If you’re struggling to improve your search ranking, increase conversions, and generate more leads from your website, there’s a good chance a high bounce rate is to blame. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website without taking any action. They don’t click on any links, fill in a form, or visit any other pages.
A high bounce rate indicates there is a problem stopping users from converting and engaging with your website. In most cases, the problem is an issue with your web design. This article will look at 8 web design tips to improve your bounce rate and increase conversions.
Let’s dive in.
1. Improve Loading Times
Loading times can have a significant impact on website performance and bounce rate. According to research by Think with Google, the chances of a visitor bouncing increases by 32% when loading times increase from 1 to 3 seconds.
The longer your visitors are forced to wait, the more likely they are to move on and go to a competitor.
A slow site can also impact your search ranking and click through rate. At the end of 2019, Google announced that they would be introducing speed badges in the search results for Chrome users. Google will brand slow sites with a badge that warns users to expect a slow browsing experience.
You can measure your website speed by using Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool. It provides a score out of 100 and offers recommendations to help you improve website speed.
2. Make Website Navigation Simple and Intuitive
As emphasised by Magicdust, an experienced web design agency, it’s important to really put yourself in the shoes of the visitors to your website. If they land on your homepage and scroll down, but they can’t find exactly what they are looking for. Or if they decide to explore your website, but the navigation menu is awkward and hidden behind a clunky drop-down menu 90% of people will give up and look for an alternative in the search results. They’ll bounce.
Your navigation needs to be simple, intuitive, and self-explanatory. The aim should be to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find their way around and get the information they need.
Analyze your website navigation and look for opportunities to make it more user-friendly. The simpler your navigation, the more likely your visitors are to stick around.
3. Set External Links to Open in New Tabs
This is a straightforward web design fix that could make a significant impact on your bounce rate.
When a user clicks on an external link on your website, does the link open in the same tab?
If the answer to that question is yes, you’re making your visitors work hard to stay on your site. Every time they click an external link, they need to click the back button to return to your page. That’s if they decide to come back at all.
You can change your external links to ensure that they open in a new tab. Then, when a user has finished checking out the content you linked to, they can close the tab and be in the same place on your website they were before clicking the link.
This is a simple but effective way to reduce bounce rate and increase page views.
4. Focus on Mobile Users
As of the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices account for over 50% of all website traffic.
If your website doesn’t offer a smooth and flawless experience for mobile users, you’re ignoring the needs of the majority of your customers.
When a mobile visitor has to pinch the screen and zoom in to read your content or tap on a button, it causes frustration that leads to user abandonment and a high bounce rate.
You can improve mobile user experience by choosing a responsive web design that automatically adjusts to visitor screen size.
If you’re unsure how your website performs for mobile users, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Enter your URL, and the tool will show you how your website appears on smaller screens. It also provides recommendations on how to make your website more mobile-friendly.
5. Increase Content Readability
While quality content is an important consideration, your web design choices can make a big impact on the readability of your text. If your text is hard to read, your visitors will bounce.
You can increase readability by:
- Including relevant images
- Breaking up large blocks of text into smaller chunks
- Choosing a readable font style and size
- Including lots of white space
- Using bulleted lists
It should be easy for users to scan and understand your content without having to read it word-by-word.
6. Use an F-Shaped Pattern for Your Content
As mentioned above, internet users rarely read content word-by-word. They skim the page. According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, most people read content in an F-shaped pattern.
They start by reading the headline and subheadings. But they skim the rest of the content focusing on the first few words of each sentence. You can use this information to inform your web design choices and content layout.
Place the essential parts of your content, the bits you want your audience to read, in the first couple of paragraphs.
You can then use relevant subheadings to attract users’ attention for your next important point. Following an F-shaped pattern for your content helps create a natural flow that keeps your audience scrolling down the page until they reach your call to action (CTA).
7. Showcase Your Credibility
Unless you’re a household name brand with a well-established reputation, a large percentage of your visitors won’t have heard about your business before they visit your website. So you need to show these users that you are a legitimate business that they can trust.
If your visitors don’t trust you, they’ll bounce back to the search results and find a more credible competitor.
You can boost website credibility by integrating elements of social proof into your web design. For example, if you have industry awards, accreditations, or an excellent rating on TrustPilot, make sure you showcase it on your website.
This can be particularly important on your product pages and during the checkout process. Your visitors want to feel assured that they can trust you with their credit card information and that you will deliver what they are paying for.
Using an SSL certificate can also boost website credibility. When your website is secure, a small HTTPS badge is displayed next to your URL. This shows users that all information exchanged between the browser and your website is encrypted and secure.
8. Craft a Strong Call-to-Action
Your website visitors won’t know what to do next if you don’t tell them. A strong CTA makes it clear what the next step is, e.g., Buy Now, Sign Up, etc.
The CTA is usually the most important web design element on the page, so you should make it stand out by using contrasting colors, placing it in a prominent position, and using lots of surrounding white space.
Rather than bouncing back to the search results, a compelling CTA encourages users to move between the pages of your website towards a conversion.
The above web design tips can help you keep visitors on your website for longer, boost conversions, and reduce bounce rate.
The good news is that a minor fix can make a big difference. For example, you may find that a tweak to your navigation menu or an additional CTA dramatically reduces bounce rate.
Keep your visitors in mind and focus on their needs when you’re optimizing your website. Then, after you’ve made changes, use your website analytics to track user behavior and see what works best for your business.