is to cope with the quick scanning behavior that nowadays is the most common way to consume content.
7. Use a short copy (+ icons and images).
Keep your copy as short as possible.
Whether you’re writing an article or a blog or a landing page, every piece of content should be written in a way that’s precise, to the point, and doesn't beat around the bush.
Use short copy as much as you can.
Use SIMPLE sentences. I cannot stress this enough!
Avoid writing blocks of texts that are too difficult to comprehend as it can discourage reading.
Short, bite-sized chunks of information are quick to read and easy to digest.
Avoid filler content as much as you can.
If you’re able to convey a message using 15 words, don’t use 30.
Make your paragraphs short.
8. Use lots of white spaces.
In addition to making your paragraphs short, you want to use a lot of ”new lines” and white space.
The use of white space in the right places is mega important. White space gives the content room to breathe.
This is especially important on mobile.
Not only does it help beautify the page, but it also enhances the purpose of other page elements by helping them stand out.
If the user comes on the page and finds a wall of text… well, that session is not going to be very long.
9. Use buttons for CTAs.
If you want the user to take an action (and you want that for sure), then simply placing a link and highlighting it in color is NOT the ideal way to achieve that goal.
In fact, it’s highly unlikely that people would want to click on that link as it doesn't exactly prompt action in an obvious way.
Your main CTA should always be a button.
A button serves a clear purpose: it’s meant to be clicked. Users know that.
A button conveys clearly that an action is expected.
10. Make your CTA prominent.
Let’s say you're giving users two choices in terms of CTAs, but you want them to pick just one of them.
The best way to achieve that is to make that particular CTA stand out. Make it prominent.
You can use a high contrast color for that particular CTA, while making the other blend with the background.
You can also make the main CTA button bigger and the secondary CTA button smaller.
Make it stand out so that users naturally and intuitively feel inclined to go with that choice over the other one.
11. Draw attention to the CTA.
The goal of any web page or landing page is to encourage a certain action.
CTAs are intended to make that action happen.
But, to get the user to focus on a CTA, you need to draw their attention towards that particular section on the page.
You can do this in different ways.
One of the best ways is to use visual items or objects like arrows and "directional" images, to basically lead the eye of the visitors (and their attention) towards CTAs.
12. Repeat the CTA multiple times.
If you place the CTA just once on a web page, when the user scrolled past that point, he wouldn't know what to do next.
That is why it’s crucial that you place CTAs multiple times throughout the page.
As a thumb rule, make sure that for each scroll (full-screen size), there’s a CTA.
As soon as one is out of the viewport, the next one should appear on the page.
Make sure there’s always a CTAs until the user has reached the end of the website.
This is an excellent practice to decrease the bounce rate drastically.
Warning: don’t be too aggressive or annoying in the copy of your repeated CTAs. A simple button with a small text should suffice to remind the user there is an action to take.
13. Remind visitors why they should click.
Do not leave any guesswork for your visitors.
Visitors may not always remember why they're navigating a certain web page to begin with.
It’s your job to keep reminding them what it is that they’re on your page for.
You should also remind them what will happen if (when) they take action.
How do you do that?
Simply add a chunk of information that tells the user what they stand to gain (or miss) if they click (or don't) a certain CTA.
Remember, points 7 and 6:
- the copy should be short;
- you can use bold to stress the important bits.
All of these "commandments" are must-have requirements for your pages to keep visitors from leaving your website... and they are super simple and easy to implement, when you have a good grasp on them.
Implementing them in the right way can make a ton of difference. But don’t get lot in techniques!
Always remember that your goal is to enhance clarity and give users something compelling to click on.
As long as you are clear on these objectives, you should be able to get the job done following these powerful guidelines.
Finally, don't forget SPEED!
Your pages must load fast or you'll be dropping visitors.
What is fast?
...statistics show that nearly 50% of Internet users expect web page load times of less than 2 seconds. If the page takes more than 3 seconds to load, you are losing more than half of your traffic.
So, go fix the speed issues of your pages... you'll thank me later :)
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