How Your Website Load Speed Affects Bounce Rates
Your website speaks volumes on your brand, it is an indicator of your product or service that consumers take seriously. As a brand, you want to make sure that your site is representing your products or services accurately and in the best light. There are many key metrics that show how you are performing on your website, but a slow website load speed can dramatically increase your bounce rate.
A website bounce rate is a term used in website traffic analysis, it represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave. Ideally, as a business, you want a bounce rate of 26-40% and anything over 70% is cause for alarm.
Why Is My Website Bounce Rate So High?
Customers go to your website to learn more about who you are and what you offer; if you have uninformative content, this could be contributing to an increased bounce rate. If your site content does not address the needs or concerns or a customer, they have no reason to stay. Customers are increasingly likely to leave a brand for a new one that serves their needs. The right content and copy on a website can convince a customer to stay on your site.
It is human nature to make a judgment within a matter of seconds. If your site is disorganized, hard to read or understand, or just visually unappealing— visitors are likely to leave. User experience is key in website design and can appeal to customers to navigate through your site.
A slow website or technical error is a common factor in high bounce rates. Customers do not want to hit a roadblock when trying to learn more about your product or service. If a plugin goes down or has a slow loading window, a customer will quickly leave your site. Anything taking longer than a few seconds to load is far too long.47% of customers expect a website to load in under two seconds! A single-second improvement in website load speed can astronomically increase site traffic and conversions.
Secrets to Improving Your Website Load Speed and Bounce Rate
Is your bounce rate getting out of hand? Follow these simple steps to decrease your bounce rate and improve your site metrics.
Create more landing pages
If you are getting a high bounce rate from your PPC strategy, chances are that you need to redesign or create more landing pages. Try creating landing pages that solve a particular customer pain point and increase site traffic.
Match the need for speed
Since website load speed is such a large contributor to high bounce rates, it is important that you tackle increasing your site speed. The easiest way to speed up your site is to add a CDN (content delivery network). A CDN caches copies of your site on servers around the world, this allows your site to be delivered faster. Regardless of how fast your site is, it can never tackle the issue of distance and a CDN solves this issue. You can also optimize your website performance by optimizing images, reducing HTTP requests, and font performance optimization.
Get rid of interruptions
Popups can be a necessary evil, as some brands have seen up to a 46% increase in email signups by using a popup. However, irrelevant popups are seen as annoying and distracting to customers. This takes some testing and strategy, test different time windows or location popups for full optimization.
Clearly guide customers
If the navigation of your site is unclear or disorganized, customers don’t know where to go and will commonly leave your site. You have to make sure that a new customer can easily navigate through your site and find the content they are looking for. You can use many heatmap plugins for your site to find where users are getting confused.
Use your phone
In 2020, mobile devices generate around 51% of all website traffic. This means that making sure your mobile site is responsive and speedy is increasingly important. You should be testing the speed and user experience of your site on a multitude of mobile devices and editing your website accordingly.
Aesthetics and content matter
The design of your website matters to customers, it should be visually appealing and direct. Customers do not spend time on sites that look like they were just thrown together, so it is vital that you spend time on the design of your site. This includes the copy that is on your site! Your copy should be easy to read and understand. You can use tools to test the readability of your content— and since the average adult reads at a 9th-grade level, we recommend that you do!
We said it before, and we will say it again: Content matters!
Having up to date and relevant content can dramatically increase site traffic and time spent on your site. Having current content also allows you to appear higher in Google search results.
Backlinking and internal linking is a great SEO practice and is proven to increase your search rankings. What you likely didn’t know though, is that it can also help decrease your bounce rate. Internal links are commonly clicked on by your site users and can keep them on your site. During this process, don’t forget to check your links to make sure they are not broken. Broken links are a contributing factor to a high bounce rate, even though it is an easy fix!