Reducing bounce rate is one of the most important things any website owner can do if they want to maximise conversions. But what is bounce rate, and how can it be kept as low as possible? Let’s take a deep dive and see.
What is bounce rate?
In SEO, bounce rate has a very specific meaning: it’s a visitor only looking at one page on a website, and not clicking through to another page on the same site. It’s given a percentage based on the number of single visits divided by the total number of visits.
Bounce rate can be discovered from your Google Analytics console or the console provided by your web host. However, it doesn’t tell you the duration of the visit. If someone visits your site and stays for 20 minutes while they read an article before leaving, it’s counted as a bounce, just like a two-second visit would be.
What is a high bounce rate?
Different industries and different visitor sources make bounce rate a bit more complicated than a simple number.
For example, visitors coming from search engines have made a conscious decision to search for your subject, so might stick around and follow internal links more than those coming from ads or social media, who might have only a passing interest.
Also, some sectors like ecommerce, where people are opening multiple tabs to compare prices, often have quite high bounce rates because there’s no commitment to a particular site.
The important thing is to monitor your bounce rate and set a benchmark, then try to reduce it on a continuous basis. However, for any web page, a bounce rate over 60% is something to be concerned about.
Ways of reducing bounce rate
Almost any page can be improved in terms of bounce rate. Here are some low-hanging fruit ideas that are virtually guaranteed to hammer it down.
1. Have a clear pathway towards conversion. Once a visitor has read the article or looked at the product, what now? Give them a nice big button or some internal links to click on so they can find out more, sign up for the newsletter or put something in their basket. Don’t leave them hanging.
2. Keep page speed low. Waiting for pages to load can cause visitors to quit even before any content has appeared. It’s such a waste of a precious click that you need to get to the bottom of it, and fast. The usual suspects are excessive plugins, uncompressed images, failure to set up lazy loading and poor quality hosting, but there are others – we’ve written about page speed here.
3. Eliminate poor page design. We all make snap decisions about websites the moment we visit them. If they look dodgy, or if you have to trawl around them to find the information you’re looking for, we just close them down or hit the back button. Keep it simple, clean and clear, with the most valuable information front and centre.
Keeping your site fresh
Much of the work we do at Gooey is all about keeping websites looking fresh, relevant, trustworthy and interesting so that people are more likely to click through than to bounce.
Have a look at our WordPress development services to see if we can give your CMS-powered site some much needed stickiness. With some simple intervention, you can start to see those numbers tumbling – and not bouncing back up again.