Simply put, your bounce rate is calculated by analyzing how many users that visit your site leave it without visiting other website pages or interacting with the page in another way. A high bounce rate typically means your site is not targeted, relevant, or engaging and either doesn’t give visitors what they need or doesn’t bring it across effectively.
Depending on your website’s purpose and the first page users are likely to land on, bounce rates range from 10% (usually service sites or portals) to 90% for highly specific landing pages. That’s potentially a lot of missed opportunities!
The good news is that a high-quality web design that’s cognizant of your goals and takes a holistic approach to web development in Toronto can improve this all-important metric. Here’s how:
An engaging design that entices users to keep scrolling
Whether it’s a blog post or home, about, portfolio, or other pages, any page on your website should take the user on a journey. This kind of storytelling is a key element of creating a great web design. If the journey seems worth it, the user will see it through until the end.
So many factors influence the likelihood users will stay on a page and keep scrolling.
Just to mention a few:
- Attractive and engaging images and video that motivate visitors to read the surrounding content
- Captivating headers that break up “walls of text” and provide a clear roadmap of what they can expect to read
- Legible fonts with intelligent use of highlighting (bold, italics, underline) so users can pinpoint important nuggets of information
- Engaging and welcoming colors, fonts, and other design elements that break up the content promotes flow and communicates your brand’s identity
While designing any of these elements in isolation is straightforward, bringing them together in a harmonious symphony that keeps visitors’ attention from beginning to end is an art.
Keeping interested piqued with content-in-flow
The logic behind content-in-flow is pretty straight forward: get users to spend as much time on your site as possible by continuously bringing new content to their attention.
Even if users spent some time on one of your pages or posts, chances are they will go straight back to Google (and, potentially, another website) if they don’t know what to do next.
With content-in-flow, you can continually generate new content suggestions that appear at the bottom of the screen as users reach the end of a page. This can be related posts or image galleries or some of your best, featured content.
Numbers also suggest that users tend to scroll through and scan content before deciding whether to read it or not. Even if they don’t want to settle in and read the content on the current page, at least they might be redirected to some other content on your website.
Welcomes users by being accessible and to-the-point
One of the most critical moments when it comes to lowering your bounce rate is when a visitor first lands on the page. We’ve all been there, when you follow a Google search result or external link, only to land on a page where you’re not sure where you are or what to do next. The natural response is to close the tab or do a new search.
As soon as a user lands on a page on your website, the visible content should reassure visitors by clearly spelling out where they are and what the page is about. That is done with big, legible headers, an uncluttered interface, and straightforward navigation that makes it easy to identify where to go next.
This is especially critical when it comes to home and landing pages. It takes an experienced hand to strike the delicate balance between presenting visitors with the most critical information while not overwhelming them.
For example, if your main aim is to build an email list, a subscribe button or simple form should be embedded in your home page header. Everything from the language to the design should encourage users to sign up first and foremost.
As another example, if users follow a product link, the first thing they see shouldn’t be visually stunning, yet vague, brand video. The product in question should be front-and-center along with the price, variations, related products, etc.
Cater for all devices with responsive design
Today, more than half of all internet traffic globally comes from mobile devices. With that in mind, designing and optimizing for mobile is no longer secondary; it’s mandatory.
If you have a great desktop site with low bounce rates, but the design breaks on mobile, you could be losing over half of your traffic.
That being said, the desktop version of your site will probably still be your ultimate staging area for your online venture. The key then is to tailor the experience of visiting your site on all devices to maximize TOP (time on page).
That generally means taking all of the design techniques above and implementing them into every version of your website.
The tricky part is for everything to still fit together seamlessly while taking full advantage of each platform. Not only should the design or functionality not break when viewed on a different device, but your brand and voice should come across effectively.
Great design that doesn’t compromise on performance
Trust us, designing a beautiful website is easy. Creating a beautiful website with low performance overhead and rich functionality, not so much. That is really where the world of web design Toronto and web development synergize.
However, performance is another major factor when it comes to user satisfaction and SEO. Google estimates that a loading time of just between 1 to 3s increases the probability of bounce by 32%. KISSmetrics have found that a 1-second delay can reduce conversions by 7%.
Good design isn’t just about the aesthetics, but the entire user experience. Multimedia, such as images and videos, are important but must be used smartly to avoid unnecessarily slowing down pages. There are also many techniques to optimize visuals by reducing the size without affecting the quality, but all of this additional expertise and effort.
While it’s by no means the only thing that matters, a relatively high bounce rate is usually a clear indication that your website design has some problems.
Even if you are the best at what you do, have the most interesting content, or produce a fantastic product, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t capture visitors’ attention and guide them through a user journey.
A top-class Toronto website design service will help you do that, at least partly by taking factors such as bounce rate into consideration.