Website Health: How to Beat the Bounce

Image depicting a multitude of error messages on a website, cartoon style.

Website Health: How to Beat the Bounce

We’ve all heard that well-used marketing metaphor about your website being your digital shop window, and from our experience, that continues to ring true. As we kick off 2024, here’s a nifty recommendation for a new year’s resolution from us: give your site the healthcare check it deserves, get your storefront in order and reap the benefits in the long-run.

We’ve all been there: we arrive at the website we want to visit, ready to make a purchase with wallet in-hand. The website turns out to be slow; we can’t find the information we’re looking for, pages aren’t loading correctly, and after a few wasted, frustrated minutes, we’ve changed our mind. We ‘bounce’ off that experience and take our custom elsewhere. 

If you’ve had an experience like this, you aren’t alone. Research conducted by Forbes in 2023 demonstrates the real impact of having a website that isn’t up to scratch:

  • First impressions: According to Forbes, users form an opinion of your website in approximately half a second. When it comes to encouraging potential customers to part with their cash, this half second can represent a make or break.
  • Time is of the essence: We all get it – time is the most valuable commodity out there. With this in-mind, it should come as little surprise that 47% of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a site to load. If your site has a low loading speed, you can expect a low rate of sales. Sad, but true.
  • Long memories: The final stat we want to share highlights that when it comes to a bad website experience, your customers will be unlikely to forgive or forget. 88% of users won’t return to a website if they have a bad experience on it. That essentially means more missed opportunities, both for engagement and return visits. 

All of the factors above – and more – contribute to a measurement that was once called ‘bounce rate’. As part of 2023’s Google Analytics 4 update, it is now known as ‘engagement rate’. Whatever you want to call it, this figure is essentially a defined percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only a single page. 

Contrary to some misconceptions out there, beating a high bounce rate doesn’t have to mean a huge investment in a shiny new website. Take our advice: get started with a basic website health check first and see what the doctor prescribes. 

Beating the bounce: it’s time for a checkup 

A woman stares at her phone, pointing at the screen in frustration.

In the vast majority of cases, your website’s bounce rate can be directly attributed to the health of your site. We aren’t talking about bugs and viruses – we’re talking about those common symptoms that diminish your search visibility, lower your SERP ranking and reduce organic traffic, leading to potential revenue loss.

If the digital side of your business isn’t going as smoothly as you intended, check out some of the key website health factors below. 

  • Hosting: Firstly, you’ll want to ensure you invest in a performance-optimised hosting solution. Cheap hosting often means sharing resources between multiple websites on an overloaded server, meaning longer loading times and more frustrated ‘could have been’ customers. High-performance hosting options, however, don’t offer shared hosting, meaning you don’t have to worry about your resources being drained. 
  • Image optimisation: Yes, images are essential on your website. But having too many high-res images can tank your loading speed. To get around this obstacle, make sure your images are optimised by changing their file formats, enabling lazy loading and compressing them. Think of it as reducing the weight of your website, allowing a lighter, more streamlined experience. 
  • Reduce redirects: From time to time, we all have to use redirects. But having too many on your website can cause your website to suffer. If you don’t know where to start with all of this, check out tools like Screaming Frog that come with a free trial, giving you a full view of all of your redirects and where they’re going. 
  • Think mobile: Over 55% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. That means your design has to be responsive and optimised for mobile devices, ensuring it renders well. Do visitors have to pinch or zoom on their screens to read your content? Does your site look different depending on what browser you’re using? Is all of your content being pushed up against the edge of the screen? If any of these apply to your site, it’s time for a new approach.
  • Content matters: Yes, your website could have technical glitches – or maybe your content is just turning people off. Rely on genuine creativity and copywriting expertise, serve your visitors with valuable content and watch your traffic climb on the charts. This goes from your primary messaging and value proposition, right through to aspects such as having clear calls to action and simple, easy-to-use navigation bars. 
  • Security: Last but not least, conduct a safety review of your website. If you aren’t using SSL certificates and taking other steps to protect user data, you’re missing your opportunity to let your servers authenticate themselves to visitors, establishing secure and encrypted connections. 

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it is certainly a starting point. If making tweaks to the above touchpoints on your website isn’t working, don’t stress. There are a multitude of other options to improve your website health; from caching your web pages and deferring loading for CSS and JavaScript files to eliminating unnecessary plugins. 

If all else fails, you know what to do. Get in touch via the contact deets below!

Ready for More Conversions?

At Creative Media, we specialise in transforming websites into powerful business tools. Our focus is on ensuring that your site not only attracts visitors but also provides an experience that converts them into loyal customers. If you’re ready to unlock the full potential of your online presence and propel your business growth, book a free consultation with Marcus Isherwood to get started.