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Tips to reduce your hotel website bounce rate

Tips to reduce your hotel website bounce rate
Tips to reduce your hotel website bounce rate
October 9th, 2018

A website’s bounce rate is probably one of the most misunderstood digital marketing metrics. While in some cases a high bounce rate can mean that your website’s user experience is poor, in other cases it can be a sign of an excellent user experience. How is that possible, you ask? Before answering this question, let us explain the concept in more detail.

What is bounce rate?

According to Google, a bounce is a single-page session on your site. If a user clicks on a link to a page on your website, spends five minutes reading that page, and then exits your site, that’s a bounce. Your bounce rate is the overall percentage of users who enter and exit on the same page, without any clicks to other pages on your site.

Is a high bounce rate always a bad thing?

Sometimes having a high bounce rate is okay. For example, it is perfectly normal for single-page sites – such as blogs – because visitors would still technically be counted as a bounce even if they found exactly what they were looking for and had a great experience on the site, but then left without visiting other pages. In fact, most of the best blogs in the world have a bounce rate of 80% or more. In these cases, a high bounce rate is not a reflection of a poor user experience.

Therefore, benchmarks for bounce rate percentages will vary according to the page type, industry, time of the year, size of traffic and so on. Retail or e-commerce sites typically have an average bounce rate of 20-40%, while blogs have an average bounce rate of 70-98% and service sites of 10-30%. In general, anything under a 25-30% is considered excellent, 40% is considered good, under 60% is better than average, and anything over 75-80% is deemed poor.

Why then should you try to reduce your bounce rate?

Because fewer bounces mean more page views, and this translates into more revenue, more engagement and a stronger connection with readers. Reducing your bounce rate also helps to boost your conversion rates. As mentioned above, an unusually high bounce rate could signal poor user experience, therefore, you should try to decrease it to a point where you know that most of your bounces are “good bounces” and not bad ones.

How to reduce your bounce rate

Lowering your bounce rate goes hand in hand with improving your user experience and increasing your users’ time on site. Be sure to check out the five tips below to get optimum results:

1. Improve the readability of your content

Your content should be easy to read. Large chunks of text scare readers away, so divide your article into manageable paragraphs and use subheadings and bullet points to make the text easier to scan. You can also aid readability by writing more succinctly and in a friendly, conversational tone, or by incorporating images, charts, quotes and screenshots. Do not forget to format your article properly. Your content needs to be formatted in a way that makes it easy for people to skim, clearly identify the main points and digest them within a few seconds.

2. Speed up your site’s load time

It is a well-known fact that a large proportion of visitors expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. In fact, current research shows that 53% of visitors will abandon a page if it does not load in a maximum of 3 seconds. Therefore, the slower your pages load, the higher your bounce rate will be. Furthermore, Google takes into account your site speed – if your site is consistently slow to load, you will slip in rankings. The easiest and fastest way to speed up your load time is to improve your site’s design by streamlining the number of elements on each page, using less JavaScript, combining multiple style sheets into one and opting for CSS instead of images.

3. Avoid annoying pop-ups

While pop-ups are an effective way to quickly grow your mailing list, try not to use them on your website or consider limiting its use as they annoy most visitors and lead to higher bounce rates. If you decide to go ahead anyway, make them as unobtrusive as possible. The only case where most marketers consider pop-ups okay is when you are using an exit-intent tool like Bounce Exchange or the more affordable alternative OptinMonster, which use mouse-tracking technology to identify when a visitor is about to leave the site and show a pop-up to reduce the likelihood of this.

4. Add compelling CTAs

You might be surprised to learn that 70% of small business B2B sites do not have CTA (Call-to-Action) buttons! That is most likely why they have high bounce and low conversion rates. It is crucial for hoteliers to make their sites’ user experience as seamless as possible, so make sure you guide their journey from one page to the next through compelling CTAs. In order to identify where you should be adding your CTAs, track your visitors’ behavior with heat maps to see where they are becoming confused and pausing in their journey.

5. Make your website mobile-responsive

Mobile users are even more impatient than desktop visitors. Your website should have a responsive design to ensure it displays correctly on iPhones, iPads, tablets and other mobile devices. Google now also considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so if your website is not mobile-responsive, it will not rank well in Google’s results pages even if it features high-quality content.

Optimizing sites in order to lower bounce rates is a hot topic that is taking the hotel industry by storm. In this article, we have tried to demystify the concept and showed you several ways to reduce your rate, as well as improve user experience and increase visitors’ time on your site. Be sure to try them out for yourself!

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