Understanding and Minimizing Bounce Rate
If you routinely pour through the analytics of your site, you have likely seen the bounce rate stat. If you don’t routinely pour through the analytics of your site, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to grow your business and you need to get on that. Maybe you don’t know what bounce rate measures or maybe you don’t know how to go about improving it. That’s about to change because here is everything you need to know about bounce rate. In particular, how to stop visitors from leaving your site.
Understanding Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is a metric that tracks how many users left your site after visiting one page. Every time someone visits one page and then leaves your site they contribute to your bounce rate. If a page on your site has a bounce rate of 40 percent, that means 40 percent of the people who visited that page left your site altogether instead of navigating to another page on your site.
Breaking Down Bounce Rate
Bounce rates vary by industry, so what may be an excellent bounce rate in one industry may not be so great in another. Generally, here is how bounce rates can be broken down:
- Excellent: 30-50%
- Average: 50-70%
- Poor: 70-80%
- Very Poor: ≥ 80%
The type of page also matters when analyzing bounce rates. For instance, blogs tend to have higher bounce rates. People may routinely read a blog, so they show up to check out the latest post and leave the site when they’re done. This contributes to the bounce rate, however, the brand is also building a relationship with the reader, so it’s a trade-off.
A home page or landing page with a high bounce rate is an indication of a major problem because the purpose of these pages is to direct visitors to other areas of the site.
Why Does This Matter?
A high bounce rate means people aren’t sticking around, so you are losing leads and failing to convert sales. It’s completely possible that some of the people contributing to your bounce rate are not part of your demographic and probably weren’t going to convert even if they had stayed. It’s the digital marketing version of Schrodinger’s cat paradox.
A poor bounce rate can also impact your standing with search engines. Users leaving your site sends the message to search engines that your site does not provide value. It is hard to know exactly how much of an impact bounce rate has on your site ranking because the exact workings of each search engine are closely guarded secrets, however, a poor bounce rate is not doing your ranking any favors.
Make a Difference
You need to figure out how to stop visitors from leaving your site. Improving, or lowering your bounce rate, means users will spend more time on your site which increases the odds of them signing up for your newsletter, requesting information or making a purchase. These lengthy visits also show search engines that your site has something worthwhile to offer, and that can help your site ranking.
People may leave your site after visiting one page for a variety of reasons. It is possible someone was conducting research and learning more about your products or services before making a purchase. They may have been comparing your site to that of a competitor or maybe they just ended up at your site through a mistake on their end. Whatever the reason, you will always have a bounce rate.
There are a variety of factors that are within your control and can influence the bounce rate. Valid (and fixable) issues that can impact your bounce rate include:
- Slow loading speed
- Unoptimized site
- Confusing or boring content
- Poor navigation structure (e.g. lack or links or poorly identified links)
How to Stop Visitors From Leaving Your Site
1. Improve Site Speed
Slow load time can push users away before you have the chance to convince them otherwise. People can be impatient and don’t like waiting. Take steps to improve the amount of time your site loads so users can get down to viewing your site. Tools like Google Page Speed can help you improve your site’s load time. Depending on how technical you are, these tips can help, too.
2. Optimize Your Site for Different Devices
It can be so incredibly frustrating to visit a site on your phone, only to realize the site is not optimized for viewing on a small screen. This can discourage or frustrate users and hurt your bounce rate. Your website needs to function and be easy to navigate on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Failure to do so can lower your conversion and rise your bounce rate.
3. Improve Content
High-quality content is interesting, engaging and informative. Content should be easy to read and provide value by way explaining how your products or services help users and how users can make a purchase. Be clear and get to the point. Content should be written for your audience and feature a tone consistent with your brand’s voice. Lastly, content should be free of typos and grammatical errors. If you need help with any of this, I can lend a hand.
Remember that high-quality content means more than just top-notch text. Include relevant photos and videos that will cause users to stop and interact with your site. Providing value will encourage users to linger on your site. The longer they stay the more pages they will be likely to visit.
4. Step Up Your Calls to Action
A call to action is a section of text in which you call on your visitors to do something. This can be asking users to signup for your newsletter, reach out with questions, make a purchase or anything else. Check out the last paragraph of this blog post to see an example of a call to action.
A high bounce rate could be a symptom of a poor call to action or an indication of a lack of a call to action. A call to action moves users through your sales process. This guidance is an example of good customer service and assistance, but it also minimizes your bounce rate.
5. Add Links
If you want people to visit multiple pages of your site, you need to make it easy for people to navigate your site. This can be done through including internal links, or rather, linking to other pages of your site. Internal linking can minimize your bounce rate while also just being helpful. For instance, if you ask people to reach out with questions, then link to your contact page so they can do just that. If you reference a product in your blog, then link to that product page.
6. Stop the Bounce Before It Happens
Another strategy to lowering bounce rate is to ask users to stay the moment they are about to leave. This can be done through the use of a bounce widget or rather a popup that is generated when the user’s mouse moves towards the ‘close’ or ‘back’ buttons. That movement will trigger a customizable popup which gives you the opportunity to ask the user to stick around.
Depending on your marketing strategy, there are a few offers or questions you can feature in this popup to incentivize users to stay or at least further connect with your brand.
- Ask users to signup for your newsletter, so they can stay connected and be aware of upcoming sales and goings-on.
- Offer up a coupon code for a discount, free shipping or to opt-in to receive a white paper, templates, etc. You may need to collect the user’s email in order to send them a unique coupon code or digital files. Make sure to ask before adding these emails to your newsletter list.
- Direct users to your live chat in case they have questions or concerns.
- Present users a quick one-question survey to find out why they are leaving. Some users will decline, but you are likely to get some useful info that can be used to improve the user experience going forward.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Obtaining a low bounce rate or even a 0% bounce rate across your site may seem like a great goal, but hold up. This is not very feasible and that just isn’t how the internet works. An exceedingly low bounce rate may be an indication that your analytics are not properly set up. While this is fixable, it’s disappointing because you’ve missed out on lots of good data. The sooner this is fixed the sooner you will be able to begin addressing your bounce rate.
Let’s Lower Your Bounce Rate
All sites are bound to have a bounce rate. Learning how to stop visitors from leaving your site and taking steps to minimize or lower your bounce rate, can pay big dividends. If you want to lower your bounce rate or better understand how to leverage your analytics to improve your site, then get in touch. We can look over the data and I can help you formulate an effective plan.