Bounce rate is a very important website statistic, though it’s not exactly self-explanatory. If you’ve taken a look at bounce rate in your Google Analytics and still didn’t understand what it referred to, this article is for you. We’ll explore what does bounce rate mean? What does a good bounce rate look like? And how can you lower your website bounce rate?
What Does Bounce Rate Mean?
Bounce rate is commonly calculated as a percentage, referring to the number of visitors to a website that leave the site after viewing only one page of content. Every time a visitor clicks away it is called a “bounce” and every time a visitor closes your website after viewing only one page, your bounce rate will increase.
For example, if your bounce rate is 89%, then 89% of your website visitors click away after viewing only one page on your website.
While it’s better for your page views, site visits and unique visitors statistics to all be high numbers, bounce rate is one website statistic that you actually want to be lower.
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That’s because a higher bounce rate means that visitors are not sticking around to view more of your content. Wait! That stands repeating; it literally means that visitors are not viewing more of your content on other pages of your website or blog.
Instead, they click through to one of your pages through a search engine or social media link, view that one page and then close your website entirely. Now this can also be a good thing as well, meaning a visitor to your site found exactly what they were looking for (this will be indicated by the time spent on your websites landing page).
How can I view my bounce rate?
Viewing reports in Google Analytics is the best way to view your bounce rate. Google Analytics provides several methods of viewing the habits of your visitors, including showing you how many pages users typically visit in a session and your overall bounce rate.
You can even see which pages users view most often which can provide some insight on which posts or pages may not be working in your favor and which may need improvement to deter readers from clicking away from your website as quickly.
As you view your bounce rate in Google Analytics, you will notice that it may decrease every single day. This is because each day when visitors go to your website, Google takes note of their behaviors and factors this into your statistics.
Here’s a video by DigitalMarketer that provides even more insight into bounce rate:
What’s an average bounce rate?
The average bounce rate of a website is typically between 40 – 55% and will also vary depending on the type of website or blog you have.
Blogs and landing pages usually have a higher bounce rate of around 70 – 90%, while e-commerce websites are usually between 20 – 40% and news websites may have a bounce rate between 10 – 30%.
In all cases, the bounce rate of a website also depends on the quality of the information provided. If the user doesn’t feel as though they are receiving valuable content on a website, they’re more likely to discontinue viewing other pages. Another reason (as stated above) may be the fact that they’ve found exactly what they were searching for.
Excellent websites have a bounce rate between 25 – 35%, which means the visitors feel the content is valuable and usually click around to view several pages or posts during a single visit. Websites which may need the most improvement often have bounce rates from 85 – 100%. The higher your bounce rate is, the more work your website needs in order to better serve your visitors.
How can I reduce my website or blog bounce rate?
Luckily, there are several ways that you can reduce the bounce rate of your blog or website. Below you’ll find 15 steps you can take to ensure your website is more user-friendly and improve your bounce rate.
- Use headlines and page descriptions that accurately describe what your website offer
Refrain from using deceptive or click bait headlines for your website content. When someone clicks your website link in a search engine and they see the headline and description state the article offers 10 tips on building a great website, you need to make sure that your article provides those 10 great tips. If your article does not provide interesting or useful information to that reader, you’ll often find an increase in your bounce rate as readers become disappointed. When you create the headline or title of your page or blog post, make sure that this accurately describes exactly what readers will find on that page. Also, you need to make sure that your web content provides as much value as possible and is relevant to the reader’s questions. Remember that most of the time people are searching for anything on the Internet, it is because they have a question that they want to be answered or they have a problem that they need to have fixed. If your website promises to answer a question or fixes a problem but does not follow through, readers will not continue navigating through your content and may not return to your website again.
- Improve your call to action
Every page on your website needs to have a specific purpose, which is your call to action. Your call to action drives readers to follow through with a specific thing you are requesting. This could be signing up for your mailing list, buying your products or clicking on an affiliate link. Make sure that your call to action is clear and concise and that the placement on your website makes your all to action easily visible and accessible. Each landing page should only have one call to action that is prominently displayed so that visitors know exactly what you want them to do on your website.
- Have a helpful 404 page
A 404 page is where users end up when a link becomes broken or changed and your website is unable to locate the information a reader has stumbled upon. Having a 404 error page that only states the error occurred is not helpful and may cause readers to leave your website. Instead, use this opportunity to apologize to the visitor and offer them bonus content. You can offer a free PDF eBook or links to your best content which may be of interest to them.
- Make sure your website has a mobile web design
Since most everyone has a smartphone nowadays, much of people’s web browsing now takes place using their mobile devices. Because of this, it is extremely important to have either a mobile version of your website or a responsive layout.
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If your website is not optimized for mobile, visitors will become annoyed at having to pinch zoom and scroll endlessly in all directions on their mobile devices in order to view your content. These visitors are unlikely to stick around for long and may avoid your website in the future.
- Link to related content on your blog posts
Include links in each of your blog posts that will connect readers to related articles. You can do this by manually entering a link into your post or by using a “related posts” plugin, this way you give readers easy access to articles related to a topic that they’re already interested in. This makes visitors more likely to click over and read an additional article on your website, which will decrease your bounce rate.
- Have a search bar
Let users have easy access to all of the content they are looking for on your website by having a prominent search bar. This can be placed in your sidebar or in your header or footer so that it can be accessed on all pages of your website. A search bar lets users discover content that is relevant to them and helps to get their questions answered.
- Increase Website Page Load Time
A slow loading website is a surefire way of ensuring a reader will become frustrated and quickly click away from your page. Make sure that you are not using too many plugins or bulky coding as they will slow down your website. Also, it’s important to use images that are optimized for the web as large images can severely impact your website loading time. In order to verify the load time of your website, you can use a Google’s Page Speed Insights or GTMetrix which will tell you what’s slowing down your website load time and even offer possible solutions. Once you have your score, you can take the necessary steps to improve the page speed of your website.
- Offer more valuable content
Make sure that each of your blog posts either answers a question or solves a problem for the reader. Valuable content teaches the reader something or provides a different perspective on a topic. Your website content should be full of valuable information. Don’t be afraid to become wordy or to elaborate on the ideas you are presenting on a given topic. To ensure maximum value for your readers, be sure to answer questions that may arise while they are reading the article and provide value every step of the way.[bctt tweet=”15 Mistakes To Avoid and Improve Your Web Site Bounce Rate. #WebDesign #WebDesignTips” via=”no”]
- Vary the length of your posts
Keep in mind that reader attention spans are becoming lower and so you want to have a good mix of short and long posts to entertain different types of readers. Some readers will love a post of a few thousand words (think 2000-3000 words), while other readers are looking for a quick post that may be about 600 words.
- Improve your post formatting
When writing content for the web, there are a few things to keep in mind. Posts with subheadings are more appealing to the eye. Subheadings help a reader’s attention span to stay focused on your article and help a reader to find their way through your post to the parts that are relevant to their needs. Short, concise paragraphs are important. Your reader is more likely to skim through your content if you use large blocks of text instead of splitting up your words into several smaller paragraphs.
- Be careful with your sidebar
While some modern websites are choosing to remove their sidebars altogether, this is not necessary. Instead, be sure that your sidebar only showcases your most important information that you want readers to click on. If your sidebar is too distracting, you may find that users discontinue reading your content and click on an advertisement in your sidebar instead.
- Use appealing colors
Appealing colors and web design are necessary to keep readers interested in your website. Modern websites have plenty of white space and are not overrun with too much use of color. Remember the 1990s when it was common to use every color of the rainbow all on one page? Those days are long gone and now web designers are building simple yet elegant websites. Most websites have a white background, black text and other colors used sparingly such as in the logo or as link colors and headline colors. Choose appealing colors that have great contrast. If the colors are too bright or the text and background colors are too similar, you may find that people click away from your website immediately after opening it in their browser to find something easier to read.
- Improve your website navigation
The menu is one of the most important functions of your website. It should be prominently displayed at the top of your website either directly above or below your header and should only link to the most important pages you have.
- Create landing pages that are full of information
Since the purpose of a landing page is to answer your visitor’s question, you need to make sure that yours are chock full of information. Go into as much detail as you can in order to appeal to your ideal reader. The organization of a good landing page includes well thought out subheadings and sections and also guides the reader on a journey from the beginning of the page to the end where they can learn and grow.
- Don’t use pop-ups…Well maybe sometimes
Yes, website owners are back to using pop-ups on their pages. Many of these are to encourage newsletter sign-ups but they are becoming so common that users may begin to ignore them or avoid websites that use them all together. Don’t forget that the reason a visitor is on your website is to have a question answered. They have not necessarily visited your website to sign up for your mailing list and the chances of them doing so when they have yet to read a single piece of your content may be low. This one, however, is still up in the air. The stats show that using pop-ups will increase your opt-in rates and most major bloggers and websites use them sometimes to a fault. Bottom line is to use them at your own discretion, but realize the impact they will probably have on your bounce rate.
Now, what does bounce rate mean to your website? I hope that now you have a much better understanding than you had before. If you need help managing this on your website or blog feel free to contact me for a complimentary consultation. What’s been your biggest struggle with your website’s bounce rate? Let me know in the comments below.