Earlier this week, we asked ‘Why’ five times in a row to understand why the bounce rate is high on a forum. We concluded that highly personalized and accurate advice is hard to come by because people with the expertise necessary to answer certain questions are rare. Furthermore, users with questions often require an answer customized to their unique circumstances. This makes sense. If the knowledge needed was readily available or widely understood, it is unlikely the user would have a question about the topic in the first place.
So how does this insight help us solve the high bounce rate problem? Well, it could be that users find what they’re looking for and bounce right away. Or, more likely, they don’t find what they need but they don’t have enough confidence that posting a new thread or follow up question will garner a better response.
We need to do more to instill confidence in the user their question will be answered accurately and in a timely fashion. Specifically, we think that by (1) showing related threads; (2) encouraging users to “ask our experts” and (3) showing the average response time for getting a reply, we can lower the bounce rate and instigate more activity on the forum. These steps should help us overcome shyness and/or lack of confidence and, in turn, lower the bounce rate.