While bounce rate was once considered a minor factor in the search engine algorithm a decade ago, today it has become a significant focus. A high bounce rate will leave you struggling to achieve top rankings even if your other SEO efforts are perfect. This is because if a large number of visitors are quickly leaving your site, Google and other search engines assume that the quality of your webpage is low or poorly targeted for the particular search.
The following five techniques can be used to keep visitors on your site longer, and they provide the added bonus of providing a better user experience, which can lead to more sales.
Create Interesting Internal Links
Creating relevant internal links will encourage visitors to browse deeper into your website. People are used to the concept of internal linking, as is routinely employed by Wikipedia, and some interesting (and relevant) anchor text is often enough to get users to click through. Placing a towards the top of the page is an effective tactic, as many website visitors do not scroll down overly long pages. Links to articles within the sidebar can also encourage further browsing, but linking within the content makes it more visible to readers.
Maximize the Use of Multimedia
Adding multimedia elements to improve clarity or demonstrate a product or service can increase engagement and customer satisfaction. However, it’s best to resist the temptation to add images for the sake of having them. Instead, embed videos, infographics, and images that provide context and clarity if you want to keep people engaged for longer periods of time.
Once people start to engage with your content, encourage them to share across social media, or to download some related content to what they’ve viewed. Done this way, you can create a stream of traffic and lead generation that is highly qualified.
Include Attention-Grabbing Related Posts
Your best prospects are often going to be those that read through a post in its entirety before visiting another page within your site. As mentioned above, including related posts at the end of an article is a great way to engage with these prospects. Even if you don’t put the content behind an email capture form, it is still possible to use these page views for segmentation in your paid advertising campaigns.
Make First Impressions Count
If visitors land on your site and don’t like what they see, expect most of them to click away from the page. To avoid a bad first impression, think about everything that will appear above the fold. The first consideration should be relevance. Make your content relevant to the search terms that you are trying to rank for. Secondly, ensure your site looks good, with a quality logo, appealing design, and readable text. Finally, make sure the opening paragraph of text is engaging and encourages readers to delve further.
Incorporate Testing for Maximum Results
The key to good testing is to isolate a single factor rather than changing many different things at once. Do you lead with a video, an image, or a solid opening paragraph of text? Should your menu be on the left or the right? Make regular testing a routine part of your website maintenance, and each update will have the potential to improve your bounce rate, leading to greater gains overall.
By implementing each of these methods, user engagement should increase dramatically. This will have benefits for your bounce rate, and you should also see an increased conversion rate, loyal supporters, and happier customers.
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