We all want more site traffic. More subscribers. And ultimately, more sales. We slave day-in and day-out improving our sites so site visitors spend more time poking around long enough to consider our offer.

But then, ever notice how sometimes (or often), people leave 2-3 seconds just after they’ve landed? What’s the deal?

It’s called: Bounce Rate. And it means:

“Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert.”

What can you do to encourage your site visitors to stay?

1. Simplify your site navigation. Too many pages is too many options. You’re making it difficult for your site visitors to determine where to go next to find the content that they’re looking for. The cleaner and easier it is to navigate your website, the better. So ask yourself, “what are the most important pages on my site” and link to those pages only.

2. Use images to break up your content. Nothing’s more painful than trying to read a big block of never-ending text. Learn to use captivating images to break up your content so it’s easy on the eyes and fun to read.

3. Make your header/logo/tagline descriptive. In other words, if I’m a new site visitor, can I easily and quickly determine what your website is about? I think Bill McCue does this well on his website.

4. Make your Call To Actions obvious. When I land on PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com, it’s pretty obvious what Jay wants me to do next. I can search for homes and I can access real estate content very easily.

5. Learn to write better headlines. Yes, this part matters. Because when you’re sharing your content on other social networks, readers are scanning the headline. If it’s not enticing enough, they’re not going to click thru to read it. And if the body of content doesn’t deliver on the promise of the headline, people are quickly going to click away. So learn to write better headlines! (Read: How To Write Headlines That Work).

6. Use headings and lists to break up your text. Remember #2? People don’t like to read large blocks of never-ending text. That’s boring. So learn to break up your text by using headings, sub-headings and even bullet lists. This makes it easy to scan and read. And if you do that, people will love you for it. They’ll stay longer and read your content more.

7. Write to the type of audience that you want to attract. If you want to work with buyers, write content for buyers. If you want to attract sellers, write content specific to potential sellers. Get specific about the type of audience you’re trying to attract and then, before you hit publish on your next blog post, ask yourself: How is this helpful? If it’s not, don’t publish it. If it is, you’re good to go.

Those are just a few of the things that I would work on to make it easier for people to find my content and engage with my website.

What else would you add? What sorts of things seem to work well for you?

About Ricardo Bueno

Ricardo Bueno is the Mareketing/Content Guy at Diverse Solutions. He writes about how to use blogs, social media and IDX technology to generate more leads. Follow him on Twitter @Ribeezie or Circle him on Google+.
  • http://www.boiserealestateguy.com Seth Neal

    Any thoughts on what a good bounce rate to shot for is?

    • http://www.diversesolutions.com/blog Ricardo Bueno

      You know Seth, that’s a great question. Without having access to someone’s analytics, it’s tough to answer. But the metric I’d look for is “time on site” for a specific page rather than the site as a whole. 

      For example, are people coming to your Home Search page and then leaving in less than 1 minute? If so, why? Maybe we can loosen up the registration – to require after 5 searches for example instead of 2. 

      Do you see where I’m going with this? 

      • http://www.boiserealestateguy.com Seth Neal

        Yea. That makes sense. Its much more important to know if people are staying on my search page versus my about page.