A bounce happens when a website visitor leaves a page without clicking further. The number of times that happens makes up the site’s bounce rate. Meaning: the ratio of total number of visits viewing only one page to the total number of visits. For instance, if 10 visitors go to a site but only 5 of them make further clicks on the page, the bounce rate for the site is 50%.
The bounce rate is an essential website metric for all businesses with any kind of online presence, and can be measured for a website as a whole or for individual pages, using digital analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Webtrends.
How to measure and evaluate the bounce rate?
Once you find out your bounce rate, you’ll have to know how to evaluate it. It depends on the type of page, user intent and the business goal of your pages. Google sets some benchmark averages for each type of page:
- Content websites: the most common types of websites. They are usually business sites that serve information about products, services and processes. The benchmark bounce rate for those websites is 40-60%.
- Lead generation sites: these sites are designed specifically with a purpose to create leads, so they have more CTAs than other pages. The bounce rate for those sites varies from 30-50%.
- Blogs: the most common type of page used to publish posts and articles that are more informative than commercial. The bounce rate for blogs is typically between 70 and 98%.
- Retail or ecommerce sites: have the explicit purpose of selling particular goods or products. Product pricing, description and alternatives are the most common kind of content found in these. They usually have a bounce rate of 20-40%.
- Service sites: sell services such as online/offline apps and software rather than products. The bounce rate here varies from 10 to 30 %.
- Landing pages: serve as the point of entry into the site for the user. Google benchmarks the bounce rate for these pages at 70-90%.
A website page with a bounce rate close to or higher than the upper benchmark for its type is considered to have a high bounce rate. The page isn’t able to serve the purpose for which it has been designed and requires your attention: changes to the layout or content are usually necessary. A low bounce rate is an indication that the page is found useful by most visitors.
What can be done to reduce a high bounce rate?
Google and other search engines use the bounce rate as one of the ranking factors. Lower bounce rate means higher ranking and higher ranking means higher chances of conversion.
Improving your website pages can help you cut down your site’s bounce rate. We suggest six strategies that can help you achieve that:
#1 Optimize content
This can be the single most important step taken to reduce your bounce rate. If the content is in tune with what visitors are looking for, they are more likely to find the pages that are relevant to them. That will encourage them to stay on your website for longer. How can you optimize the content of your pages?
- Use search engine optimization (SEO) to target keywords with high-value traffic
- A good keyword density in your content creates higher relevance in search engine results
- Poorly written content aimed just for higher ranking quickly gets delegated to the bottom (due to unpopularity)
#2 Optimize User Experience (UX)
Make sure that visitors easily find what they’re looking for and that the interactions they have with the pages are engaging. A website that loads quickly, coupled with easy navigation, is the most noticeable aspect of a good user experience. Some tips on improving your website’s UX:
- Choose the right font and appropriate font color – make it easy to read
- Use bullets and concise sentences for emphasis. Facilitate the visitor’s inclination to read rather than scan pages
- Optimize the structure and content of your site for quick loading and easy navigation
- Improve page load time with caching. In caching, a web-server saves locally a part of the site to help pages load quicker
- Focus on your main selling points. Don’t bury them in long paragraphs
- Use images, graphics, screenshots, quotes from industry experts, customer reviews, etc.
#3 Avoid annoying popups
You may invite visitors with wonderfully readable content, but if you annoy them with popup messages, they will leave. If you absolutely must have pop-ups, optimize them for:
- Language (non-manipulative, non-aggressive)
#4 Keep your content up to date
Dated content is skipped by the visitors, contributing to an increased bounce rate. Furthermore, web spiders (small programs run by search engines to fetch results) frequently crawl the internet to keep themselves updated, which is why frequently updating content is a good practice online.
An effectively convenient way to keep your content fresh is to create a blog. By blogging regularly, you’re steadily adding up-to-date content to your website and creating more possible touch points for visitors.
#5 Make your website responsive
Searchers frequently use different devices like smartphones or tablets – keep their needs in mind and make your website responsive.
A website that is not responsive can contribute to an increased bounce rate; everyone has surely had the (bad) experience of trying to consult a non-responsive website and having to zoom in and out to see all the features.
Web analytics tools offer the option to calculate your website’s bounce rate for mobile views as well, make sure to leverage that option.
#6 Call visitors to action
A call-to-action is a button, image or any kind of link to another part of your website that encourages the visitor to click further. For instance, this blog post features a call-to-action on the right prompting readers to subscribe to receive further updates on the topic they're interested in.
Now that you have learned the key ways to reduce your bounce rate, it’s time to start implementing them so that your readers will not leave your website without reading all the pages you would like them to read, while increasing conversion rates!