In my previous article (What's your cookie-size - are you on the safe side?), I demonstrated the situation when a third-party marketing script could damage your business: may prevent your returning visitors from coming back to your website.
Your website’s bounce rate is a metric that is heavily discussed. It is one of the first metrics you will see in your analytics dashboard. But often questions are raised, “is a high bounce rate good or bad?”.
If you’re feeling confused with bounce rate metric. Don’t worry we are here to help. In this blog we will explain what bounce rate is and some ways to improve it.
Let’s take a definition from the mothership itself, Google:
“A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.” - Google
To keep it simple. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a page on your website, then leave.
Visitors arrive on a page on your website stay for 1 second or 20 minutes but leave without visiting another page.
How do you evaluate success on your website? Do you needs visitors viewing more than one page? If the answer is yes, then a high bounce rate is not good.
For example, if you have an ecommerce website and you require visitors to complete a checkout process and a high percentage only view the product page. You will want to reduce your bounce rate.
But if you have a travel blog, where you expect single-page sessions, then a high bounce rate is normal.
So it really depends on the type of website, whether a high bounce rate is bad.
You can benchmark your bounce rate by industry in Google Analytics. To do this follow these steps:
If your bounce rate is considerable higher than your industry benchmark what can you do to improve it?
Try looking at these elements of your website and see what you can improve.
Are you mobile-friendly?
Google said in 2015, that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US.
If a visitor lands on your website and has to “zoom-in” to read the content they will likely leave. It’s no longer an option to have a mobile friendly site.
If you're getting a lot of traffic from mobile and have a high bounce rate. Take action and evaluate your mobile experience.
Look at Traffic source
Maybe your website is great. But you’re sending traffic from other sources and they don’t get the experience they were expecting.
For example, you share all your new blog posts on social media. But the copy of your social post don’t clearly explain the content on your website.
This can result in the visitors expectations not being met and they leave. Audit the sources you are sending website traffic from and ask “does the messaging match the page I’m sending visitors to?”.
Avoid Disrupting Pop-ups
While some pop-ups are great for capturing leads, they also annoy visitors and can result in bounces. Full-screen pop-ups are extremely annoying but now result in search penalties.
When using pop-ups remember the user and follow Google’s guidelines:
Ensure your content matches keywords
Similarly to traffic source mentioned above, using relevant keywords is also important. Evaluate the keywords that a bringing traffic to your site.
Whether it’s paid search or organic traffic making sure content is relevant to the search is important.
Make your content user-friendly
On the other hand to keywords matching the content, your content needs to be legible. If your visitors can’t easily digest your content they might leave.
Nothing scares off readers more than massive chucks of text. Here are some tips for making your content user friendly:
Clear and enticing call to actions
Once you have a visitor on a page, the last thing you want to do is lose them by having a poor call-to-action. Worse still no call-to-action.
A clear and enticing call-to-action gives your visitors a “next step” you want them to take. This could be to buy a product, download an eBook or read a different article.
Ultimately, call-to-actions can reduce your bounce rate but also increase conversions.
When you're improving bounce rates make sure you consider your industry. A high bounce rate isn't always a bad thing. Look at what people do on your site, where they're coming from and are they on mobile?
Ensure your content aligns with the users expectation and leads to a positive experience. Analysing these elements can uncover the information you need to improve your bounce rate.
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Internetrix combines digital consulting with winning website design, smart website development and strong digital analytics and digital marketing skills to drive revenue or cut costs for our clients. We deliver web-based consulting, development and performance projects to customers across the Asia Pacific ranging from small business sole traders to ASX listed businesses and all levels of Australian government.