What Is bounce rate? Bounce rate is a measure in Google Analytics that tells you the percentage of people who visit your website and then leave without clicking on anything. Per Google, a Bounce is a “single page session”.
Generally, you want this rate to be low. Low bounce rate indicates that visitors like what they’re seeing and want to know more. But it’s not a perfect measure, because a person could spend 20 minutes reading a blog post and then leave. That still has value because they’re learning about your brand.
However, together with other information like pages viewed and session duration, your bounce rate paints a picture of how well the traffic you’re generating likes your website. How well are you engaging customers?
Let’s look at some of the best ways to lower your bounce rate.
1. Get Some Benchmarks
Is that 80% bounce rate normal? Or are visitors fleeing your website? The answer isn’t so obvious.
What’s normal for a sales page isn’t normal for a blog post or vice versa. Benchmarks can vary by page type, industry, channel and other factors. Below, you’ll see just how widely.
- eCommerce and retail website catalogue and sales pages 20-45%
- B2B websites 25-55%
- Lead generation pages 30-55%
- Landing pages not designed to generate leads 60-90%
- Informational pages, wikis, blog posts, etc. 65-90%
Food, pets and entertainment have some of the highest bounce rates (65%+) while real estate, shopping and online games have much lower (~44%). Content about advertising and marketing such as this page can be an astounding 60-85%.
Furthermore, you may note differences between channels. Display ads and social media have some of the highest bounce rates (~56%). But email and referral links like those you might get through guest posting or review sites have much lower (~35%). This can easily be explained, as the latter two are cases where a person already knows your brand to some extent. They may also be further along in the buyer’s journey.
And in case you’re wondering, organic search and paid text search ads are virtually tied at about 44%. Knowing what to expect, helps you focus efforts and dig deeper without wasting time trying to lower bounce where it’s normal.
Your bounce can always get better. But if you’re too far off these marks, you know you have work to do.
2. Improve Your Speed
If you have slow load time, then people may not even stick around for the page to load. These don’t even count in the bounce rate. So if your bounce is high due to slow load times, know that you’re only capturing a portion of your would-be traffic.
Speeding your website could significantly lower your bounce rate and increase the number of visits at the same time.
3. Create Visual Appeal
First impressions are everything. Researchers estimate that about 65% of people are highly visual. We’re sensitive to colours, images, and layouts that don’t look professional or attractive. They define our impression of your brand.
So really put some thought into what your page looks like when someone enters your site. This is where professional website design plays such a big part in the online success of your business.
If people are fleeing a certain page, revisit that specific page. Look for offending elements. Does the page feel crowded? Are you using enough white space (empty space) to make the content more digestible? De-cluttering may also speed up your page.
In addition to broad visual appeal, consider how visual elements guide a person down a page and to the next. Use of headings, short shorter paragraphs, bold, images and buttons help a person quickly make sense of a page and understand where to go from here.
4. Encourage Clicks to Other Content
Internal links not only improve your SEO. They also encourage visitors to click to other content. They can showcase the many useful resources and/or products you have to offer.
On a sales page, this might be personalised advertising along the lines of:
- Customers also bought
- You may also like
- Spend $75 and get free shipping
On information pages like blog posts and videos, this might be links to other content that this person may like. On average a person needs 7-13 touches with your brand before making a purchase. So you’re furthering the buyer’s journey.
Increasing the number of content pages they view, builds trust that can shorten the sales cycle, increase average order value and keep them coming back to make new purchases.
5. Include a Call to Action
90% of visitors who read the headline also read your CTA. They may not click it. But they see it. That’s the important first step.
Anchor text CTAs increase conversions by 121%. But what about reducing bounce rate? Anytime a visitor clicks on something, this reduces bounce.
Where and how you do your call to action depends on the type of page. It could be in the form of a covert link high up on the page, a “contact us” link, a sidebar, popup or an actual button. One marketing research company found that putting CTA’s at the bottom of longer landing pages increased conversions 220% over above the fold (high on the page) CTAs. But every company and audience is different. So test different methods to see which gets the best results.
6. Add Social Buttons
Create social buttons that encourage sharing on things like offers, sales pages, blog posts and interactive content. Not only will this improve your bounce rate. It also spreads the word about your brand and website, improving your social media presence and driving more traffic to your site.
7. Use Google Tags
This is an advanced tool. So proceed with caution. It can be difficult to undo changes. But with that said, Tags can help you both reduce your bounce rate and better understand how customers engage with your page.
Using Google Tag Manager (GTM), you can make clicking on an embedded video, traveling 75% down the page or a similar “alternative action” an event. Google then registers this event as if it were a click to another page for purposes of measuring bounce rate.
But make sure the action is meaningful. There’s no benefit from lowering your bounce rate if the action taken doesn’t indicate that they’re engaging. Ultimately, it should lead to revenue generation in most business models.
8. Develop a Responsive Layout
A responsive layout looks great no matter what device a person is using. It not only changes the size of the page. It reconfigures text, image positions and more so that the page is just as usable on mobile as it would be on a larger device.
If you notice a high bounce rate on mobile devices, your page may not be as fast or responsive as you think.
9. Give Visitors More On-Site Content to Click
If your website only consists of a home page, service/product pages and a contact page, you’re missing out on just how powerful building a website presence can be.
Websites that regularly publish to their blog have 434% more search engine indexed pages. Each of those pages is an opportunity to rank highly in search results and win over new customers.
It doesn’t have to just be a blog though. Consider adding an FAQ, videos, interactive tools and other helpful multi-media content to your site to give visitors more chances to get to know you and learn about what you do. Lower your bounce and engage customers at the same time.