How Your Landing Page Affects Your Bounce Rate.
As you probably know, “bounce rate” refers to the percentage of people that visit your website and bounce in 30 seconds or less. This is a number you want to keep as low as possible… though it’s not good to have a 0% bounce rate either. Some bounces are good, it means people are finding the info they want quickly and easily.
As you analyze the monthly report for website traffic, you have to consider the top landing page(s) and how they relate to your bounce rate. Landing pages aren’t always your Home page. It could be the a direct web page that somebody landed on when following a link.
With that in mind, it’s not all about the Home page. It’s about your landing page(s). However, the problems can be consistent on every page. So if your bounce rate is higher than you’d like (over 40%) it might have to do with any of the following items:
Too many stinking ads!
It’s very obvious—and annoying—when a website is built to be a money-maker. If your site is infested with ads then most people won’t give you the time of day. It doesn’t matter if there is something valuable buried under all the ads somewhere.
Too much media.
You might already know that using Flash is a bad idea. Not everyone can view it.
But you should also know that media-rich sites take forever to load if you live in a rural area and don’t have access to fancy high speed internet. It could be too many images, audio, embedded videos, etc. Nothing is worse than waiting up to 20 seconds for one web page to load. (Don’t worry, nobody is actually going to wait that long.)
It’s even worse if video/audio is on auto-play.
OMG don’t ever do that!
Unless I already trust you, I’m not reading it. Not because it’s too long, but because I’ve seen this template used on every single weight loss/work-at-home/get rich quick/be happy forever/affiliate marketing a product-I-know-nothing-about scam, ever.
It takes a little more than 30 seconds before somebody will start judging you by your content. First, they have to go through the first impressions. How a website looks and feels (covered by all the preceding items as well) is the most important deciding factor. Terrible design comes in all shaped and sizes. It could be a generic, unprofessional “free” site template. It could be a busy background or simple special effects that should have been left in 1998.
The only way that web content will affect bounce rate is if nobody wants to read it. Formatting with white space, sub headers, lists, images, and other “breaks” makes web content easier on the eyes and less intimidating.
Of course, using smaller words and sentences helps a lot too, but this evaluation doesn’t matter nearly as much as the visual first impression.