There’s nothing quite like an elevated bounce rate to drive the average online business owner up the wall.

You’re convinced you’ve done all the right things in all the right places, with the added bonus of a steady stream of traffic. Though for some reason, almost nobody sticks around long enough to be of any real value to you.

Not only is this frustrating, but it can put your entire business at jeopardy. After all, high bounce rates equate to low conversion rates – the consequences of which are self-explanatory.

Here’s the good news in all the doom and gloom – there’s a lot you could be doing right now to bring your bounce rates under control. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and put in the necessary effort, you’ll soon be seeing a turnaround by focusing on the following:

1. Improve the Readability of Your Content
First up, readability means exactly that – how easy, convenient and enjoyable it is to read your content. Huge blocks of unbroken text are the opposite of what you’re looking for, in order to achieve readability. As is poor formatting, content that’s clearly been over-optimised for SEO purposes and anything that’s written badly in general.
Revisit your content from time to time and have a fresh (ideally objective) pair of eyes glance it over, in order to assess its readability.

2. Avoid Popups and Distractions
It’s remarkable just how many major brands, businesses and bloggers are guilty of this. The figures are pretty straightforward – three out of every four web users find pop-ups insanely annoying. Often more than enough to drive them in the opposite direction, with little to no chance of them coming back.
Popups are best-avoided in most instances, though can be particularly harmful on landing pages. Don’t make the mistake of annoying your visitors before you’ve even got them on your side.

3. Use Every Call-to-Action Strategically
Assumptions and gut feelings are all well and good, but really the only way of knowing which CTAs work best (and where) is to experiment. Split testing holds the key to the strategic and effective use of every CTA, so should be conducted on a regular basis.
It’s also worth remembering that just because a CTA does the job today doesn’t mean it will continue to do so indefinitely. Times change, as do the behaviours and preferences of those visiting your website.

4. Master the Art of Storytelling
Customers today don’t respond well to the traditional “here we are and aren’t we fantastic” way of presenting a brand. Instead, they want to do business with brands they can relate to. More specifically, brands that tell an appealing story and appeal to their sensibilities.
This means thinking carefully about who you want to appeal to and telling a convincing story. Just as long as it’s honest and authentic, as anything forced or synthetic and it’s game over.

5. Keep Your Content Up to Date
Last up, nothing is less appealing than content that’s out of date. Irrespective of how great your published content is, it will eventually stagnate and send entirely the wrong message. Research has shown that businesses with a steady stream of fresh content generate more leads and enjoy better conversion rates than those who rarely update their websites.

Something to think about, if you haven’t updated the content on your website (or your blog) in as long as you can remember.

Author's Bio: 

Chris Jenkinson works for UK marketing company Jenkinson & Associates providing marketing support to businesses.