How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate Through Conversion Optimization 

Jeanne San Pascual, Psych-Based Copywriter

31 October 2018

If your website gets decent enough traffic but you find that people quickly leave your website, then what you need to know how to reduce your bounce rate.

A lot of business owners think that traffic is the end-all, be-all.

But at the end of the day, your traffic won’t matter if everyone’s leaving as soon as they land on your website.

For the uninitiated, a bounce rate is the percentage of your site visitors who leave after just visiting one page. 

The good thing about bounce rates is that you can track it on Google Analytics and determine which pages to improve from there.

If you want your business to thrive, you have to at least have a passable ounce rate to start with. 

Here’s how you can start increasing yours:

How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate Through Conversion Rate Optimization

Bounce rate is an important metric if you want to steadily improve your website metrics.

But to be able to effectively lower your bounce rate, it’s important to know what’s working for you and what doesn’t.

More than just basing on industry standards of what a good bounce rate average is, you have to know if the same applies with your audience as well.

You have to know what their particular needs, wants, pain points as well as expectations so you can offer them something they can’t refuse and they check out your other pages.

Although that you don’t have to convert your site visitors the first time, it’s worth piquing their interest so they’re likely to explore your website.

What you have to is to make sure your site has the important elements.

This includes a well-written copy, aesthetically appealing design, interesting offers, and killer calls-to-action, to name just a few.

Most, if not all of the above, can help contribute to an improved bounce rate that is sure to make a difference to your business.

With that in mind, check out the different ways below on how to reduce your bounce rate through conversion optimization!

Look at What Google Analytics is Saying

When it comes to conversions, Google Analytics is your best friend.

Crafting a conversion rate optimization strategy without basing it on data first is like baking without the exact measurements. You may have all the ingredients in hand but there’s no guarantee you’ll get your desired results in mind.

As the famed quote goes, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.”

One good way to get data from your site is from Google Analytics. Look for patterns in the information available especially when it comes to your site visitors’ behavior flow.

It’s situated on the left sidebar of your Google Analytics account. Below the “Behavior,” choose Behavior Flow and you’ll see there how many sessions were logged for all your users as well as your audience segment info.

See pic below for reference.

From there, you’ll be able to see what pages your visitors are reading on your site as well as what pages people are bouncing from. If it’s a particularly important page on your site, you need to fix it so more people stay there.

The key goal here is to make sure people spend enough time on pages on your site that inform them of what you offer.

Because without knowing your business, product or service, your site visitors are unlikely to turn into actual customers. 

Before crafting your strategy, make sure you have an excellent idea on how your site performs overall. This way, you’ll know what pages aren’t working and which ones you should optimize.

Some fixes for underperforming pages include:

  • Adding fresh content
  • Updating statistics and references
  • Checking for broken links
  • Adding a call-to-action or improving your current one
  • Improving your site design

Any of the above can make a difference in how much your readers stay on a page so take the time to assess what’s wrong in the pages that have high bounce rates.

“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”

– Sir William Thompson

Determine if Your Offer is Ideal for Your Audience

One of the primary reasons that majority of your site’s visitors are bouncing is that your offer doesn’t fit what your audience wants.

The right fit is important because no matter how compelling and persuasive your content, it won’t resonate with them if it’s not in line with their desires and problems.

For instance, if you currently have just one opt-in form on your site, why not add one or two more lead magnets to give you a better idea on what your audience really wants.

If they’re the type who are serial organizers, a checklist can better prompt them to subscribe to you.

Or if your audience is the busy type, maybe an hour-long webinar isn’t the best choice to get them to give their emails.

The ideas out there are endless and you just have to be creative about it!

It’s not enough that you’re putting out quality content and offers.

That’s just one factor that will affect your bounce rate. You have to tweak and test what you have so you can effectively reel your audience in.

Test What Works in Different Ways

Now that we’ve mentioned testing, it’s time to discuss the numerous ways to improve your bounce rate.

The thing about leaving things to chance and hoping everything works out for the better is that you’re leaving money at the table as well.

There are a number of elements that you can test on your site but the most common ones that are likely to affect your bounce rates are:

  • Call-to-action
  • Page length
  • Headline
  • Publishing frequency
  • Types of lead magnets
  • And more!

The process for testing is to figure out which page you want to test. A good candidate is a page or post that has a really low engagement.

Just choose a particular element above to test and create at least one variation. This is called A/B split testing.

For instance, you want to test your landing page’s homepage call-to-action button and the current one you’re using is “Contact for your free quote” (this is called the control).

You now create an alternative to that which could be “Schedule your free consultation.” You will then divide your traffic to see each version.

The control will serve as the benchmark and if the alternate beats it, then you go with that.

You can change various options within each element but make sure to test one at a time only. This is so you can pinpoint which factor led to the increase or decrease of your conversion rate.

If all else fails, you can always just remove the page.

But make sure to create a 301 redirect so anyone who comes on the page can be taken to another page of your site such as the homepage.

Add Different Call-to-Action Buttons Throughout Your Page and Site

If your pages have high bounce rates and aren’t converting new visitors, another factor you can look at is how many call-to-action buttons you have on the page and your website.

It’s either you have too many or too little.

Let’s start with your pages. One way you can determine if your page has an abundance or scarcity of CTA buttons is the length.

Your page length determines how many CTA buttons you should put on your page. The longer your page is, the more CTA buttons you should include.

However, don’t make the mistake of putting the same CTA button repeatedly throughout your page.

This will only serve to desensitize your readers to the action that you want them to do. Moreover, you’re also failing to capitalize on the different angles you can present in your CTA buttons.

You can also apply the same principle to your website.

There’s no one-size-fits-all call-to-action that will fit the purpose and content of your site’s every page. 

That’s why it’s important that you create a relevant and unique CTA button copy that will solidify each of your page’s message.

Types of CTA Buttons to Try

Now that we’ve established the basic principles of how to put CTA buttons on your site, it’s time to delve deeper on the different types you can use.

For starters, you can create different types of CTA buttons that make use of any of the following:

  • Positive framing
  • Aggressive statement
  • Action-oriented statement
  • Risk aversion
  • Time-specific/urgent statement

An example of positive framing is “Yes, I want free shipping.” It highlights a benefit for users and is usually used on opt-in forms and e-commerce sites.

A CTA button that makes use of an aggressive statement can go like, “Boost my traffic.” This type still leads with a benefit but it’s stating it in an authoritative way.

An action-oriented CTA button compels users to make an action. Some examples include, “Click here,” “Download,” and “Submit,” to name just a few.

It’s a pretty generic type of CTA and is used for basic purposes like taking a customer from A to B.

A risk-averse (or no-risk) CTA leads with the benefit of security in mind. You’ve probably seen it a lot on sales and landing pages as well on order pages to help prompt you to buy since there’s a guarantee in place.

Some examples include “30-Day Money Back Guarantee” and “Free trial.”

time-specific/urgent statement makes use of just that—time and urgency. This is particularly useful to use if you’re offering a limited time offer. 

Some examples: Buy now, Sale ends in 24 hours

Feature Testimonials That Build Trust

Not all testimonials are created equally. You can’t just haphazardly slap a few words, a name, and be done with it.

When used right, testimonials can be even more powerful than your standard marketing copy because it’s not you who are tooting your own horn. Your customer is. 

A testimonial is a form of social proof. As psychology explains, it takes advantage of people’s desire to belong.

This is because a lot of people are often skeptical of others. Especially businesses that have a product or service to peddle. After all, people don’t like to be sold even if they love to buy.

Why? Because most people when sold to, feel like they’ve been tricked or they didn’t have a choice in the matter. 

That’s why rather than just focusing all your efforts on selling, you should first get to know why people buy. Instead of taking a hellbent approach on making a sale, why not help your prospect buy instead?

And this is where you can leverage social proof. Let others sell your business for you and see your sales shoot up!

At the core, people just want proof that what you’re claiming is true. In the eyes of your buyers, it’s easier to trust other people’s words because they don’t have any hidden agenda behind it.

Only then will their skepticism disappear. 

However, the problem with many testimonials out there is that they don’t really drive people to purchase from you.

What do I mean by that?

A lot of businesses out there are putting “testimonials” on their pages just to say that they have one. With such a shoddy approach, the outcome is often hit-or-miss.

The results are testimonials that aren’t the least bit persuasive and doesn’t do the job of encouraging their buyers to buy from them.

Three Elements That Will Make Your Testimonials Powerfully Compelling

Here’s how to make sure your testimonials don’t get chunked to the “bland and fake” categories—easily forgotten and arousing more suspicion rather than do the job of promoting your brand.

If you don’t want the mistake of underutilizing your testimonials, you have to have at least three elements to make it strongly persuasive.

A remarkable testimonial does at least three things:

  • Mentions a specific benefit that your product or service offers
  • Backs up a claim you’ve made
  • Favorably compares your product or service to others

Now, you don’t have to have all three things in just one testimonial. 

If you do, great. But if not, make sure that every testimonial you feature does at least one of the above.

This will help you build better credibility while also allowing you to expand your audience reach by satisfying different buying concerns.

Combine this tip with sales copy that does the job of overcoming your customers’ objections, a powerful testimonial can easily serve as the tipping point that will move your readers into action!

“People don’t like to be sold even if they like to buy.”

– Jeffrey Gitomer

Beef Up Your No-Risk Guarantees

We’ve briefly touched in an earlier section the power of taking away the risk of buying from your consumers.

The effect of this is twofold: it makes you trustworthy in their eyes and it makes them feel more secure when buying from you. For prospects, seeing a guarantee in place makes them think, “If this business can’t be trusted, they wouldn’t have it in the first place.”

A few examples of no-risk statements:

  • 100% Money-Back Guarantee
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • 30-Day Return—No Questions Asked
  • Secure Checkout Using SSL Encryption
  • Unbeatable support

However, many business owners are wary of including a guarantee since they think they’re likely to be bombarded by returns.

This is just a myth as can be attested by millions of businesses around the world that offer a guarantee but are still thriving.

Just make sure you offer a quality product or service and are targeting the right audience and you’ll get minimal returns, which is normal for most businesses.

Design Optimization Tips to Complement Your Copy

Your copy shouldn’t be the only one that’s optimized—your design has to be as well.

There’s a reason why copy is often written in cooperation with a designer. This is to make sure everything appears how it should be in the copywriter’s vision.

No matter how good your copy is—a bad layout, style, and poor functionality can easily stunt your conversion rates.

It’s like pairing a 580hp twin turbo engine with a car body and chassis that’s double what it can handle. You just won’t be able to fully utilize what your engine is capable if something’s weighing you down.

A page with a subpar layout or style can confuse your readers. While a faulty site functionality can frustrate your visitors.

For example, if you have a lead magnet pop-up in place, go for something that you can easily optimize for your web visitors.

Plugins like OptinMonster or Sumo provides appealing design options to choose. Moreover, you can set when and how many times your form should be shown.

Either way, the result is they’ll likely leave if they can’t find what they’re looking for in your page.

So make sure to always look at both sides of the equation since copy that doesn’t harmonize with your page’s design is a top conversion killer.

“No matter how good your copy is—a bad layout, style, and poor functionality can easily stunt your conversion rates.”

Ask and Communicate with Your Readers

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your audience how you can improve your site. It doesn’t just make your brand more engaging but it can give you serious insights on how your audience interacts with your site.

You can use the information, in turn, to make tweaks on your site that will help improve your conversion rates.

For example, if your FAQ page’s CTA button isn’t converting well, maybe people are leaving without taking an action since they can’t find the information they’re looking for in your page.

This is one instance that getting feedback from your customer can be helpful so you won’t have to guess what that missing information is.

One way you can do this to invite your site visitors for an optional survey regarding your site. Or alternatively, you can also tap into your social media following and ask them for any feedback they might have.

If you want to fix issues as they arise, you can also implement live chat. This ensures that any problems that your visitors may encounter while browsing your site can readily be resolved!

Wrapping Up

Reducing your bounce rate is a matter of looking at the information available to you and combining that with industry best practices.

After all, no business is 100% the same so it always pays to test what works and what doesn’t for you.

Reviewing if your offer is a good fit for your audience is another crucial factor to consider. Take note of your site’s call-to-action buttons. Do you have enough place around your site to help move your readers into action?

Moreover, make sure to leverage the power of social proof by featuring powerful testimonials that convince your readers for you.

Provide a no-risk guarantee to your readers to overcome their buying objections and see to it that your site design complements your copy.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your audience for feedback. Keep your communication lines open and survey them to your heart’s content.

There are really times that customers know best!

With the above tips, bumping up your conversion rate is already a sure shot that’s bound to give your business more of what you need—from leads to profits and everything else!