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5 Things that Are Increasing your Landing Page's Bounce Rate

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Are you disappointed with your page’s bounce rate? Does it seem to creep up when you’re not looking, like that thing in the closet when you were seven?

Fighting the bounce is a neverending war, with marketers trying new strategies, tactics and tricks on a daily basis.

Don’t worry, we’re all in this together.

This article will give you the five primary causes of a high bounce rate and give you a concrete list of how you can fix these mistakes.

Let’s get rolling, because you’re losing money as we speak!

#1 Thing that is Increasing your Bounce Rate: You’re Visually Unappealing


Why this is increasing your bounce rate:

There are two kinds of bounces from your landing page: the kind that happens in the first couple seconds and the kind that happens 45 seconds in.

A visually unappealing landing page will cause the first kind (the worst kind). This is the kind of bounce where a visitor doesn’t even read through your offer, check out your pricing, or consider the value of what you’re promoting. This is the kind of bounce where a visitor is comparing you and your competitors and decides you’re not even worth a double take.

A visually unappealing landing page will give visitors a bad first impression of your business. They’ll see colors that clash, an overload of text, a design that immediately puts them on the back foot - and they’ll hit the “back” button.

An example of what that might look like:

 

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How you can fix it:

Put time and energy into creating a landing page that appeals to your visitor right off the bat. Make your message evident (see below) but, perhaps more importantly, make your message clean and beautiful.

 

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  • Consider color and layout (get a consultation from a web designer, or, better yet, simply use an optimized landing page template).

  • Avoid crowding your text. Keep it simple and remember that less is more on landing pages.

  • Use white space to focus your visitor’s attention where you want it (your USP, CTA and benefit list)

  • Use color contrast and matching to direct attention and relax your visitor (think blue and grey, white and black, orange and navy, etc)

 

#2 Thing that is Increasing your Bounce Rate: You’re Unfocused


Why this is increasing your bounce rate:

It’s tempting to assume that more CTA buttons, more links and more value will increase your page’s conversions and web traffic.

It won’t.

Too many links, CTA buttons and text means too many distractions from the focus-point of your landing page. If people don’t know how you want them to act, they won’t.

Here are a couple primary causes of an unfocused page (I won’t even get into multiple CTA’s as that should be common knowledge by now).

Headline is Vague:

Car companies are great at this. Here’s an example from Mercedes-Benz (the king of vague headlines):

 

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Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen landing pages with USPs, headlines, and value propositions along the lines of “visualize online marketing success” or “giving you the tools you need to get sales”.

These phrases don’t mean anything. They don’t communicate what you’re going to provide the consumer or why they should go with you over someone else.

In the first three seconds of “landing” on your landing page, your visitors need to know exactly where they are and what you have to offer. Your headline is responsible both for informing them that, “yes, they are in the right place,” but more importantly that, “yes, there’s something here that you need in your life.”

If your USP is vague or non-communicative your landing page visitors will bounce (again, this is the first type of bouncing I mentioned above) without even reading to see if you’re worth looking into.

How you can fix it:

  • Brainstorm 3-5 headlines that you feel communicate the crux of what your software, product, or service delivers.

  • Keep these headlines short and succinct.

  • Test them against each other (A/B testing your headlines can increase conversion rates by up to 127%)

  • Use the headlines that lost in the A/B test to create your landing page’s benefit list

Too many Links:

This is one of the primary issues I see with landing pages (particularly amongst businesses who pay a web designer by the page). You get the most bang for your buck if you slam all your relevant links and promotions onto one page, right?

Are you serious?

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How you can fix it:

Spend the money (or, better yet, pay an affordable  yearly subscription) to create as many landing pages as you want - landing pages designed with a specific objective in mind). Focus people’s attention on a single “Ask” and fewer people will be distracted and become lost in your disorganized online sales funnel (only to bounce in a moment or two).

#3 Thing that is Increasing your Bounce Rate: You’re Untrustworthy


Why this is increasing your bounce rate:

Perhaps you’re coming across as overly salesy. Perhaps your offer sounds too good to be true or your landing page looks like it was created in 1998 and never updated.

Any of these factors (and a hundred others) yell “untrustworthy!” to your visitors, causing an irreparable bounce.

The internet is full of unsavory characters. We see them every day on social media, in YouTube comments and, unfortunately, from many businesses promoting exactly what you are.

So how do you differentiate yourself?

 

How you can fix it:

Trust symbols:

  • Include a bullet-point list of the awards or commendations you’ve received

  • Include the symbol from a recognized sector authority (like TRUSTe)

  • Include the logos of larger businesses you’ve worked with (logos your landing page visitors might recognize)

Customer Testimonials:

  • Ask successful clients and merchants for a short recommendation (a couple sentences, tops)

  • Include the customer’s image and full name to convince landing page visitors you haven’t made it up

  • Ask customers to be specific, as the exact numbers work more successfully to convince your traffic that their successes were real

  • Don’t be afraid to tell customers exactly what you want them to mention (within reason). If they’ve found genuine success with your product or tools they’ll be genuinely happy to talk about it

  • Incentivize customer testimonials with a discount on their next month’s subscription or a purchase

I actually wrote an article a few months ago that gets into the nitty gritty of selling your product without being overly aggressive. Check out “ Landing Pages: How to Sell your Product without Selling your Product” if you’re interested.

 

#4 Thing that is Increasing your Bounce Rate: You’re Talking about Yourself


Why this is increasing your bounce rate:

I get it - you’re proud of what you’ve built. It’s exciting and you (perhaps unconsciously) want everybody who sees what you’ve built to be as excited as you are.

The problem is, your landing page is not about you. It’s not about the humble origins of your company in your parent’s basement or your amazing team of PhD’s collected from the best schools all around the world. It’s not about how long it took you to get where you are or even that one part of your business that you think is so amazing you want to shout it from the rooftops.

It’s about what they want, the consumer. And this is a harder thing to communicate than you might think.

How you can fix it:

  • Every time you write a piece of landing page copy, consider the question “Does my visitor care about this or do I?”

  • Frame your USP in terms of what your product or tool can do for your visitor

  • Focus on “benefits” over “features”: Discuss how your product can stay turned on for three days straight without running out of battery, rather than detailing the fact that it has an Li-Ion lithium battery (which nobody knows anything about except you)

  • Test “Get”: Consider that “get the [your awesome product or content]” often performs better than “submit here”.

  • Test “You” vs “Me”: Case studies often have different results on this subject. Many landing pages have improved conversion rates by having their CTA’s read “Get YOUR [piece of awesome content]” whereas others have more success with “Get MY [piece of awesome content]”. They all agree though, that putting it in terms of the visitor outperforms ambiguity.

 

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Kinda like that.

 

#5 Thing that is Increasing your Bounce Rate: You’re Valueless


Why this is increasing your bounce rate:

Why should I buy from you? What in your page communicates a need (seriously, an emotional desire) for me to convert on that entry form on the right side? Have you convinced me that you, out of all the other sites I’ve been to in the past hour, are who I should choose to fork over my hard-earned money?

Unless you’ve included benefits that resonate with your visitors (and, believe me, unless you test it, you never know exactly what will and won’t resonate) they’ll bounce.

Here’s an example of what “value-less” looks like:

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This is, genuinely, the landing page (or the top half of it) for their “sales and prospecting ebook”. When I arrive on the page there is an incredibly stock photo of unnamed somethings going up. Awesome? What is this graph showing?

I’m going to guess that it’s showing bounce rates.

How you can fix it:

  • Focus on coming up with a short and clear USP or value proposition headline that communicates value to your visitor quickly.

  • Include, either in paragraph or bullet points, 3-5 benefits of your product, tool or service.

  • Frame these points in terms that make sense to your visitor (avoid jargon unless it works for your niche market).

  • Include customer testimonials that talk specifically about the primary pain-points of your possible customers. If used correctly these can actually replace a benefit list.

  • Consider words that connotatively mean “value”, like “free”, “exclusive”, “limited time”, etc.

 

And the #1 Thing that will Decrease your Bounce Rate? Pop-ups


Seriously, pop-ups have proven to decrease bounce rates by 60%. In fact, Larry Kim used a service similar to Wishpond to decrease Wordstream’s bounce rate from 69% to 40% (not bad). So long as you’re using a software provider who can ensure you don’t spam your landing page visitors (and you implement the best practices), they can be hugely influential on your bounce rates and your online marketing success.

No, seriously, we’ve used them in less than four weeks to generate more than a thousand leads (let alone the affect on our bounce rates).

For more on how to use pop-ups to reduce your landing page’s bounce rates, check out our recent articles:

 

Conclusion


Hopefully you now have a better idea of why your landing page’s bounce rates might be disappointing you.

Remember that each element I’ve mentioned here needs to be tested thoroughly before being implemented. You can’t know what will succeed unless you compare it to what you have now!

By James Scherer

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