SEO is made up of 2 components — getting people to your website and keeping them on your website. If you have a lot of people coming to see our website, you’ve only succeeded in solving half the problem. The second, more difficult task, is to get them to spend time on the site.
Lots of websites get first-time visitors. Web surfers click on a site that perks their interest, answers questions and offers information that they need. For instance, someone who searches for the “online casino“ will find several options from which to choose and can then click on one or more of those options.
But the website doesn’t fulfill its function if the searcher doesn’t STAY on the site. If the searcher leaves the site quickly, s/he didn’t find the material that was needed. If your bounce rate is high, it can affect your SEO ratings and push you further down in the organic search results.
The good news is that, with a little effort, you can reduce your bounce rate. You need to tweak your content, keywords and backend settings to ensure that the people who come to your site want to be there and want to search for more information that you provide.
Following are some suggestions for reducing your bounce rate:
Reduce Page Load Time
If your website loads slowly, you turn potential site visitors off even before they see your site. Analysts say that over 45% of users expect that a web page will load in two seconds of less. If your page takes too much longer than that, the visitor might become distracted or disinterested and leave before he’s even seen what you have to offer.
This is even truer for mobile sites. Mobile users are accustomed to having everything happen immediately. They don’t have the patience to watch their screen for more than a few seconds while waiting for a webpage to appear. Both PC and mobile users are more likely to abandon their shopping cart if the webpage is taking too long to load.
Check your site’s performance using Google’s free website analysis tool. Go to the tool and enter your website’s URL. Then click “Analyze.” You’ll get a report about your site’s speed and optimization along with suggestions that identify potential optimizations that may improve the speed of the site.
Search engines give brownie points — in the form of higher Search Engine rankings — for good content. The more accessible and the higher quality your content, the more you’ll be able to attract the “right” site visitors who will stay on your site to improve your bounce rate.
Use smart formatting to format your pages so that they’re as welcoming and accessible as possible. The less “work” a visitor has to do to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to stick around. Keep the text short. Use numbered lines and bullet points to make the content more approachable.
Use headers and subheadings — a lot. Intersperse the content with suitable images. Don’t overdo it — a line break or image between every sentence can be just as annoying as huge blocks of run-on text.
One of the fastest ways to lose a web audience is to show them a webpage that’s packed with offers, coupons, ads, promotions and other types of come-ons. Obviously, if you have something to sell, you want to make that information available but you need to do it in a smart way.
One thing that you can do is to include the links to your offers in your text. A discreet link or two embedded in the text filled with valuable content will go a long way towards keeping visitors on your website and will be more enticing as clickbait than all of the side stickers, emblems, logos, pop-ups and other bright images that you can load onto your sidebar. Most importantly, it won’t turn off the website’s visitors.
You want your visitors to immerse themselves in your content before you bombard them with newsletter sign-up offers and other promotions. In other words, don’t push too hard, too fast.
One of the biggest reasons that surfers leave a site quickly is that the site isn’t relevant to their needs. That means that you don’t necessarily want to attract as many people as possible to your site but rather, you want to attract the people who are looking for what you have to offer.
Your site needs to be relevant to your visitors. To do that, you need to target keywords effectively. You want to make sure that when someone searches for the kind of goods or services that you provide, they will find you. Conversely, you also want to make sure that you won’t appear in search results of searchers who look for data that has nothing to do with you.
If someone is looking for “heirloom tomato plants” and gets to your site for “online casino gaming,” they will, obviously, leave the site within seconds. And that will push up your bounce rate.
To identify relevant keywords, check out the Google keyword tool. The keyword planner helps you identify the search phrases that people use when searching for the content that you provide. Search terms are described as “long-tailed” search words because they’re not one word — the best keywords include two or three words.
For instance, if you offer a honey-product, you’ll be looking for keywords to insert into your content (“front-end”) and behind the scenes (your site’s “back-end”). Put “honey products” into the Google Search Tool and you’ll come up with the kind of phrases that Google sees people are using when searching for such a product…..jars of honey, organic honey, beeswax products, etc.
Internal Linking Structure
It’s important to have your web pages link to each other throughout the site. It helps site visitors navigate to the information for which they’re searching and will help keep them on the site for longer periods of time.
Keep your site mobile-friendly. A high percentage of web surfing is done on mobile today. If your site loads slowly on mobile or the web pages aren’t optimized for mobile users, you’ll be losing site visitors left and right.
You want people to stay on your site for as long as possible? Make it user-friendly for them to find the various web pages so that they can and will navigate from one page to t next quickly and easily. Create a sitemap that sets out your site logically so visitors will be able to find information by clicking on tabs, sub-tabs, and sub-sub-tabs.
Pay attention to graphics, images, and display. Unless you’re discussing building engineering codes or some such esoteric subject, you want your site visitors to enjoy your site while they read and understand your message.