For many website owners, bounce rates can be very intimidating. However, this should not be the case. Instead, you need to understand it and know how to use it to your advantage.

What are Bounce Rates? Bounce rates simply mean the percentage of single-page interactions where a user leaves your website from the entry page without any interaction with the page. In simple terms, it is the number of visitors who visit only one page on your site before leaving.

When Does a Bounce Occur?

Your website receives a bounce if the visitors:

• Press the browser’s ‘Back’ button.
• Exit the site by clicking an external link.
• Close the browser tab or window.
• Type in another URL into the browser page.
• Landed in your site by accident and leave immediately.
• Don’t interact with the page for extended periods (over 30 minutes), also known as ‘session time-out.’
• Abandon the site because it is loading slowly
• Don’t take action because they didn’t find a ‘call to action.’
• Leave the page because they cannot navigate the site due to various reasons such as its complexity.

What Do Bounce Rates Mean?

First, the bounce rates may show how well you have catered for the needs of your website’s visitors. The rates may indicate how relevant your products are to your visitors, or how useful, easy-to-navigate, or welcoming your site is. Also, if a user visited your site and quickly bounced off, it may also mean that they never found any useful information, or they may even have disliked what they found. But for the visitors who visited the page you directed them to, it is also safe to assume they found the information you expected them to receive. Thus, that can be termed as an acceptable bounce.

For an e-commerce website, the industry bounce rates are:

• Maximum bounce level is 68 percent
• Minimum bounce level is 14.2 percent
• Average bounce level is 41.1

You may be wondering what causes a high bounce rate on your website.

Causes of High Rates of Bounces

Several factors can contribute to high bounces on your website. They include:

• Complicated site navigation.
• Poor website design.
• No calls to action.
• Slow site loading speeds
• Wrong use of external links
• Irrelevant content
• Bombarding users with intrusive advertisements and alternative offers
• Showing users unexpected information and things unrelated to what they came for.
• Unskimmable content that makes visitors dig hard to find information.
• Landing page full of grammar and spelling mistakes.

How to Increase Engagement and Reduce Bounce Levels

There are several things you can do to minimize bounce levels and increase user engagement for your e-commerce website.

1. Enhance the Overall User Experience

The user experience concerns every kind of interaction users can have with your company, whether it is about your products or your services. It is the general feeling that a user have when using your website. So, a great user experience means he/she finds your site pleasing, inviting, and easy to use. This is why you need it to looks and feels great on all devices and platforms. Also, monitor your users behavior and determine what influences it, this way you will know how to adapt to them.

2. Improve the Site’s Loading Speed

Users make a decision about your website in the first few seconds. So, you definitely don’t want to waste this crucial time showing them a blank loading page. To optimize your landing pages results you can use dedicated tools such as Google Page Speed and Pingdom. Study shows that only 1 second delay can cause you to lose 7% of the sales but also 11% of page views, and it decreases your customer satisfaction by 16%. You can speed up your website by adding better caching, using a CDN, optimizing your images, and finding a faster hosting provider.

3. Optimize Your Call-to-Action

By a mere glance at the different visible areas of your website, visitors quickly make up their mind whether or not they like your site. These areas differs according to the device they are using though. Since you know what your visitors are mainly looking for, optimize it. This is why your website should immediately display what you are selling and have a prominently visible call-to-action (CTA). Let your CTA be honest and definite since misleading your users will cause poor user experience, which is the primary cause of low conversions rate and high bounce level.

4. Use Videos for User Engagement

Videos are much more engaging and attention-grabbing than text or even image, this is a fact. Try placing a video next to your call-to-action or use a fullscreen video as a background and you will see the difference.

5. Use High-Quality Images for Grabbing Attention

Images are really great tools you can use in order to decrease your bounce levels. Many companies are using high-quality photos for their backgrounds because they are very efficient. Even Google, once famous for using minimalistic layouts and plain white backgrounds, is now using high-quality images on its landing pages.

6. Show Targeted Content to First-Time Visitors

Just as you would in a brick-and-mortar store, you should greet your visitors. So, engage your first-time visitors using Audience Targeting tools that enable you to show different messages to the various categories of visitors. A good technique is to show targeted messages to your visitors when they demonstrate an intention to exit, which will encourage them to take action without interfering with their content experience.

7. Make Your Site Mobile-Usable

Having a mobile-friendly site is ideal, but a mobile-usable one is critical. As long as content can be used and accessed from a tablet or mobile device, websites are still effective. Again, mobile usability doesn’t just mean the design compatibility and accessibility. It also means using a language on your site that is straightforward and clear enough for people on-the-go (using mobile devices) to understand how to find information, and even how to contact you if necessary.

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The bounce levels on your site are critical to your business as they help you understand whether you are adequately providing for the needs of your visitors or not. Extremely high and low bounce levels are not healthy for your business. Thus, optimize your website with relevant content, good loading speeds, mobile-friendliness, and usability, and engage your visitors using high-quality images and videos.

What are your best tips to improve your bounce rates? Tell us below or Tweet us!