Your Website Bounce Rate Explained and 5 Ways to Lower It
Posted on 24th June 2022
If you have a website, we’re sure you will have come across the term ‘bounce rate’. You might even know that a high bounce rate is not good, and the aim is to lower it to improve website performance.
However, to lower your website’s bounce rate, not only do you need to understand what the bounce rate performance measure is, but it’s also good to know what impacts your bounce rate, why sometimes a high bounce rate is not as bad as you might think, and ways in which you can lower it.
What is the Bounce Rate?
A website’s bounce rate is the measure used to describe the impact of your website’s pages on a user that has visited your landing page or website. It determines user experience whereby visitors last 2-3 seconds on that page before they leave, or ‘bounce’, from the page or website entirely. The bounce rate is measured across mobile devices and desktop computers.
Your bounce rate is measured as a percentage of the people that land and leave; they don’t move to another page of the website, act on a call to action (CTA), fill out a form for more information or click on anything to do with the website, they leave immediately.
On average, the bounce rate across all industries is 47%, although, in B2B industries, it can be higher. The most popular way to find your bounce rate is via Google Analytics, which also gives you the number of visitors overall, the pages viewed per visit and how much time a user spent on your website – all of these factors are linked to the bounce rate.
A low bounce rate indicates that the landing page or homepage of the website is delivering the right user experience, and your visitor stays to explore your website. A high bounce rate, which is generally 60% or more, indicates that visitors are making the decision to leave your website within a few seconds. That said, in some cases, a high bounce rate is a positive sign. For example, if you have a dedicated landing page for a new offer or product that has a very quick CTA (call to action), i.e. to register interest, you would expect a higher bounce rate.
Where is your bounce rate percentage located?
If you’ve been using Google Analytics to monitor your website’s activity, you may have found that it’s changed recently. In Google’s latest version of their Universal Analytics tool, the bounce rate has gone and has been replaced with ‘Engaged Sessions’. The aim is to provide businesses with a more detailed analysis of how their website visitors are behaving.
Previously, bounce rate parameters were based on how many website visits ended immediately (0 seconds) or had viewed just one page. With Engaged Sessions, Google’s monitoring parameters have been extended to the number of visits over 10 seconds and where the visitor had viewed more than one page; Google calls this a Conversion Event. The new algorithm does not consider 0 seconds and a one-page view as an Engaged Session.
Engaged Sessions are similar to bounce rates; however, you are receiving much more in-depth user information and, therefore, better visibility of user engagement.
Why are bounce rates important?
Every website will have a bounce rate; there are times when a visitor to your website is just looking for an address or a contact number. This can generate a high bounce rate. However, if a visitor to your site or landing page is reacting to an online search, review or recommendation and doesn't stay, they don’t convert and their user experience is considered poor.
Some website content or simple landing pages may have a higher bounce rate, such as a blog, a contact page or a CTA landing page. The problem comes when there are multiple website pages for your visitors to explore, but they don’t. The main reasons for a high bounce rate are:
● The visitor can’t find what they are looking for easily and quickly.
● Low-quality content.
● Slow page/image loading times.
● A poor user experience.
● Technical errors.
The one thing to remember is that if your pages are getting a high bounce rate, it doesn’t mean re-designing landing pages or the entire website. A few changes in the right places will go a long way to lowering it.
How to lower your website bounce rate?
If your website or landing pages are receiving a high bounce rate, here are five actions you can take to lower it.
1. It's all about user engagement
There are two aims: attract visitors and ensure user engagement. Always think from a user’s perspective and consider user navigation and how easy it is to find and react to CTAs. Make sure page layouts are well-organised, not too busy and responsive across all browsers. Now’s the time to avoid the once-popular pop-ups – visitors find them annoying now. If you have ads or other pop-ups running on the website, make sure they are to one side and not obstructing their view for a better user experience.
2. Fast page / image loading
The slower the page loading speed, the higher the bounce rate. Google’s research showed that a page load speed of more than 3 seconds increases the bounce rate by 32%. So, look at the size of your images – you can still keep high resolution with a smaller-sized image. Make sure all multimedia content, i.e. videos and podcasts, are self-loading and that the website’s server has the capacity to accommodate quick page loading times.
3. Improve the quality of your content
This is probably one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your bounce rate. It will also improve the user experience and increase user engagement. Be honest and ask yourself:
a. Is it informative, useful and engaging?
b. Is it clear and well-laid out in a readable format, easy to understand and assimilate?
c. Is it relevant, i.e. does it answer a question, solve a problem or interest them?
4. Make it mobile
54% of website traffic globally is via mobile devices. Visitors are expecting their user experience on mobile devices to be the same, if not better, as it would be on a desktop.
5. SEO is crucial
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is crucial in reducing your bounce rate and is incorporated into every aspect of your landing pages and website. Whether it is including relevant keywords in your content, ensuring all meta titles and descriptions for images, multimedia, pages and website URLs and link text is there, optimising email campaigns and online advertising so that it’s focused on user searches – all this will make a difference and encourage visitors to stay on your website or landing pages.
Whether you’re looking at bounce rates or Engaged Sessions, these five simple actions will make a significant difference in lowering the bounce rate of your website or landing pages.
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