Bounce rate, that pesky little devil that always pops up in Google Analytics, What is it and what can we do to reduce it?
I’ve spent the past few days really digging into bounce rate and what u can do to lower it.
What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate is a metric used by many analytics providers such as Google Analytics, It refers to the amount of people who entered your website either direct, through a referral or via social media and did not interact with the page.
If a user searches for a website designer in London, clicks the top link but for some reason that result is for a web designer in the north of the country the user will leave the page without clicking any links or submitting an inquiry which will increase the websites bounce rate.
By not interacting with the page either by clicking a link, watching a video, playing a games or submitting a form, this sends signals to search engines to basically say “this content is not relevant to the search” in turn increasing your bounce rate
Why do I have a bounce rate high?
There is 2 definitive reasons for a high bounce rate…
- Your web pages are receiving the wrong type of traffic and/or
- You are netting the right traffic
People often forget about the second point, for example if your website specialises in providing how-to guides and you are providing quality instructions, then expect your bounce rate to be quite high around the 40 – 60% mark, this is normal as the user found what they was looking for and did not need any other information.
however if your website is focused around making an e-commerce sale or converting them via a contact form, anything over 45% is bad! and would look at digging deeper into your analytics data to find out what page is causing your high bounce rate.
What Can I do to lower my bounce rate
There is many things that can be done which are scattered around the internet here is a list of the most common and not so common things that can lower your bounce rate.
Contributed by twinspired@reddit
Better content. Bounce rate is a product of your visitors showing up and saying “this isn’t what I was looking for” and jumping out. Either they were mislead to arrive at your site, couldn’t find what they were looking for in a timely fashion, or simply didn’t feel like the site was reputable.
Depending on the size and budget of your site, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to pay for (or conduct yourself) some usability tests to understand what primary objections your potential customers are having with your site.
1. We all love clicking things!
The most important thing I feel it to have good site structure, this means cleverly placed call to actions, linking to important information pages in your website, related posts at the bottom of each blog post, latest posts widgets or even related content.
Never leave them wondering where to go, interlink every page of your site smartly and always give them thing to click or somewhere to go.
2. Use colour to reduce your bounce rate
Colour is a underestimated and very powerful tool when reducing your bounce rate. It’s an amazing way to draw attention from the user, for example if you have a neutral theme that is mainly blue then using red or orange as a striking contrast will get the user’s attention.
I find the best way to use contrasting colour to reduce bounce rate is to use is sparingly and only use it in places u know users are running out of content for example at the end of this blog post there is an eye catcher go take a look!
3. Encourage guest comments
When you write some awesome content, try to leave lots of open-ended questions to leave the user asking themselves questions so you have a leverage at the end of the post to try to compel them to comment. Although they are not clicking links or visiting another page, they are interacting with your page which lowers your bounce rate for that page.
4. Don’t use pop-ups
I don’t know about you, but I hate pop ups the content I have clicked through to better be damn good for me to not instantly press my back button and I’m sure you and many other users feel the same.
Popovers are a eye sore, distract from your amazing content and are just a plain pain in the arse.
5. Slow web page
Slow websites are the number one reason for people exiting your page without interacting with it. Slow sites are not user-friendly and people don’t have the time to wait around for a minute while your website loads.
Think about it like this. You have 60 seconds to get your point across to the user and leave them feeling educated, if you can achieve this, your on site social interaction will increase in turn decreasing your bounce rate further.
6. Not mobile accessible
Check in your analytics data for your mobile users and see how high the bounce rate is for them. If they all enter and leave on the same page with a relatively low visit duration u can be pretty sure that your website needs to be mobile optimised.
With so many people on the move today and all carrying mobile devices, its imperative that your website conforms to mobile standards and scales graciously.
7. External Links
While putting high domain authority links in our content can provide us with a little boost in content power, be careful where and when you place them. If you put them right at the beginning of your content you could lose the viewer before they have even finished reading.
consider placing a reference’s block at the end of the content or blog post, this way users can appreciate your content, possibly share and then venture on to your references or even a related post.
Bounce rate is a complex metric that cannot be reduced over night, choose one thing to attempt and monitor how it affects your bounce rate.
Let me know your experiences with bounce rate and how you went about reducing it in the comments below.