Did you know that on average 55% of readers bounce out of websites in the first 15 seconds? Think about yourself - you also don't have time. Even at this very moment, you're probably thinking of your never ending to do list. If you don't find value in what you're reading at the first few seconds, you'll click away.
Well, if you're still reading, I must have done a pretty good job. Continue reading to learn what makes people leave websites quickly and how you can make them stay put.
There are a number of potential reasons why people might exit your blog during the first minute, but the real question is - what can you do to prevent it? How can you make them stay and read this post you've been working so hard on crafting?
We are going to cover the 9 main reasons for high bounce rates and, more importantly, what you can do to make people keep scrolling downward and clicking through more pages. But first, let's understand what bounce rate is.
3 Types of bounce rate - which one is relevant for you?
Google defines bounce rate as the rate of occurrences where a person leaves the entrance page of your site without interacting with the page. Identifying what type of bouncer(s) your web audience are is the first step in discovering why they bounced at all.
On Clicktale's blog, Sam Green maps out three different types of bounce rates, and that bounce rate on the whole is one of the most important metrics in online marketing.
The first type of bounce rate is what's known as a hard bounce - an immediate realization (and exit) on behalf of the user that he is on the wrong website, because he is not interested in your website in the slightest. Because they were so disinterested in the site, these users hardly register any scrolls or clicks in your web analysis. Therefore, the explicitly low record of engagement indicates that they bounced (exited) away from your site (almost) immediately.
The next type of bounce rate along the spectrum is a medium bounce, which refers to users who stay on site for a short amount of time (generally about a few seconds). This type of interaction generally indicates a web audience who has potential, yet unconfirmed interest in your site.
Lastly, soft bounce visitors are those who albeit show high engagement on the web page, end up exiting the page after their time spent scrolling down, clicking, reading, and writing.
The 9 main reasons people bounce out of your blog (and how to make them stay)
1. You don't speak their language
In practice, this means knowing, firstly, who your audience is: Men? Women? What age they are? What interests them? What are they looking for?
When you're marketing to companies, you need You need to also think about your reader's position: Managers? C-level executives? Entry-level colleagues? and how your content would be relevant to him, aka, what can he do with it? Is he trying to increase ROI? Or is he a graphic designer who is most interested in the quality of your visuals and what he can learn from them? The key thing to keep in mind here is: how is your content relevant to your reader and what can he use it for.
By speaking your customers' language, you provide them the sentiment that you offer what they really need, that you're empathetic and mindful of their challenges, and mostly, that you're worth (reading)/listening to - they are bound to then want to read more of what you have to say.
2. The post is not visually attractive
Would you go into a store if its window wasn't attractive? Images, fonts and colors are the shopping window of your blog. Make sure all images are eye-catching. Fonts are clear and easy to read (nothing's more frustrating than a font that is too small to read), that the blog is lively with color, but not too noisy or overwhelming to the eye.
A trick that I learned from content expert Avishai Sam Bitton from Imonomy is to add a big image at the beginning of every page, so that people will need to scroll down in order to read the actual content, this is the first interaction with your content - and when people interact, they stay longer. While this would not affect your hard bounce rate (see above) it would make a strong impact on your soft bounce rate.
3. Not enough breaks
So you wrote a 2,000 words blog post that goes deep into the topic of Blue Whales. Great! But If you want me to be able to read the entire article you need to give me a few breaks. A break can be a sub-header, an image, a video or anything else that breaks the text.
Keeping paragraphs short and to the point also helps as it allows your readers to fully process each idea and take a short break before the next one.
4. No interaction
To me, a blog's true goal is to be a conversation starter. Did you ever get a sales call when the seller did nothing else but pitch you? Did you end up buying from him? Probably not.
Same goes with content. Don't pitch - talk. Ask questions (like I did a paragraph before). Write as if you were speaking to the reader. I sometimes go as far as imagining the reader's' feelings and reactions to what I'm writing.
It's also important to add interactive touch points inside of your post. Use interactive content tools to make your content stand out, such as surveys, dynamic presentations or "click to tweet" buttons.
5. Readers don't immediately get what's in it for them
People's attention spans are too short. There's so much more to do, to read, and to learn.
Make sure your readers understand the value of your content:what's in it for them in the first 1-2 paragraphs of your post, or they're gone.
6. The site is too slow / not mobile compatible
Same as the previous pointer, don't count on people to stick around to wait for your page to load. Do a loading test periodically, get rid of un-used plugins and make sure your images are only as big as they need to be. These are some of the things that will help speed up the loading time of your site.
Also check if your bounce rate on mobile is higher than in desktop. This may mean that your site is not 100% mobile optimized - don't underestimate the mobile factor. More and more people read content on the go - but you know this already, because so do you, right?
7. Too many CTAs/ pop ups/ advertising
You know the feeling. You just clicked on an inviting Tweet or Facebook post and you're anxious to read those great tips that promise to help you lower your blog's bounce rate. A full width advertisement is waiting for you as you come on, forcing you to scroll all the way down to read the actual post, when you finally get there - a huge pop up is asking you to subscribe to an email list.
CTA's are important for your content to perform, but they need to be situated in the correct way in order to successfully bring leads. The CTA button must be prominently visible, catching viewers' attention easily - while never giving them a feeling that they are surrounded by ads.
The CTA button must also be relevant to the blog itself. In this case, relevant means aligned with your blog's subject matter. You can't blog about cars and have CTA buttons that invite readers to buy flowers - it would just make them not trust your content, as well as your offer.
8. The post doesn't deliver promised value
If your Facebook post promised to talk about how to reduce bounce rate and when clicking, the reader sees that your post is about how to write catchy titles - they might very well leave.
While catchy titles have everything to do with bounce rate, this is not exactly the same topic, is it?
Make sure that the message that the reader sees on social media, a newsletter or forum is undoubtedly related to the main topic of your post. Remember: people don't have the time, or patience, to understand the connection between the two, so make it obvious.
9. They don't know what to do next
This might be the most important tip in this post: People need to know what to do next. Any doubt, and they're gone.
At Roojoom, we built a platform that helps companies guide readers through content. Our customers' average time spent per session is over 8 minutes, and bounce rate is usually below 15% - sometimes below 10%. The main reason for these phenomenal stats is the fact that within Roojoom, a reader always knows what to do next.
To implement this in your blog, all you have to do is make sure that when your reader reaches the end of a post, there will be something waiting for him. A call-to-action button, and an invitation to explore more content, or a call to leave comments at the end. Whatever it is, give them something to do next - or they'll find what to do outside of your blog.
Tools we use to reduce bounce rate of our blog:
- We (manually) add links to further reading at the end of each post (you'll see in a few seconds when you're done reading this). You can also use Outbrain or other tools to add it automatically.
- Roojoom - we embed Roojoom content journeys as dynamic presentations in almost every blog post. You can see one above.
- Click to tweet - we make sure to include 1-2 "Click to Tweet" buttons throughout the post. Did you click on the one we have inside this post?
- Canva - to create engaging visuals.
While there might be more than one reason people bounce out of your blog, each of these is easy to fix. Use the above pointers as a check list and make sure your content gets the full attention of your readers, as it deserves.
Do you have any other tips to reduce bounce rate? Please share in the comments below. Looking forward to reading them!