You’re probably aware that there’s a direct correlation between the loading time of your blog and the bounce rate of your site. The term bounce rate means the number of people who visit your site but leave straight away; either before a page has fully loaded (usually because it’s taken too long) or once it has loaded to the home page (usually because the website doesn’t seem relevant or useful to the visitor).
To better explain the term ‘bounce rate’ it can help to picture a busy high street where there are lots of people walking around, like ants, all in search of a solution or a particular item; and just how signposts in a shopping mall help point people in the right direction, Google does the same, in the sense that Google helps people find something relevant based on what it has been told you are searching for.
In the offline world, people naturally browse a few different stores and there’s a flow of traffic coming in and out of your store, at all times. Now, as the store owner, it’s your job to capture the attention of this traffic and engage them with special offers, product demonstrations, relevant ideas and solutions for a problem they face. In essence, your job is to engage them enough so they spend as much time in your retail environment as possible – for the more time they spend, the greater the chance they will spend money.
Most savvy shopkeepers are also aware that there’s often a direct correlation between the length of time spent in a store and the amount spent at the cash register which is why large retail brands invest so much in strategic merchandising; such as visual merchandising as point of sale (check out) displays to tempt you with just a little something extra.
However, online, the game changes. Here, people are much more impatient and don’t have time to peruse your store – they want relevant content, fast… and unless your blog seems incredibly relevant to their needs, they’ll stick their head in your shop, take a quick glance and walk straight back out.
Now, this does make sense, after all, if you were shopping for dress shoes and walked into a lingerie shop, you would simply walk straight back out the door because it wasn’t relevant for what you were looking for. This is why it’s so important that when someone first looks at your blog, you make it crystal clear that they are somewhere that is for “people like them” and is relevant to their specific interests.
This is where aspects such as web navigation and load speed play such a fundamental role in keeping visitors on your site; because if your site is too slow to load – people simply won’t stick around to see what it is you have to offer.
In the digital world, if you have high traffic but low engagement this is known as having a high bounce rate, and a lot of savvy blog owners put as much effort into understanding how to reduce their high bounce rate, by doing online courses, as people who study an online supply chain management program will into negotiation skills.
The reason for this is because having a high bounce rate will cripple your online business success, and whilst a high bounce rate can be attributed to many other factors such as a lack of engaging content, or a lack of relevance, it has now been found that 40% of potential customers will leave your website if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load.
In an increasingly impatient world, particularly online, and particularly on mobile devices where people are not only bombarded with advertisements but also content choices ensuring an optimum load speed of your website is just as important as the branding and content itself.
Here are three ways you can help optimize your loading speed in order to reduce a high bounce rate:
If you’re looking to start a blog then you’ll probably be confused by what all the different hosting companies offer. Now, the one metric that’s the most important is to look at how the hosting company delivers your content to users – as this can affect the load speed.
Load speed can be contingent on your hosting provider, and therefore, it’s something you should seriously consider before committing to a provider. Comparing the reviews of each hosting service before committing to one, particularly with regard to:
downtime – you want this to be extremely low as it relates to the amount of time your website simply won’t be accessible; and
download speed – the higher the better as this relates to the number of milliseconds it will take for your site to be downloaded on the end user’s device.
If you have a high volume of traffic to your site, you might want to consider upgrading from the standard ‘shared hosting’ to private hosting, as this can offer a much more efficient and speedy service when it comes to loading speed.
- OPTIMIZE IMAGES
There are two main aspects to focus on when it comes to how images impact the load time of your site; the size and the format.
Many website owners use huge images (e.g. 4k images) and then scale them down automatically using CSS, but the challenge with this is that the browser still has to load the full-size image, then it has to scale it down. This is very inefficient and if you have multiple large images on a page it can seriously affect the load time of your site.
The best option, therefore, is to resize your images before you upload them – using an image editor such as Photoshop or one of the many free alternatives.
- ENABLE BROWSER CACHING
When you regularly visit a website some of the elements of that web page are stored on your hard drive, in a temporary storage folder, known as a cache. The benefit being that in the future, the browser can load the page without having to load all of its content, as some of that content is already stored on your computer.
As a website owner, if you enable browser caching, it means you are able to temporarily store data on the user’s computer which means they will have a much faster loading experience.
This post was contributed.
Host Blogger’s Comments
In closing, if you are concerned you have a high bounce rate, Alexa.com has a website bounce rate checker.
Readers, please share so other website creators learn how to decrease their high bounce rates.