A website's bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that come to a page and don't go to any other pages within the same site. In other words they bounce away to another website.
A high bounce rate can be frustrating and costly, especially when you have invested time and money into an SEO campaign and paid advertisements. Nobody wants their hard work to go to waste.
Businesses need to ensure that first impressions reel in the visitor in order to reduce bounce rates and to keep visitors engaged.
To help combat high bounce rates, consider the following list of usability considerations that can lower a website's bounce rate and improve visitor retention:
1. Carefully consider ad placement. Advertisements are often necessary to the survival of a website, but too many advertisements can be a big turn-off to readers. Remember that advertising placed too close to a site's navigation can cause accidental clicks, which force visitors to leave your page. Also, placing too many ads above the fold means your readers aren't getting to the heart of your site quickly enough. Keep advertising prominently placed but out of the way enough so that visitors can use the site properly.
2. Avoid third-party content. The more third-party services, widgets and content your site contains, the slower your pages will load and users hate slow-loading pages.
3. Consider some contrast. If visitors cannot read a website's content, they will leave. That's why every website needs contrast. Not only does it make a site more accessible to visitors who may have difficulty seeing, but it also has the overall effect of making important content easier to find.
4. Ensure good navigation. If a user cannot easily navigate a website, they will leave. A website's navigation should be prominent, clear and easily accessible. Consider repeating sidebar or top links in the footer and make sure that click targets are large enough for small resolution use.
5. Have a clear message and/or call to action: If a new visitor has to search for the information they need, they're going to leave. A website's purpose should be immediately evident and expressed clearly in both design and content.
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