Bounce rate is often regarded as the most frustrating marketing metric. Why? One reason is because it’s so definitive. But another is that bounce rate is increasingly difficult to improve because of the limited period of time there is to make a first impression. Bounce rate measures the number of visitors that never progress beyond the first page of your site. Essentially, it’s the visitors who didn’t give you much of a chance to begin with.
More than just a nuisance, bounce rate is an unfortunately accurate reflection of a visitor’s perception of quality. If your site doesn’t capture his or her attention immediately, and with the right content, you’ve lost a prospect, presumably for good. A startling 42% of bounced visitors will never return to your site, many opting instead to visit (and purchase from) a competitor’s site.
So what can you do in that short time between click and bounce to convince a visitor otherwise? This is where marketers struggle, because you can have great content, colors, and A/B testing, but even with those the question becomes how can you optimize further when, in fact, the bounce often happens before the visitor interacts with these elements? Luckily, the answer lies in performance optimization: making your site faster, eliminating errors and rendering according to context. By improving performance, you have a better chance of meeting (or exceeding) user expectations and creating an engaging, lasting experience. Here, we outline five new ways you can accomplish this.
1. Cut page load times to under three seconds
For a website that takes more than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will abandon the site and 80% of those visitors won’t return. In addition to this, 74% of mobile visitors will abandon a mobile site that takes longer than five seconds to load. Page speed isn’t the only factor, but it is a significant one. Getting your website to load under three seconds means capitalizing on those visitors and drastically improving bounce rate. The two main ways to do this are to implement a CDN (such as Yottaa, Amazon CloudFront, Edgecast, etc.) and employ front-end optimizations, such as minification, concatenation, image compression, and other techniques. To get started with these optimizations, check out the second half of this blog post, where we walk you through some of the easier first steps to improve performance.