What Can I Do To Decrease My Site's Bounce Rate?

Hi Jim,

What actions can I take to decrease my website's bounce rate? I have been reading and learning a lot about A/B testing and I get the process. But there are a few concerns which make it challenging.

  • You need a lot of visitors to get statistical significance.
  • You can only test one change at a time so that you isolate it.
  • You have to have some degree of knowledge to know what to change and how to engage users.

In my case, I have a template that I use and I want to do these tests BEFORE many people come to the site so that they don't all just leave. So I am not sure what might be the best path to proceed.

Any advice on what I should do? Right now I just want to get people to participate in the site more after they find it. Thanks!


Learn from others
I can help you better if you gave me the URL to your website so I can see how every element ties together. You don't have to do A/B testing on your website if it's not getting much traffic.

In copywriting, there are best practices and methods that have proven time and again to produce results--no matter what the product is. It's the same with websites.

All you have to do is to adapt these best practices to your brand as best you can. Over time, you will find leaks that needs fixing.

Opposite sides of the same coin
You will notice that there are two schools of copywriting--one is to generate brand awareness and the other is to convert. Most websites that goes under "generate brand awareness" copy will almost always have poor conversion.

On the other hand, websites that have "Buy Me!!!" written all over it will turn off its audience--leading to bounce rates galore.

It's not that one school is better than the other, only that they are different and serves its own purpose.

What works
Typically, both schools will follow a template when writing copy--
  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

There's a lot more to it, but basically, your website copy should talk about your audience's problem and how you are going to solve it.

Ask a teenager to read your website copy, then ask them questions to see if they understood everything. If they can't give you a decent answer, use words that are easier to understand.

Proof element
Using Google Analytics, find out where exit points are in your website. If your website sells widgets, ask your friend to visit your site and try to buy one. More often than not, your friend will tell you that things got complicated right where your site's exit points were on Google Analytics.

If your website looks like an ad, and reads like an ad--it's an ad. It activates their SPAM alert and will take every claim you make with a grain of salt.

Try to support any and all claims that you make on your website. Respect your audience. They know if a claim is too good to be true.

Getting hooked
I read somewhere that, back in the 70's, some cigarette companies in third world countries were giving away packets of cigarettes for FREE. These crooks knew that if they can get people to get the habit of smoking, then they have a customer for life.

I'm not saying that you should be a crook yourself. My point is, if you want people to get more traffic to your site, make it easy for them to make a habit out of it.

Make it easy for them to navigate your site. Entertain and reward them. Best of all, give them what they came looking for.

Here's a few more tips:
  • As much as possible, optimize your site so that it loads fast--less than four seconds fast.
  • Get to the point.
  • Put all your important message above the fold.
  • Remove unnecessary ads.
  • DO NOT even think about asking for their email using a pop up script.
  • Use one or two social plug-in only.