Every website experiences bounce rate albeit low or high. High bounce rates are more common and pose a big problem to site owners. You realize that your searchers land on your website and leave without any further clicks and no conversion whatsoever. Why does this happen? Most times it is because your site does not offer the visitor what he needs or your site is too difficult to use.
What is Bounce Rate?
As simple as it sounds, many people fail to understand what bounce rate really is. It is one of the most misunderstood metrics in Google Analytics. In really simple words, Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions. In other words, it is the percentage of visitors who came to your website and left without viewing any other page on your site – hence the term, single page visits. Bounce Rate, as a large number of people assume, does not have anything to do with how much time a visitor spends on a site or whether he/she scrolled through the page; if it did, Bounce Rate would be a mess, wouldn’t it?
A high bounce rate generally indicates that your site entrance pages are not relevant to your visitors which mean that your visitors are not your potential customers. It could also mean that what you are selling is not relevant to them. There are a number of factors that contribute to high bounce rate such as low quality content, poor site design, poor navigation and poor usability of the site. It could also be due to user’s own reasons in the sense that he/she has found the information they require but bookmark the page for later use or rather, the information the user requires has been found on that one page and he/she has no further need to browse any further.
This leads to the question: Is your high bounce rate really a bad thing?
It all boils down to the goals you have for your website. If your aim is not to retain visitors by having them browse endlessly through a flurry of content but instead to take a call to action, then a high bounce rate means little to you as long as your goals are accomplished. Call to actions that could lead visitors off your website could be:
- Filling out a form that does not lead visitors to another page on your website.
- Calling your customer care to inquire about products.
- Clicking on ad banners that link to affiliate marketing sites, and so on…
CTAs (Call to actions) such as these could incur high bounce rate but lead to high conversion rates (Conversions through bounced visits) as visitors turn customers– which is really the goal of the marketer.
Reducing your bounce rate means getting more engaged visitors which leads to greater chances of conversions. Now you’re asking, “How do I reduce bounce rate?”
Here are some great tips to decrease your high bounce rate:
Attract the Right Visitors
A major reason why your visitors bounce is because the pool of your website is really not what they want to dive into. This means that, if your landing page does not satisfy the visitor’s query then they will bounce as fast as they arrived. What can you do to attract the visitors you need?
- Choose the right keywords that match your content not just a bunch of popular ones that attract a lot of visitors.
- Discard keywords that send low value traffic.
- Create landing pages which are visually appealing with unique content.
- Make your call to action relevant to your landing pages.
- Prominently display your call to action on your landing pages.
- Write useful Meta descriptions.
Improve Your Content
It may be that your content appear bleak, bland and unappealing to your visitors which causes them to bounce. What can you do to make your content appealing to visitors?
- Publish quality content.
- Write them in style and use images.
- Pay attention to font size and the contrast.
- Use clear headings and subheads.
- Keep your old contents that appear in the search engines updated.
- Proofread your content.
- Make your content short and concise (Visitors scan your contents most times and long content may bore them)
Work on Your Website Redesign
Research says it takes about 8 seconds for visitors to choose if they like a site or not. So if your website appears to be difficult to use or navigate, you may have high bounce rate. It is said that more than half of online traffic comes from mobile devices so if your website is not responsive, visitors may bounce. If a website takes time to load, visitors may spurn it. A website redesign could be vital in lowering your bounce rate.
- Make sure your website has a clean design.
- It should have a responsive make-over to adapt to any screen size.
- The design should be attractive and easy to navigate.
- Speed up the page load time.
Add links to more pages within your website in your content.
Consider other pages on your website that your visitors would be interested in and insert them at the end of your content. For example, this article here on “How to reduce your site’s bounce rate”; below you could put related posts like “How to improve your conversions” or “How to improve SEO” and so on. This will surely intrigue your visitors as they would like to read those articles in the process opening more pages.
Avoid having too many ads and pop-ups
If ads occupy more than 40% percent of your landing pages, it is time you lose some. Agreed, ads and pop-ups are part of your marketing plans but not all fetch you conversions. Visitors hate it when they enter a sight and videos immediately start playing or pop-ups appear on their screens; they leave quickly without browsing any further. You could hack down 1/3 of the ads that aren’t fetching you much revenue and focus on those that work. In the end, you’ll gain more because visitors will stay on your site longer and likely come back. Also, you could let the pop-ups on your landing pages to only appear after the visitor has been on your site for a while.
Google analytics help.
Yes, Google support can help you reduce your bounce rate. Hit the help forum and read what you can on bounce rate and how to reduce it.
What is the ideal bounce rate?
This differs according to the type of website you’re running. According to Google analytics, these are the ideal bounce rates for these different types of sites:
- Content Websites: 40-60%
- Lead generation: 30-50%
- Blogs: 70-90%
- Retail sites: 20-40%
- Service sites: 10-30%
- Landing pages: 70-90%
This gives you a benchmark to set realistic expectations when trying to reduce your high bounce rate. Remember, the goal is not to have a 0% bounce rate but instead to have a lower bounce rate than your competitors. If you eventually do have a better bounce rate than your competitors, then you’ve succeeded.