Ever click on an ad and get directed to a page only to be frustrated with the page’s load speed, content (or lack thereof), or other annoying elements? Unfortunately, this is pretty typical of landing pages and can lead to users clicking away faster than they came.

Your landing page is made to greet users and is the first impression of your business, so if your users become confused or frustrated, they are more than likely to leave without giving your website a second thought. In fact, research shows that about nine out of ten visitors bounce from the average post-click landing page.

WHAT IS LANDING PAGE BOUNCE RATE?

A single-page session on your website is called a “bounce.” For example, if a user clicks an ad, they are taken to a landing page; if the user abandons before reaching your “thank you” page or any other page, that is considered a bounce.  A bounce occurs when a user closes a tab, hits the back button, times out, or enters a new URL into the browser.

A bounce rate refers to the number of single-page sessions compared to all sessions on your website. In other words, it is the percentage of users who arrive at your website and abandon it before visiting a second page. For example, if four out of every ten people visit your landing page and exit before they visit another page, your bounce rate would be 40%.

Higher bounce rates on landing pages tend to be more acceptable than other pages, considering the visitor has come from an advertisement. Obviously, visitors who access your website through an ad will not behave the same as users who access your website organically. However, just because higher bounce rates are more accepted on landing pages doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to lower them.

You want a landing page that converts not bounces, so take a look at some possible causes of a high landing page bounce rate and some tips on fixing them.

1. YOU ARE ADVERTISING TO THE WRONG PEOPLE

The most significant contributing factor to landing page bounce rate is traffic. This should be rather obvious as the people who navigate to the page in the first place control whether they stay or leave. Who these people are and where they are coming from play a significant role in how they decide to interact with your landing page. So, if the wrong people are landing on your page, it’s no wonder they leave. This can happen if your targeting is too broad. Basically, this means that your advertisement is being shown to too many people who aren’t in the market for what your business is offering.

In order to drive quality traffic, you need to understand your advertising channels and the people who typically use them. Creating comprehensive buying personas can help you reach the people more likely to be interested in your business and enables you to avoid the risk of generating bad traffic.

Using the same landing page for multiple channels and audiences can also be a factor of a high bounce rate, so it is best to ensure your landing page is specific to each audience an advertisement is targeting. Creating multiple landing pages for each campaign is a great way to avoid this.

2. YOUR PAGE DOESN'T PROVIDE ENOUGH INFORMATION

A lot of companies tend to treat landing pages as little teasers for specific products or services. They provide just enough relevant information to draw the user in to lead them to the next step. However, sometimes, when you think you may have enough information to tease a product, you might not be answering the question a majority of visitors have. In this case, users will leave your website and look for an alternative instead of taking the next step on your website.

3. YOUR LANDING PAGE IS DECEPTIVE

There is a high chance that your visitors are leaving your landing page because they feel deceived. More often than not, you don’t mean to mislead them, but you did anyway—probably because you forgot to provide some crucial information. Someone’s first impression of your brand isn’t usually made on the landing page; it is when a user sees a sponsored social media post, link in an email, PPC ad, etc. So, even if you have an enticing headline on these channels, it won’t be enough to keep users around if your page isn’t reflective of the ad they clicked on. This is why your page must have message match.

Message Match

The very first thing your landing page needs to do is meet the expectations of the visitor. For example, if someone clicks a link in your email that says, “Start Your Free Trial Now,” then your landing page headline should also read, “Start Your Free Trial Now.” Other elements that should match between the advertisement and landing page are the logo, brand colors, featured image, and the call-to-action.

4. YOUR PAGE LOADS TOO SLOWLY

One of the most significant factors contributing to a high bounce rate is page load time. Nobody wants to sit around and wait for a webpage to load, and a lot of the time, they won’t. For example, take these statistics; a page that loads within two seconds has an average bounce rate of 9%, whereas pages that load in five seconds experience a bounce rate of 38%. Just a couple of seconds can greatly affect your bounce rate, so working to improve your page loading speed is crucial.

How to Improve Page Load Speed

Google searches suggest trying the following if your Page doesn’t load in three seconds or less:

– Reduce page elements: Too many page elements like buttons and headlines can cause long load speeds, so take a look at your page and get rid of any unnecessary buttons.

– Optimize Images: Many favicons, logos, and images aren’t necessary on a landing page, and researchers found that pages that failed to convert visitors had 38% more images than pages that could convert users. If you can’t part with some images, at least compress them.

– Minify CSS and JavaScript: Optimizing your code by removing spaces, commas, or other unnecessary characters can dramatically improve your page speed.

There are several other ways to reduce page loading speed you can check out here.

5. YOUR CTA IS HIDDEN

Accidentally hiding your CTA can, unfortunately, be very easy to do. Putting it in the wrong place or choosing the wrong colors can make it virtually invisible to your landing page visitors. For example, placing your call to action on the right-hand side of the page could potentially cause the visitor to perceive it as an ad and ignore it. All of us are used to seeing ads on the right side, so placing your CTA there is not a wise idea.

To ensure your visitors don’t become frustrated because they can’t locate your CTA button, follow these best practices:

– Your CTA button should follow the Z-pattern and F-pattern styles of online reading.

– Don’t over stylize your button; you might risk it resembling an advertisement.

– Make your CTA contrast the rest of your content, employ principles of visual hierarchy.

6. YOUR PAGE ISN'T SKIMMABLE

When visitors access a page that is flooded with words, they can get easily overwhelmed. Studies have shown that rather than focusing on each individual word, people’s eyes scan particular areas of the webpage. If your page is cluttered with tiny words and lacks clear formatting, you need to take a step back and optimize your page for these:

– Legibility: This is how easily visitors can differentiate between the characters and letters of your fonts. You can use decorative fonts in headlines but never in boy dcopy. Stick to sans serif fonts in your body copy to allow your visitors to read it easily.

– Comprehension: Although it may seem tempting to include large, obscure words, this can actually hurt your page. Your audience wants to understand what you are saying, so write your content for high comprehension. In addition, unless you are writing for an audience that already has a high technical knowledge of your industry, which you probably aren’t, stay away from jargon.

– Readability: A page requires a substantial amount of formatting to achieve readability. People prefer to read headlines, subheadings, and bolded words first, then move to unformatted text. It’s best to break your text down into smaller paragraphs, so the content is easier to digest. Avoid having big chunks of text on your page.

If your landing page has a high bounce rate, don’t lose hope. As you can see, there are various causes of high bounce rates, but the good news is that there are even more solutions! Our web development team strives to help our clients optimize their websites for success at New Target, which means optimizing for better landing page bounce rates. So, contact us today, and we can help your landing page get to exactly where it needs to be!

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.