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How to reduce bounce rates and improve your visitor data

Guide
by Sean Thornley Agency Partnership Manager

What are bounce rates and what do they indicate?

Bounce rate represents the percentage of web visitors that leave your website from the landing page without clicking through to another page on your site.

How do I find out my bounce rate?

We’ve said it before and we will say it again, Google Analytics is possibly the best free analytics tool you can get, so there is basically no reason for you not to have it. Bounce rates fall under ‘behaviour’ in Google Analytics, and can access these via various tabs. Immediately below is the view you will get if you visit ‘Behaviour>Site Content>All Pages’

…and below this is the view you will get if you visit ‘Acquisition>All Traffic> Channels’

What is a good bounce rate?

A bounce rate between 20 and 40% is generally considered excellent, 41-55%, 56-70% higher than average, and above 70% is disappointing. Watch out for bounce rates that seem too good to be true because they probably are.

Why are my bounce rates high?

There are many reasons why your bounce rates could be high. Below we have listed some of the common reasons…

Slow page-load speeds

People are inpatient, and 75% of them would leave a site if it takes more than 5 seconds to load. Read how to reduce page-load time here.

Irrelevant or unexpected content

Is your landing page what you promised it would be? Be careful with how you pitch your site when you are trying to drive traffic. If you go for something that you know will get a good click-rate but isn’t a true reflection of what you are offering, you are inviting a high bounce rate when your visitors realise they aren’t actually interested once they land.

Poor readability

Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and ask whether it is easy to find the information you might need. Is it obvious what you are offering, are your contact details clear and easy to find, is your navigation usable?

You are targeting the wrong people

What good is getting thousands of page-views if they aren’t from the right people? If your traffic is coming through paid-ads/PPC, and your bounce rate is high, then reconsider who you are targeting because your money is being wasted. It is very easy for someone to click through to a website via a paid link; the more often that link appears in front of people that it isn’t relevant to, the higher the number of clicks you’ll get from people that are not actually interested in what you have to offer.

Check that you aren’t targeting ambiguous search terms, e.g. if you are running an online art shop that sells acrylic paint, you run the risk of your ad appearing in front of people searching for nail salons that do acrylic nail extensions. In cases like this, try to use long-tail key words instead of singular ones.

It is also wise to check whether you have ticked any boxes that allow your ads to appear on third-party apps. If you have, your ad that is aimed at marketing professionals in Manchester could end up appearing on an app that’s popular with children and could see you racking up a huge bill with nothing to show for it.

Look at the bigger picture

While, in general, a high bounce rate indicates bad news, it is important to look at this in conjunction with other information such as time spent on the page, page content and number of inbound leads via the contact details provided on it. If you have a high bounce rate on a page that has all the necessary information on it as well as contact details, and your users are spending a decent amount of time on it, it might not be necessary for them to click through to another page on the site.

Gooey are a white label web development agency based in Manchester UK. We partner with agencies looking to outsource their web and email development on projects of any size or budget. Get in touch to see how we can help.