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How to make your website ‘stickier’ and reduce ‘bounce rate’

A very important metric that provides immediate insight into your website’s performance and effectiveness is the ‘bounce rate’.

The bounce rate metric is a valuable tool with which to measure the quality of traffic coming to your website. It is almost instantly available in any Web analytics software and it is incredibly easy to understand once you know the simple definition.

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So, what is bounce rate? In a nutshell, bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who click on your website and leave, “instantly” from the entry page, which is usually your website’s homepage.

According to one of Google’s analytics specialists, Avinash Kaushik, a bounce rate under 20% is difficult to achieve, anything over 35% is cause for concern, while 50% and above is worrying.

However, this bounce rate needs to be put into perspective and interpreted relative to a website’s objective. If a visitor is checking a website to obtain contact details which are on the homepage, bounce rate is not such a bad thing, because they may only be viewing one page but contacting the company. However, on an ecommerce site where the main goal is to sell products online, bounce rate becomes a primary concern.

So, how do you decrease bounce rate?

Get sticky

In short, a website is sticky if people spend a lot of time on it. Those who spend their time exploring, learning and contributing on your website will tend to feel a part of it and more connected to it. Brand identification is a critical component of many buying decisions.

Here are a few tips to make your website stickier:

  • – Ensure that your homepage has a good navigational structure and is easy to browse
  • – Make sure that people can quickly find what they are looking for in 5-10 seconds
  • – Content on your website should be compelling and written for the intended audience
  • – Avoid all spelling mistakes – they only reduce credibility
  • – Include contact details on the homepage and every other page on your website
  • – Your website should be continually updated so that it does not become stagnant and antiquated
  • – Build interactive features into your website so that visitors can participate in many ways
  • – Offer high quality articles and information that visitors will come back for

Remember, reducing bounce rate is only the first step to increasing website stickiness. Don’t fall into the trap of having an engaging homepage but then messing up the internal navigational structure or becoming lazy with editing on inside pages.

Your website is your direct business representative online – if you don’t make a good impression in the first 5-10 seconds, valuable potential clients may be lost.