What does Bounce Rate mean exactly? When does a visitor bounce? Is it purely a visitor that hits the back button or is there more to it? And what can you tell by looking at the bounce rate of a webpage?
What is a bounce rate?
A user bounces when there has been no engagement with the landing page and the visit ends with a single-page visit. So they don’t click on a menu item, a ‘read more’ link, or any other internal links on the page. You can use the bounce rate as a metric that indicates the quality of a webpage and if it meets its purpose.
What does the bounce rate tell you?
The height of your bounce rate and whether that’s a good or a bad thing, really depends on the purpose of the page. If the purpose of the page is purely to inform, then a high bounce rate isn’t a bad thing as such. When the visitor only visited a page for quick reference or to find an address, then it isn’t surprising that they move away after they’re done.
If the purpose of a page is to actively engage with your site, then a high bounce rate is a bad thing. Let’s say you have a page that has one goal: to get visitors to subscribe to your newsletter. If that page has a high bounce rate, then you might need to optimise the page itself. By adding a clear Call-To-Action, a ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ button, for instance, you could lower that bounce rate.
Many site managers and webmasters pay close attention to bounce rate as an overall indication of a site’s ‘stickiness’ or appeal, and would like to reduce this troublesome number as much as they can. Some people even think that bounce rate can influence your search rankings, via Google’s new machine-learning algorithm RankBrain. So it’s obviously in your interest to optimise this metric.
Here are 6 quick website changes that can make a big difference -
Reduce Loading Time
Your website’s speed and performance plays a large role in whether visitors want to stay or not. The longer it takes for your website to load, the faster your website visitors will become annoyed and leave your website without viewing another page.
In fact, website visitors expect your website to load within 2 seconds or less. Anything slower than that leads to site abandonment and has great impact on your site’s conversion rates.
The way a user experiences your website is likely very different from the way you experience it. Have a fresh pair of eyes evaluate your website for user friendliness and give you an honest feedback.
Is it easy to navigate?
Is the text easily readable?
Is the design consistent?
Is there enough white space?
Get to the point
Be specific and concise - and avoid vague wordiness.
Avoid interruptions and distractions. Don’t have a video ad (with a strangely unresponsive ‘close’ button) or pop up boxes floating over your content.
Fulfill your promises. Don’t try to lure in your visitors with pandering copy if you can’t deliver on what you’re promising.
Have a clear Call To Action
Most site visitors decide within seconds of landing on a website whether they want to stay or not. Describe what you’re selling to your visitors as soon as they land on your website. Make sure you have a clear Call To Action so visitors know what steps you want them to take. In addition, make sure you are honest and clear about what you are offering to prevent people from wanting to leave right away.
Keep your Blog fresh
According to HubSpot, businesses that update their blogs with fresh content regularly will generate 126% more leads than those who don’t. However, it is important to differentiate powerful content from the right content.
Powerful content may evoke a w’ow’ reaction from your readers, but it may not solve their problems. In contrast, the right content will wow them, but it will also give them actionable tips to implement and produce results for them.
By consistently adding fresh content, you’re establishing trust. If people stay, read and look at other parts of your site, there is a good chance you have developed trust and they will return.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Is your website responsive? When prospects visit your site on their iPhone, iPad, tablets and other mobile devices, will it display perfectly?
We are living in the mobile age and not having a mobile friendly website could cost your business dearly. Almost 95% of your customers are on mobile, so your website should be optimised for them.
I hope this article has been helpful to understand what the bounce rate actually is and what you can do to improve it. I constantly work on improving my bounce rate and found that with writing regular blogs with content that is helpful for my clients, my bounce has improved.
Every website owner has to work towards gradually increasing the time that users spend on their website.
Just stay with it and remain consistent. Some of the above tips here could produce fairly quick results, but don’t expect that. Keep growing your website audience. As you satisfy your users, they will gladly tell others about you – thus improving your search traffic, inbound links and lead generation.
Please get in touch if you need any help with your website, analytics and content marketing.