How to keep visitors on your e-commerce website

Author: Jake | Created: 10-01-2021

high bounce rate across your site

So.. you have a great website, in demand products, catchy content but you still have a high bounce rate across your site.. does this sound familiar? Let's find out why.

First of all let's briefly touch on what a 'high bounce rate' is. A high bounce rate is when people click onto your website and leave immediately without having a look around your site or taking any action. On average, if you have a bounce rate of around 41-55% that is classed as average, which is actually quite good depending on your websites main goal. To find out more on bounce rates then check out Google's page on the subject.

A high bounce rate can be really discouraging, and if you are a store owner who is looking at their website dashboard and questioning:

  • Why your customers are adding products to the basket without taking the next step to the checkout
  • Why users are clicking the back button after briefly viewing a page
  • Why they are heading off your website to another site

Well, you are not alone.

By reducing your bounce rate, not only will you increase customer engagement, but you'll also boost your sales and SEO (search engine optimisation).

Lets move onto exploring a few techniques you can use to reduce your bounce rate.

Optimise above the fold content

The phrase 'Above The Fold' was used by newspapers to describe the content that is visable on the top part of a folded news paper. Eye catching content equals more readers wanting to find out more. When this is applied to websites, the phrase refers to the top part of your page visitors will see as soon as the page loads up.

What users first see when they load a page up is make or break. It will determine whether they stay on your site or leave without taking any other actions such as browsing other parts of your site. On average a visitor will spend 15 seconds on the homepage of a website, making it essential to place your best content 'above the fold', where it is easy for them to see and digest.

As easy as that sounds, it is a difficult task for website owners to determine where the 'fold' actually is due to different devices in which visitors can now visit your website. Different types of device like desktops, phones, tablets and monitors all have varying screen sizes. However, if you have used or are looking to use a professional website developer they will tend to agree that the 'fold' sits around 600 pixels tall and 1,000 pixels wide.

TIP Continually check your website analytics. This will show you how many visitors are viewing from each device type, allowing you to optimising your fold line accordingly.

So here are a few simple things you should optimise for the above the fold content on the homepage:

  • Make sure to have a catchy, informative headline at the top of the page. Ensuring it pulls the user in but also attractive for Google
  • Write a punchy sub header telling your visitors why they should hang around and including your unique selling point (USP)
  • Always ensure you include a call-to-action button. Something that entices someone to click, asking them to 'Subscribe', 'Buy Now' or 'Learn More'.
  • Imagery can speak a thousand words. So use eye catching imagery that speaks to your customers
  • If you have any special offers or discounts like current sales, perks or free shipping.

Optimise your webpage

Research shows that 79% of people scan a webpage rather than reading it fully. So the question is this, if 79% of people are doing this, should you be creating easy to read pages that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye?

Here are a few points you can do to create easily scannable pages:

  • Keep headlines short and catchy: Making sure you use optimised keywords in your headline. This is a great way for people who scan pages but also for Google and SEO
  • Utilise the 'F' shape: Most people seem to scan a website using the F-pattern, which basically means they read from the top left to the top right and then down from the top right in an F shape
  • Break up blocks of text: Nobody likes to read content in large forms. Break the chunks into smaller, easier to read paragraphs
  • Ensure your call to actions are easy to find: You want to guide the user to where you want them to go but also where they want to go. This is where call to actions have a great place on a site, allowing you to guide them to the next stage of a purchase or enquiry
  • Use lists more often: Using lists allow user to easily scan making them more effective and another way to break up unsightly blocks of text
  • Make the most of white space: Treat white space as your friend. This is a popular tactic for preventing large text blocks from being overwelming, leading them to leave your page early and increasing your bounce rate
  • Highlight content: Using bold, italics and colour to hightlight important information.

Use imagery on your site

Our brains are tuned to notice certain things like faces but also filter out unimportant details. We have already touched on the importance of using imagery on your homepage above the fold, however it is equally important to use the right images throughout your website to keep your visitors engaged longer. Images are a greay way to illustrate important ideas, highlighting call to actions, showcasing products and providing crucial information or education for your customers.

Here are some tips for you to make the most out of your website's images:

  • Use high-res photos across your site. Blurry images will make visitors leave your page much sooner
  • If the budget is avaliable we would advise to invest in a photographer who has demonstrated experience taking shots in your business field.
  • Make sure to optimise your images as high-res imagery can be large in size. Optimising images will help keep your bounce rate low which will see your viewers stay longer on a page as well as increasing you page speed and pleasing the almighty Google. if a page speed loads within two seconds, it only has a bounce rate of 2%, whereas if the same page takes five seconds to load the bounce rate increases to 38%
  • When using images, ensure that they represent your brand and the voice of it

Hiring a photographer can be expensive, but it may be worth looking at royalty free image websites such as Pexels and Pixabay.

Upload video content

Upload video content

Uploading high-res videos which are fun and informative will help you engage with your customers and are a great way to keep them on the page longer. Video marketing has been popular for a long period of time to help brands engage with their customers.

Here are some facts to show this:

  • 87% of video marketers have said they've seen an increase in website traffic due to a video
  • 81% of video marketers say video increases the time people spend on their website
  • Consumers tend to spend 2.6x longer on a webpage if it has a video
  • A customer who has a good experience with a sites video content can increase your brand awareness by 139% and increase your consumers purchasing intent by 97%
  • Adding a video can reduce your bounce rate by up to 34%

Makes you think doesn't it?

So let's explore a few ways you can reduce your bounce rate with video content:

  • Ideally you need to put your video higher up the page
  • Making sure the play button is in view and has contrasting colours so it entices the viewer to press it
  • Try not to put your videos on auto play or auto sound as it could annoy the viewer
  • Making your video sharable across all platforms will help extend your reach
  • Ensure that your video contains a verbal and written call to action

Create quizzes and polls

An important way of keeping people engaged with your site is to have quizzes or other interactive content.

Quizzes have been a popular way to interact with consumers, and for good reasons. BuzzSumo analysed their data and it showed that the average quiz gets shared alomst 1,900 times with the most popular one being shared 4 million times.

Here are some advantages to publishing an interactive quiz:

  • You can capture data from them to grow your mail list
  • They can be seen as a source of entertainment
  • As they are easily shareable this can boost your traffic
  • They can be useful. for example you could have a quiz which matches the answers up to a product recommendation

So how do you make a quiz? There are plenty of online quiz builders out there with a popular one being typeform. If you are a Shopify user then you can access apps such as Quiz kit and Fyrebox Quizzes. These tools come with templates which can make life a lot easier.

Minimize pop-ups

Pop-ups.. we've all encountered them one way or another. As annoying as they can be, they do have advantages.

Instances where they can be effective are:

  • Drawing attention to social offers that could benefit the user
  • Advertising upcoming sales
  • Encouraging visitors to sign up to your newsletter

But as we know, they can also negatively impact your bounce rate.

How do we know this?

Recent research has shown that almost 70% of customers find pop-ups both intrusive and annoying.

So how do you make pop-ups bounce proof?

  • Creating exit intent pop ups that give bouncing visitors a one time only discount
  • Try and offer quizzes in your pop ups, making them as interactive as possible
  • Schedule your pop ups so that they are not intrusive. A good one is to activate it when the user has been static for 10-20 seconds

Targeted keywords

Having the right keywords are crucial for various reasons and one of them is to improve the sites overall bounce rate. If the keywords on your site are unrelated, then users will land on your site and realise the content isn't what they are looking for and they'll click away.

So one of the best ways to improve your bounce rate is getting optmised keywords for the content you have on your webpage. This may mean you have to target keywords with lower search volume but that is better then a user landing on your site and going straight back off. Getting the right traffic landing on your website is much more important.

Try to target longtail key words as they're more specific rather then short tail keywords which are usually more generic.

Are you ready to maximise your e-commerce site?

We hope that our in depth guide has given you some insight on things that you can do to improve your site as a whole and put into practice. By implementing these suggestions onto your site it will allow you to better engage with your customers and hopefully retain them. It will be a win-win for both you and your customer!