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How User-Generated Content Can Reduce Bounce Rate


A high bounce rate, or the percentage of site visitors who leave after seeing just one page, is a real headache for many marketers and ecommerce leaders alike. Though a lot of factors contribute to this metric, it’s generally considered best-practice to keep it as low as possible. 

Beyond tried-and-true practices, this often missed tool  can help you reduce bounce rate – user-generated content (UGC). User-generated content creates a stickier web-experience, keeping site visitors engaged longer – in turn, converting more shoppers to buyers. 

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

Bounce rates deviate depending on the website type and industry. Ecommerce sites typically have a bounce rate within 20-45%, while blogs and portals get away with 65-90%. This might be understood as visitors to blogs and portals often just read an article and don’t need to stay on that site after finding the information they were searching for.

Bounce Rate Limitations 

So is bounce rate always important? Not quite. Similar to any other web metric, context matters. For ecommerce, the bounce rate starts to become a leading indicator when the target page is a landing page where you want customers to take action – add to cart or submit a form. 

A high bounce rate sometimes may indicate a problem with your landing page if: 

  • The content is irrelevant to the user intent or not clear enough
  • There is a problem with page design
  • The page loads too slowly
  • The page is not optimized for mobile

Looking at bounce rate in conjunction with other website usage metrics like scroll depth is crucial. If people bounce off your page, but they normally scroll through more than a half of the page, then your page probably satisfies their need, especially if it is an informational page. You can easily measure scroll depth with HotJar and other similar tools. 

The other important metric to watch jointly with bounce rate is dwell time.  

Bounce Rate vs. Dwell Time 

Dwell time is the time spent on a certain page after a user reaches it from a search engine, and until they go back again to the search results.

Let’s suppose a user was looking for information on how to do a website audit and googled that phrase. The first search result for this should be a great piece of content, a very informative one. The user may well spend 10 minutes digesting it. But willing to learn more, they return to the search results looking for other articles, which means they bounced. But was that a bad scenario? Certainly not. 

Consider these scenarios:

  • Short dwell time and low bounce rate probably mean that the page serves effectively as a “bridge” to other site sections.
  • Long dwell time and high bounce rate may mean that it is a very engaging page where the users complete their objectives without going further to other pages and just quit.
  • Long dwell time and low bounce rate usually indicate a well-developed piece of content with reasonable linking. 
  • Low dwell time and high bounce rate probably mean a problematic page you should improve. 

Ways to Reduce Bounce Rate with UGC

One of the ways to reduce bounce rate is user-generated content (UGC).  Decades of successful word-of-mouth marketing has proven that people prefer to hear about the experiences of others like them with a product rather than from an informational, branded ad; word-of-mouth marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, after all.

When there is a lot of UGC on your site, it improves the site’s trust and authenticity, serves as social proof, and may also increase engagement through people’s comments on other people’s reviews or your blog posts. This content absolutely crushes the bounce rate as the visitors are shown an enthusiastic community of consumers like them  and are more willing to engage themselves. 

The ideas offered below are not universal, they have to be A/B-tested, of course, but here are some ways to improve your bounce rate and increase conversions with the help of UGC:

1. Share UGC from your happy customers on your homepage and product pages! UGC helps your online shoppers visualize themselves owning your products, and on-site results in 29% higher web conversions than websites without it. 

Feature UGC in an online inspiration gallery or within specific product pages to show consumers your product in action. Pixlee’s UGC tools can automatically find and curate content created by users on social media.

Old Navy’s #SayHi campaign collected UGC from social media using Pixlee to put together an interactive and customizable gallery of photos from real people so shoppers could “shop the look.”

2. Champion visual ratings and reviews on your site. Reviews provide important, authentic feedback that fosters customer loyalty and shopper trust. However, the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, so it’s necessary to feature customer photos alongside textual reviews for the most conversions.

Athletic apparel brand HYLETE showcases customer reviews alongside visual UGC, providing a highly interactive and rich experience for site visitors. The brand saw a staggering 30% increase in conversions after utilizing the Pixlee platform to collect and showcase this UGC on-site, and a 154% increase in returning visitors to the HYLETE site

3. Emphasize community-driven values on your landing pages. If your site visitors see that you’re promoting customer photos and celebrating your existing fans, they know your brand is also dedicated to their satisfaction. Show you care by amplifying the UGC your fans provide to you for free (on social media or through direct uploads).

4. Run a Social Media Contest and share the resulting UGC on your brand’s website. Start by using a unique hashtag on Instagram or another social media platform, and encourage your customer community to share posts of them using your product or service in exchange for discounts, free samples, or even simply a shoutout on your brand’s account. Ultimately, you will end up with a ton of free content full of social proof for your site.

Whiskey brand Proper No. Twelve urged fans to share their photos having a “proper time” with the drink, and offered a set of glasses as a prize to a random winner. The content from this content gave the brand a bank of images to pull from for future marketing endeavors.

5. Prove your credibility. Ensure your website is secure, publish killer testimonials you receive from your customers, mention awards, and don’t hesitate to put on any trust badge you qualify for. 

Bounce rate is an important metric as it indicates how well the content on your site pages matches user intent and affects your SEO efforts. Regardless of the impact bounce rate on SEO, a high bounce rate is worth exploring especially if it’s causing , you should check on-site optimization and fix possible errors. By making a user-friendly website, you can reduce bounce rate while prioritizing user-generated content and increasing conversions. 

Special thanks to our friends at Pixlee for their insights on this topic.
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