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7 ways to decrease your SEO bounce rate right now

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Jared255, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Jared255

    Jared255 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If people are arriving on your pages and leaving before they read all of the way through, you are wasting traffic and leaving money on the table.

    Neglecting the aesthetics of how your content is displayed will turn readers off and make them bounce at a high rate.

    If you have published content that people read (pretty much everyone on this forum), these six basic suggestions can help you improve your bounce rate. They?re easy to implement and they will have a positive effect on the overall performance of your content.

    (And before YOU bounce from THIS post, consider the effects a few hours of optimization could have. A 10% decrease in your bounce rate will result in a 10% increase in earnings (hypothetically). Calculate that increase over the span of a month, then read on.)


    #1 - Font size should be 12pt or higher

    The body text of your content is what the reader will ultimately be staring at. The words need to be big enough so he or she doesn?t have to strain after a few seconds or minutes of reading.

    12pt (roughly 16px) is the generally accepted standard for laptops and monitors. That?s big enough to ensure readers of all vision levels can read it, but small enough to still be seen as traditional body text.

    If you?re using an off-the-shelf website template or WordPress theme, the designer may automatically set the body text to less than 12pt. Check right now, and if it?s lower than that, adjust as necessary. Play around with a few different sizes to see which one is the most visually pleasing with your current design.

    Check up on your mobile body text font size, too. Responsive website templates and themes tend to scale everything down so that it?s too small, even for tablets and phones. Confirm with a tool like mobiReady that your content is effortless to read on every device. Content may be too big, resulting in 1-3 words per line, or it may be too small, resulting in the reader having to strain.


    #2 - Line spacing should be ~150% of your font size

    Less talked about is line spacing, another important attribute to making your text readable and keeping visitors on the page. It?s the amount of space that?s in between each line of a paragraph.


    • Too little and your readers will lose track of where they are when they go to a new line.
    • Too much and your content look like a 9th grader?s double-spaced essay.

    The general rule of thumb is that line spacing should be 150% of your font size. Experiment with 150% +/- 20% until you find a spacing that looks good with your formatting and the font you use.


    #3 - Lines should be 50-75 characters long

    More than 75 characters and it?s difficult to keep track of your place within a paragraph. Fewer than 50 characters and the eyes are flickering too much - and after a certain amount of time, the short lines do nothing to improve speed of reading. They actually slow you down because you keep losing your place.

    If your paragraphs are unusually wide or unusually long, you should address the line length to make everything easier on the eyes. This rule isn?t necessarily set in stone like the font size and line spacing rules are, but it?s something you should pay attention to.


    #4 - Match quality images with quality content

    Don?t skimp on the images you use for headers and contextual images. In a second, images can legitimize your words and keep readers on the page. Or, they make you look utterly generic to your audience, resulting in an immediate bounce. Your choice.

    Think about how you would react if you landed on a site filled with images like the one below...

    http://previews.123rf.com/images/wa...th-a-red-question-mark-on-top-Stock-Photo.jpg

    ?you would bounce, right?

    I like PhotoDune - the balance of affordability and quality is perfect (each photo is $1 for the smallest size). As with all stock photo libraries, it?s not all good, but there are plenty of gems in the rough.

    Some of you will be able to get by with more generic images - say, a nice picture of a laptop with Google Analytics on it for a post like this (if BHW had featured images). Try your luck with this collection of free HQ stock photo sites - most of them publish new images weekly and have a decent number of photos for you to browse through.


    #5 - Add to your voice through colors

    If you landed on a health website with an orange and brown color scheme, what would you think?

    That?s a pretty glaring example, but the point is clear: your website?s colors have to match the content you?re putting out. If they don?t, your readers will get confused on a subconscious level and be less inclined to trust your brand and the information/opinions you?re publishing. And because of that, they will bounce.

    This is a fairly good list of all of the colors and their meanings. Note that the first two on the list - red and orange. They?re the two I use for Boston Hype for a reason.

    As far as text coloring itself, your text should be dark and your background should be light. This is a neat demonstration of how light-on-dark text just doesn?t work.

    Every color on your website should be coordinated, too. Once you have a base color defined, go somewhere like here to generate other colors to be used in other elements, such as CTAs.


    #6 - Make everything above the fold attractive

    Everything above the fold is your first impression. Make a good one! If you don?t, this is where the majority of your bounces will come from.

    In general, all you need is a nice header image, the author name, the date, and sharing options. Try to make it as clean as possible. The goal is for your reader to say ?looks good? and move right down to the actual words.

    Remove your useless elements, such as:


    • Links to the author page
    • Links to the comments
    • Links to the date (by default, WP will include the above three automatically, you can remove them with some basic PHP work or a plugin like this one)
    • Search bars (does anyone ever search on your site? No? Get rid of it?)
    • Anything that isn?t immediately necessary to the user.

    UI is just as important as design. Clean your website up so the reader will land on the page, say ?okay, looks good?, continue reading, and eventually continue onto your conversion funnel (hopefully).


    #7 - Optimize with a heatmap

    Heatmaps are the bomb. They can show where users are looking on your site and how far down the page they get.

    For smaller websites and less important assets, a heatmap won?t be necessary - there just won?t be enough traffic to justify using one.

    But let?s say you have a landing page that?s solid in every regard besides its unusually high bounce rate - you might be able to garner some insight into where people are leaving with a heatmap. Then, you can address those sections individually to make them pop and appeal to the user more. And as you knock each problematic section off one by one, your bounce rate will gradually get lower and lower.

    List of Heatmap solutions - some are free, the good ones are paid.

     
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  2. petirthunder

    petirthunder BANNED BANNED

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    thx... bookmarking this thread =)
     
  3. Hawkster

    Hawkster Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Im currently having a bit of a nightmare with the font on my site.

    On mobile devices its perfectly readable and a good size.

    On desktop its a good size but its kind of faint.....like not solid black which makes it kinda hard to read.

    Then add in the fact my <h> fonts are huge, seem way bigger than they should be.

    This is just on one particular wordpress site created recently, with a premium theme.

    I'll fix it, and take on board your well written guide.

    Thanks
     
  4. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    What about a niche where people tend not to give a fuck about the text. They are looking and leaving straight for what they came for?
     
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  5. Dakarois

    Dakarois Regular Member

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    Just to clarify folks (I think a lot of people don't understand bounce rate fully) if someone lands on your site and all that person does is scroll on the same page and doesn't click on a single link on that page it counts in your bounce rate even if the user stays on that same page for 24hrs. That's why your CTAs (buttons, links) have to be visible and scream click me click me.
     
  6. EatSleepSEO

    EatSleepSEO BANNED BANNED

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    The text/font is "still" important though, I'm sure you can agree on that. A user who is having to strain their eyes, put in their contacts or zoom the page in 130% just to read your site is not going to stay on your site. Just saying...

    Yes, there are going to be users who will exit your site quickly regardless but if you have a site that's offering quality information and you want your readers to "stay", at least make it easy for them to read & understand the information you're offering.
     
  7. danixD

    danixD Senior Member

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    Thanks for the tips
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  8. royserpa

    royserpa Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Simple, once the users enter your site, you install one of those shady ppi scripts that will only load your site to that user.

    Or how people used to lock out people with surveys >:D
     
  9. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Because I work in gambling, I use free play / demo iframe games to keep people on the page, but still can't get a click through. The only option is to give a free play click through to another similar game. But this in turn may lose players.
     
  10. faithjhung

    faithjhung Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great! Im in the process of changing my themes for my sites. What are some wordpress themes that applies to this?
     
  11. metafser

    metafser Regular Member

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    Great Thread mate. But one thing, How exactly you measure the font size? Maybe its not right prediction. :)
     
  12. bdseo2014

    bdseo2014 Registered Member

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    Very nice and really unique point which don't tell any person.
     
  13. SEO FOX

    SEO FOX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Great points buddy...
     
  14. Ambitious12

    Ambitious12 Elite Member

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    Ah thats really good and worth reading because if traffic arrives you and you cant convert into lead then its waste to run your site.
     
  15. pauljg

    pauljg Registered Member

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    Some nice advice thanks
     
  16. Malancrav

    Malancrav Junior Member

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    Great post. Lots of actionable info. Definitely going to try changing up the colors on my site and see if I can get a better bounce rate. Never thought that the colors would have such an impact.
     
  17. charliebrooker

    charliebrooker Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Another point to add around the content, which is what this thread is about is: MAKE IT GOOD QUALITY!

    Too many people spend a lot of time creating a site then pump it full of their own words (I'm not a writer but I'll give it a go syndrome), or awful cheap content, both done either through delusion or a desire to save money above all else.

    Invest in your content if you want to have a site that ranks for years. Doing that will decrease your bounce rate and increase your repeat visitor rate.
     
  18. surinder.oberoi28

    surinder.oberoi28 Regular Member

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    Pretty great info mate, I am sure, lot of us would take advantage of it, by optimizing their sites.. Cheers..
     
  19. Jared255

    Jared255 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think it depends on the analytics program you're using. I know for sure that Statcounter counts a bounce as anyone who doesn't go to a second page on your site (what you just described). Not sure if G does the same thing. In general, I meant a bounce as someone who goes to your site from the SERPs, says "hell no", and clicks back a competitor.

    Pretty much every theme. But I usually don't use this criteria for choosing a theme. I go with one that looks good in the design department, then do my own modifications to get the bounce logistics down.

    In pt or px or em using the font-size attribute. Right click on your body text and hit "Inspect Element" in Chrome and you'll be able to see.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  20. K.H.R

    K.H.R Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Nice Post OP. Thanks for the Contribution...