Your website bounce rate isn’t the be all and end all of a successful website, but it does give you a good indication of how well your website keeps viewers engaged. Simply put, your bounce rate tells you how many people leave your website after viewing just one page (or perhaps less than a page). As a result, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.
There are plenty of factors that contribute to a high bounce rate. These include poor design, slow speed, and content that doesn’t live up to your readers’ expectations. If unengaging content is stopping your readers from delving further into your site, these tips can help you nip that bounce rate in the bud.
Write compelling headlines
The sole purpose of a headline is to catch your readers’ attention and keep them on the page – so if yours is subpar, you can’t expect readers to stick with it. Headlines should be snappy, while telling your readers exactly what they can expect from your site. If your headline is too long, too technical, or irrelevant to your content, it’s likely to turn your readers off from the start. Brainstorm a few keywords you want to include, and build a short, snappy headline around those.
Update your title tag
Title tags aren’t just useful for SEO – they also have a big impact on bounce rates. Your web content should match the information given in your title tag. If your title tag tells readers to expect “5 Reasons We Love The Flintstones”, but your content is actually related to The Jetsons, readers will leave your page unsatisfied. Make sure your title tag properly reflects the content of your webpage – your Google rankings will thank you for this, too!
Update your meta descriptions
Like your title tag, your meta description gives readers a lot of information before they actually click through to your site, so it needs to be accurate. You have more characters to play with in your meta description, so you can give your readers a little more information about what to expect from your webpage. That way, when they click through, they’ll be happy to see what they expected.
Make a promise – and fulfill it
A key way to keep readers on your page is to promise them something they want when they get to the end of your page. It’s a similar tactic used by YouTubers to compel people to stick with their video until the end. It can be an insider trade secret, a special discount, or a free ebook – you just have to ensure you follow through on your promise, and make it easy for your readers to claim their prize at the end.
Offer benefits, not features
While customers like to learn about product features, what they really want to know is how the product will improve their lives. It’s fine to include that your new high-spec smartphone has a telephoto lens – but it’s more important that your customers see the potential in their fancy camera for capturing candid prom or vacation photos. Benefits help people see how your product can work for them – and it’s up to you to highlight these to your readers.
Use simple language
Even people with considerable technical knowledge prefer to read simple language. While you shouldn’t shy away from using terms that are well-known in your sector, you don’t need to use lots of jargon and flowery language to keep readers interested. Make your point in layman’s terms wherever possible – it’ll engage regular readers as well as technical experts.
Write in short sentences
Short, succinct sentences help keep readers interested. They’re easier to read, and they quicken the pace of your article, so readers are more likely to stay on the page. Where you do use longer sentences, make sure they’re well-punctuated to make them as easy as possible for your readers to understand. If your readers lose the thread of your content, they’ll quickly move away from your site.
Make it easy to click through
Bounce rate isn’t just about retaining readers – it’s about moving them through to the other relevant, useful content that’s on your site. Make it really easy for your readers to click through to other relevant pages by adding links and buttons to your web copy. However, don’t add links where they’re not relevant. You’ll quickly lose readers, and search engines can punish you for rogue linking practices.
Compel readers to click
Adding links is a good starting point, but to really reduce your bounce rate, it’s important to give your readers a reason to click through. Reasons can be simple, such as finding out more about a topic you’ve mentioned. But the most compelling reason is often the promise of a solution to a problem your readers face. Whatever you’re offering on the next page, make sure it’s something your readers want.
Include a clear call to action
Each page on your site should include a clear call to action – a move your readers can make to get more from your website. Your call to action should be strong, compelling, and relevant to your readers, but it should also encourage them to move forward with your business. If you want them to book a demo, say so. If you want them to get in touch with your sales team, this is your chance to make it happen.
Improving your website bounce rate isn’t a simple task, but there are plenty of actions you can take to keep your readers alert and interested, reducing the risk of them clicking away from your page. Start improving your site with these web copy tips, and see more readers stick with your site for longer.
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