If you are one of those people that follow their website’s Google Analytics account you may have seen a section referring to ‘bounce rate’, but might not know what it is or how to reduce it.
In technical terms: Bounce Rate is the total number of bounces on all pages in a given time frame / total number of entrance on all pages in the same time period.
Or in less technical terms, It is when someone visits your website but ‘bounces’ away without going further into your website. The more people that bounce away, the higher your bounce rate. This can affect your overall search engine rankings as Google may feel the reason your visitors are bouncing away is due to poor content quality on your site, possibly slow loading time, or maybe something else. Basically if Google feels your site isn’t of a high value score it will penalize you and rank someone with a lower bounce rate.
A bounce rate of 25% or under is considered ok. Anything over 50% and you may have some serious issues.
But there are a few simple steps you can take to change your website and improve your bounce rate.
Firstly though lets look at the scenario of what might cause a high bounce rate.
Lets say you are walking past a sports store and you stop and look in the window but don’t enter the store, and then leave. That would be a 100% bounce rate. For some reason you didn’t see anything of value to lure you into the store.
Now lets say you entered the store, maybe picked up a few items to look at, walked around the store a little, but still didn’t purchase anything, and then left. That would be around a 40% bounce rate.
But if you walked in the store, someone came and served you, they got you signed up on their mailing list, you made a purchase and then left, that would be around a 10% bounce rate or less.
If you treat your website in a similar manner to this real life scenario you’ll find with a little ‘re-working’ of your structure you should be able to get your bounce rate around the 5 to 10% mark reasonably easily.
So with this in mind, think about the layout of your website.
- Does your Google Snippet showing on the search results match the content of your site so that it does not mislead any visitors?
- Does the site load in a few seconds?
- Is the menu easy to navigate, especially on a mobile phone?
- Is the majority of any menu items and buttons above the quarter page line so that minimal scrolling is required?
- Do you have a call to action (eg, sign up to a free ebook, one time offer on the shopping cart, or a quote form, with the action to add your details clearly visible and inviting?
By ensuring people can see the content that would appear to them is critical to ensure they dig deeper into your website and find some kind of value for them.
Often sites with many blog posts will get a high bounce rate as people come just for the article, read it and then bounce away. Ensure you have a popup mailing list or something to make them interact with your site to encourage them to view more on your site.
On mobile devices, when planning the development of the site ensure you have the option to turn off particular sections of the site such as long-winded text or large images, so that the mobile version is a ‘lite-version’ of the full site, meaning less scrolling for the reader, and more clicking instead.
With these ideas in mind, review your current website, both in desktop and mobile view and ensure you are giving your audience more, for less bounce.
Google will reward you.