5 Ways to Successfully Lower Your HealthTech Website’s Bounce Rate
Have you ever walked into a store looking for something specific only to leave a few minutes later disappointed you couldn’t find what you wanted? Likewise, have you ever visited a website you hoped would answer your questions only to find irrelevant content or too much superfluous information to sort through?
If you answered “yes” to either, then you understand and have felt the pain of bounce rate.
Inspect your own website’s bounce rate with our inspector. Click here.
What Is a Website’s Bounce Rate?
Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who only visit one page before exiting your website. A high bounce rate indicates a low-performing page. A low bounce rate indicates a high-performing page.
A “bounce” can be triggered by a number of events, including:
- Returning to search results
- Closing the browser (accidentally or on purpose)
- Entering a new URL in the address bar
- Following an outbound link (from a blog, for example)
- Reading the entirety of a page but not triggering any events before leaving
What is the Difference Between Bounce Rate and Exit Rate?
Some marketers often confuse the terms “bounce rate” and “exit rate.” While a page with a high exit rate may also indicate a low-performing page, an exit rate identifies the percentage of visitors who leave your website through a particular page. However, they may have visited numerous pages before reaching their “exit” point. In any case, if a page has a high exit rate, it may deserve as much attention as a page with a high bounce rate.
What is a Normal Website Bounce Rate?
Some website pages naturally have high bounce rates — such as your contact information page. When visitors click on your “contact us” page, they’re looking for an address, phone number, or email. They came, they saw, they got what they needed, and they left. However, a homepage or landing page with a high bounce rate is cause for great concern and immediate attention.
In addition to your web pages serving different purposes, what’s “normal” for someone else, might not be “normal” for your company, based on your history. Keep an eye on your own website’s bounce rate through Google Analytics, figure out what is normal for your website, and strategize ways to improve from there.
To help you fully understand what’s going on, we’ve compiled data from our clients and trusted sources to create a Bounce Rate Inspector. Run a report on your site in Google Analytics then use our Inspector to see how different pages on your website compare to the available data. We offer personalized suggestions for the situations you face. Click here to gain access to the inspector.
What Causes High Website Bounce Rates?
High bounce rates can be caused by a variety of factors, which can make your evaluation process rather difficult. Here are some key causes to high bounce rates:
- Slow Load Times: Remember the coffee shop’s line that was too long so you left? We know that consumers have very little patience and will only wait about three seconds for a page to load before “bouncing.”
- Misleading Title Tags/Meta Descriptions: Most individuals will find your website through search, which means ensuring your results are an accurate representation of the content is key to keeping visitors on your site.
- Technical Errors: If your bounce rate is above 70%, there may be some sort of technical error with the page that is worth reviewing.
- Low Quality Content: To be completely honest, one of the main reasons people will leave your website is bad content. If high bounce rates are pretty consistent across your site, it may be time to analyze what you’re saying.
- Bad UX: A combination of bad user experience and design can certainly send visitors running. Whether it is a non-responsive website, a poor design, confusing navigation, or an obnoxious amount of pop-ups, how your website is built may be contributing to whether or not people stay or go.
5 Ways to Lower Your Website’s Bounce Rate
When you invest time and resources into a website, you want your visitors to linger. There are a variety of changes you can implement to help improve your bounce rate. These changes range from a small time investment to a massive investment of resources.
1. Add More Internal Links and Calls-to-Action
Internal links are great for SEO and the user experience. By adding internal links within the written copy of your website, you can provide easier access to related pages and content that are helpful to your website visitor. All they need to do is visit one more page to lower a page’s bounce rate.
Adding internal links is one of the tactics we deployed to increase our blog readership and it worked.
In addition to increasing the number of internal links, ensuring that every page of your website has at least one call to action can help lower bounce rates. Not everyone knows what they’re looking for when they visit a website, and it is your job to be their guide.
</a2. Add “Further Reading” Options to Blog and Resource Pages
According to ConversionXL’s benchmark data, blogs have some of the highest bounce rates among your website pages. This may be because:
- the content is self-serving.
- your blog consisted of more backlinks* than internal links that sent your readers to other articles.
- you don’t provide them with a logical next step.
When someone is reading blog content, they are likely doing research — which means the more information and best practices you can provide, the better! For example, Cedar, a HealthTech company helping providers get paid more quickly, offers up related articles and a button to return to their main blog page. (Check out our related content to this article in our sidebar.)
*Note: all backlinks should be set to open in a new tab. This practice will keep your visitors on your site and will not register as a bounce. They are researching and exploring, not bouncing.
3. Run a Speed Test and Optimize Pages
If your website pages are taking more than three seconds to load, optimizing your content is a good idea. According to Website Builder Expert, a one-second delay in load time dramatically increases your bounce rate. They found that a site that loads in 2-3 seconds typically has a bounce rate of 11%. However, a site that loads in five seconds has a 38% bounce rate. If your site takes 12 seconds to load, 67% will leave.
You can use the Google PageSpeed tool to analyze how long it takes any of your website pages to load.
4. Use and Exit Intent Pop Up Message
While too many pop-up ads on your page may be obnoxious and frustrate your website visitors, having strategic page pops with the intention of keeping website visitors on your website may lower your exit rate.
Instead of having page pops appear on scroll or after a certain number of seconds have elapsed, save them for “exit intent,” meaning they’ll appear when someone’s mouse reverts to the top of the screen or address bar — a good indication they are going to exit.
Make sure your exit-intent page pop links to another page on your website or redirects to a thank you page. Otherwise, your bounce rate will not improve.
5. Isolate Important, Low-Performing Pages and Improve Them
In any case, you’re not going to be able to tackle every single page on your website with a high bounce rate — so isolate them based on traffic and importance. Pages that get a lot of traffic but have a high bounce rate, should be your top priority. You can find this information by analyzing your Google Analytics.
And If All Else Fails, Redesign Your Website
Unfortunately, high bounce rates may have a lot to do with your website’s overall content, design, and user experience. If your website bounce rates are high across the board and minor changes don’t seem to be getting your web pages in the 25-50% zone, a complete redesign may be necessary. (Good news, we can help you with that.)
Updated from December 18, 2018