We came, we saw, we weren’t impressed and we left.
A ‘bounce’ occurs when the website or a web page doesn’t live up to the expectations of the visitors, prompting them to:
- Hit the back button
- Close the tab or window
- Type in a new URL
- Click on an external link
- Ignore call to action
In short, if a web page isn’t user-friendly, then there is a higher chance of increasing the number of users who ‘bounce’ away from your site, i.e. the bounce rate. Therefore, to reduce the bounce rate on a website, you need to impress your visitors and reduce the likelihood of them navigating away from the site. And for this, you need to ensure that your website offers the best user-experience.
Here are some tips, which will help you enhance the overall user-experience of your website, impress your visitors and reduce the bounce rate.
1. Don’t Keep Visitors Waiting
In the age of fast internet connectivity, waiting for a website to load is one of the most frustrating experiences for website visitors. This is demonstrated by a graph in an infographic on Kissmetrics, which shows that loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. Even a two second delay can result in abandonment rates of 87%!
Sample this – someone is waiting at a line in a coffee shop and wants to while the time away by browsing for stuff on mobile. Naturally, the person will expect a faster loading page to access the content they are looking forward to. Slow page loading time deters them from browsing further, thereby adding to the bounce rate.
The solution is to speed up your website by, for example:
- Reducing clutter and going minimalist
- Track the page speed to identify problematic areas that are contributing to the slowness
- Use CDNs (Content Delivery Network)
2. Engage Visitors
User engagement on websites has its own prominence. Using interactive content, images and videos are some of the ways to keep visitors hooked on to your website. Nowadays, fullscreen video and image backgrounds are being used by many websites to captivate their target audience. Similarly, visual storytelling is also said to have a lasting impression on visitors. If you are unsure about how to go about user engagement on your website, take a look at this list of 61 useful tips for increasing engagement on a website.
3. Pay Attention to Visual Design
According to usability.gov, visual design “Visual design focuses on the aesthetics of a site and its related materials by strategically implementing images, colors, fonts, and other elements”. More often than not, designers emphasize more on the usability of a website and visual design gets grossly neglected.
Work on enhancing the visual design on your web page by maintaining consistency on the web pages. Use Gestalt’s Principle of Proximity to group similar objects together as a single unit. Go for a well-designed grid system to group similar elements on your website, which will be helpful in drawing the attention of the visitors.
Another important tip that you need to keep in mind while working on your website’s visual design is to use the psychology of colors to your advantage. Know the meaning behind colors, what effect do colors have on your target audience, what are their cultural contexts and study the use of colors by leading brands on the market and you will understand what colors to choose for your website.
4. Ditch the ‘Above the Fold’ Myth
Gone are the days when website visitors didn’t use to scroll when the information they needed, wasn’t placed ‘above the fold’. With mobile-friendly website design and innovative scrolling techniques such as Parallax Scrolling, people do indeed scroll as per a number of interesting researches mentioned on UXMyths. In certain cases, scrolling is a better option and enhances the usability than to skip from one screen to another. This is perhaps how the idea of Infinity Scrolling came into existence. So, you need not keep everything ‘above the fold’ on your website including the CTA (Call To Action) buttons. Retain your website visitors’ interest on the pages through intuitive web design along with attention-grabbing content. This takes us to the next point.
5. Choose an F-Shaped Pattern for the Content
Website visitors are known for skimming content as opposed to reading it. This is justified by a study, which says that people read textual content in an F-shaped pattern.
Beginning with the headlines, sub headlines, they just glimpse through the body text on the website. You should therefore be very selective about the text posted on your website and the way it is presented.
Make it a point to include the most important information in the first few paragraphs as this is the content, which your visitors are more likely to read. Use headlines and sub headlines that capture their attention by stating the subject matter in an interesting manner. Additionally, use whitespace, images, bullet points, short paragraphs, highlight links and take similar steps to enhance the readability of the content.
Calling it a Day
These are some of the tried and tested methods, which will help you in reducing the bounce rates on your website and also, make an impression on the visitors. If you too have a point to add to the list, go ahead and share it with us. We are all ears!
(Lead image source: StartupStockPhotos – CC0 Public Domain)