You have a new visitor to your homepage, which is great!
Before you start celebrating though, make sure you’ve given them a reason to stick around. Don’t let your site start this relationship off on the wrong foot.
The average website bounce rate ranges from 40-60%. That means about half of the visitors who land on your homepage leave without venturing any further into your site. And for the most part, once they leave they never come back.
A high bounce rate usually means poor usability. To lower your bounce rate, you’ll want to make improvements to your user experience that increase your website’s “stickiness.”
Here are five components of usability that may be affecting your bounce rate, along with tips for how to improve them.
When it comes to websites, first impressions are important. Visitors to your homepage are making split-second judgments about your credibility that will determine whether they stick around to learn more or bounce right back to Google to seek a more credible site.
To improve your credibility, include the following homepage elements to make the best first impression:
• A concise mission statement that answers who, what, where, how, and why.
• Supporting images that convey who you are and what you do.
• Key differentiators that set your business apart from the competition.
• Social proof that proves to visitors that you’re tried and true.
• A prominent CTA for visitors who come to your site seeking to take action
2. Visual Design
The layout and design of your website will make or break its success. Good web design facilitates a good user experience. If your website is attractive and easy to navigate, visitors will enjoy clicking around and will spend more time exploring what you have to offer.
As you design the layout and visual appearance of your website, keep the following principles of good web design in mind:
• Color: Use color to establish brand, appeal to your audience, and draw attention to important page elements. Color can bring hierarchy and order to your designs.
• Imagery: Communicate visually using photos and graphics to illustrate key messages. The right images speak volumes and set your tone instantly.
• White Space: Just as important as visuals is the white space on a web page. It guides the eye and highlights key information.
• Layout: Create a clear navigation structure and break up copy using section headers, bulleted lists, and text blocks. Always make your content super skimable.
• Typography: Your site must be legible. Use fonts, sizes, and colors that are easy to read. Keep font changes to a minimum. Establish a style and stick with it.
• Consistency: Don’t get carried away with design options. Consistency is more user-friendly than variety. A chaotic design will only distract from your message.
Having a clear, intuitive navigational structure for your website is one of the most essential things you can do to provide a great user experience.
A few characteristics of an easy-to-use navigational structure include:
• Menu in the header
• Simple navigational structure
• Navigation included in site footer
• Breadcrumbs on every page so visitors can retrace their steps
• Search box positioned near the top of page
• Navigation is no more than three levels deep
• Links embedded within copy point to other relevant pages
Over half of all web traffic now takes place on a mobile device – 52.5% to be exact. Additionally, Google reports that 61% of users will not return to a website they had trouble accessing on mobile, and 40% end up on a competitor’s site instead. Having a responsive website doesn’t give you a competitive edge so much as it just keeps you in the running.
Responsive web design should include the following design elements:
• Simple menus: Mobile screens have small browsing windows, so limit your drop-down options to what will fit on the screen without scrolling.
• Short forms: The same short and sweet principle applies to forms. It’s difficult to fill out a long form on a mobile device and no one will bother trying. Limit fields to essential information only.
• Prominent CTA: Even more than desktop browsers, mobile users often go to websites with a single-minded purpose. Make CTAs clear and visible.
• One-Click Contact: 64% of mobile visitors want to see contact information on the homepage. Provide a one-click contact button in your header.
• Thumb Friendly: Most mobile browsers will be using their thumbs and pointer fingers to navigate. Make your buttons finger friendly. Avoid pinch and zoom navigation.
Accessibility is not typically top of mind when designing a website, but it should be. Designing an accessible website means eliminating design barriers that would prevent users with visual, hearing, cognitive, or motor impairments from navigating and interacting with your website.
It's important you don’t alienate clients in these sensitive demographics. To learn more about the important elements of accessible web design, download our Web Accessibility Checklist.
Is it time for you to change your website into the strongest member of your sales team?
Sign up for a FREE website health check. We’ll run through its vitals—like speeds, messaging, bounce rates and more—to uncover areas of opportunity and keep your site in its best shape possible.