WordPress is by a wide margin the world’s favourite open-source content management system. Millions of new WordPress websites are joining the web every day, with some of the world’s biggest businesses having turned to WordPress as their primary CMS for powering their online operations.
Which makes it all the more surprising that WordPress continues to be looked down on by some, who continue to believe it just isn’t up there with rival platforms. They insist that WordPress websites naturally have higher bounce rates that those built using alternative platforms and packages, which is in every sense of the word complete and utter nonsense.
Bite the Bullet
The simple fact of the matter is that if your WordPress has a high bounce rate, it’s all your fault. Or at least the root cause of the problem is something that you have control over, which in turn means it is something you can seek to fix.
There are literally thousands of reasons why visitors leave websites in a hurry – some being more common than others. Analytics can tell you what they’re bouncing from and for how long, which can in turn provide you with a basic platform upon which to work.
But in terms of universally applicable advice, the following tips are guaranteed to ensure that your WordPress site bounce rates remain as low as possible:
1 – Don’t Make it Look Like a WordPress Site
First of all, given the fact that WordPress is still looked down on in some circles (with no justification), it can be advisable to make sure you create a site that doesn’t look like a ‘typical’ WordPress site. There are certain themes, plugins and general overall design strategies that are common across millions of WordPress sites – the key being to make your website look, feel and operate differently. This can ensure that your visitors are won over by the quality of the site from the word go, rather than just basing their opinions around the fact that it was built with WordPress.
2 – Content Quality
If your site’s content is up to par, your visitors will stick around – it really is as simple as that. But along with quality, you also need to ensure that your site has a purpose and something of value to offer. Or in other words what are you offering that they cannot find in about a thousand other sites doing the same as you? Of course this isn’t just a consideration for WordPress sites, but should be thought about carefully no matter what type of site you run or the line or work you are in – what’s your USP?
3 – Focus on Site Speed
Are WordPress sites naturally slower than their rivals? Sluggish during peak times? No…not even a bit. The speed of your site will play a huge role in the kinds of bounce rates you can accept and is something that is 100% in your control. If your WordPress is running at a snail’s pace, it’s usually due to one of the following reasons:
- You have too many plugins installed that you don’t really need and they are slowing things down dramatically.
- You don’t have too many plugins installed, but the ones you are using are poor quality and are likewise making your site run slower than it might.
- Your overall approach to site design is off the mark and you have created a site that’s too complex, data-hungry or generally inefficient.
- Your chosen web hosting package and/or service provider simply aren’t up to par and your site is suffering as a result.
In all such instances, the necessary fixes are relatively painless to make and are guaranteed to add up to a big difference.
4 – Mobile Focus
You’ve chosen to go for a responsive theme, but can you honestly say it delivers the goods flawlessly for mobile users? There’s a big difference between a site that looks and feels immaculate via mobile and one that simply can be accessed via mobile. Assuming that a huge chunk of your traffic comes by way of mobile devices…which it probably does…you could be losing would-be conversions simply by not presenting mobile traffic with the kind of experience they expect.
5 – Ad Placement
Last but not least, one of the worst things you can do if you hope to be taken seriously and improve conversion rates is to allow huge chunks of your site to be taken over by ads, banners and marketing materials. Why? Well, quite simply because if you are a reputable brand with something great to offer and the highest regard for your visitors, you shouldn’t need (or want) to advertise a ton of external products and services, just to pick up further advertising revenues. These kinds of sites smack of spam and amateur-hour, so don’t become another example of one.