[guest post by Frank Laughlin]
After presenting the list of search results, the user clicks on the link. If the user clicks the back button in their web browser within a short period, it’s considered a bounce.
The implication is that the website content was not related to what they were looking for. It’s a signal to the search engine that this specific site for this particular keyword should not appear high in the rankings. The next time that the same keyword is searched for the website will be issued a lower ranking because is not considered relevant. To reduce bounce rate, here are some things you can do to keep the user on your web page longer.
Insert External Links
Provide the visitor with an opportunity to do something else after they arrive. They will read the article, digest the information, and then at the end of the article provide them with choices. The fewer options, the better because having too many choices can lead to confusion. Such confusion may result in the visitor clicking the back button.
Increase the strength of the page by including external links to other related sites. These links can be to research papers or studies about the topic. Be sure to have external links open in a new window instead of redirecting the user away from your website so they can return to it later.
Increase The Readability
Another reason a user might click the back button is if the readability of the article is hard to understand. Break up long paragraphs with either subheadings or white space. Also be sure to use short sentences, proper grammar, and correct punctuation. A couple of utilities that can help in this area are Hemingway App and Grammarly . Both have free and paid options and even the free versions are useful to catch minor issues.
Include A Clear Call To Action
The end of the article should contain a clear call to action. Give visitors something interesting to do. Some examples include signing up for a mailing list or clicking through to another link on the same website. Not only does this lessen the chance of a visitor clicking the back button, it also keeps them on your site.
Write A Meta Description
When users are reviewing search results, they will read the description of the link just below it before clicking through. Thus, it is important to include a relevant and concise meta description for the web page. It will ensure the user understands up front what they are going to get. While it’s great to have many visitors to a website, if those visitors aren’t interested they will click the back button. It’s better to get a few quality visitors rather than large quantities of unwanted guests.
One Or Fewer Pop Ups
While a user is visiting the website whether be an article or watching a video be sure to cut the number of pop-ups that appear. They especially don’t want one pop up to appear on top of another. It results in the visitor having to close each one to view the content. Also, make sure that pop-ups don’t display immediately upon arrival. Wait several seconds so that they have a chance to digest the information and stay engaged. Visitors will click the back button if there are too many annoyances blocking their view of the content.
Do Not Paginate
Speaking of the user experience, if the content is an article it should all appear on a single page. Visitors prefer to scroll rather than clicking pagination links.
While having an article span many pages can reduce the chance of them clicking back several times, it negatively affects the user experience. Having to click more than once to read a full article is also annoying to some. It is like the pop ups discussed earlier. If many clicks are required to view the content, they will abandon it and read someone else’s article instead.
Shorten The Loading Speed
The loading speed of the website requires that the content appears as soon as possible after they click the search engine link. Any scripts, animations, videos and images should be provided via a caching system. A website that takes a long time to load, more than five seconds, is going to have a higher bounce rate. The user will think there’s something wrong and thus click the back button and find something else.
These tips to reduce the bounce rate the website will improve SEO in the long run. The fewer people that click the back button returning to the search results indicates that the content is relevant. The position of that website improves when fewer people click the back button. Be sure to keep the above suggestions in mind when writing articles and designing the layout of your web page.
** About the Author: Frank Laughlin is committed to inspiring ideas, sparking creativity and encouraging problem-solving. As the creator of ideas2apply and Why Your Blog Name Ideas Should Be Attractive, Frank encourages creative thinking by exploring topics from many angles. When not helping young minds Frank enjoys theme parks, sports venues, and instrumental music.