We hear of the term "bounce rate" quite often when talking about websites but what exactly is this metric we speak of?
According to Google, a bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors that enter a website and leave (or "bounce") rather than clicking through other pages of the same site. As you may have guessed, this is surely a bad thing since the goal of any website is to convert. You want visitors landing on your site to continue reading, clicking, subscribing, and ultimately becoming a client of yours. Bounce rates do not help your cause and it is within your best interest to keep this rate as low as possible.
So the question is...how?
Fortunately enough, I will discuss the causes of high bounce rates along with solutions to reduce this metric in order to create better results for your website. After all, having a high bounce rate is some pretty scary stuff.
Let's get right into it shall we?
Why Is Your Bounce Rate So High
On average, majority of websites have a bounce rate ranging anywhere between 41 to 55 percent. Anything higher than this, especially over 70%, is considered alarming and would require some serious action. If you're also wondering what is considered being in the "green", that would be anything ranging from 26 to 40 percent.
Keeping these benchmark averages in mind can help set a baseline for a "good" bounce rate but it's also important to ground your expectations in reality. This means tracking your bounce rate against your own goals and historical performance.
Okay, so what if you do have a bounce rate greater than 70%? You may be wondering, "how did I end up in this danger zone?" This really only suggests 2 things:
- The visitor did not find anything they were looking for.
- The website was far too difficult to use and navigate around.
Now that we have covered the issues, let's talk solutions.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
Step #1: Attract the Right Visitors
First and foremost, you need to be attracting not just any visitor, but the right visitor. The right visitor is essentially your target audience - a representation of your ideal clients and who you want to provide solutions for. From there on, you can better tailor your content to meet their needs, allowing visitors to find what they are looking for rather than bouncing.
A particularly good practice is to add in meta descriptions and keywords that match the content of your website.
For instance, if you have a blog post geared towards helping doctors with retirement, choose keywords that relate to this topic such as "retirement planning for doctors". It's a good practice to choose keywords that are relatable and specific.
Step #2: Foster a Better User Experience
Usability is everything. It is not enough to simply have content that appeals to your target audience. Imagine visiting a website that has an incredibly slow loading speed or a site where you can't find what services they offer. Great content is meaningless without providing the correct design to support it. And that's where usability comes into play.
Here are a few good rule of thumbs:
- have no more than 9 items in a navigation menu
- divide content into clear sections
- organize content into a logical order (e.g. about, services, team, blog, contact)
- compress larger images to speed up loading speed of the site
Step #3: Create a Funnel
This may seem obvious to some but it is a marketing strategy that often gets overlooked or misused. Provided you have content that appeals to the right visitors and a design that fosters usability, it's now time to capture leads!
After presenting the visitor information about your service or product, you want them to take some sort of action whether that's to download, subscribe or buy! To do so, you must create effective call to actions.
Your CTA should be:
- in a contrasting color from the color scheme of the site but still fitting in with the overall design
- large enough to grab a visitor's attention but not distracting them from the main content of a page
- compelling - it should make you want to click the offer
- brief - include no more than 5 words on a button
- action-oriented - begin with verbs like "Sign Up" or "Register"
- state exactly what the visitor will get if they click on the CTA
- easily spotted and follows organically from the flow of the webpage
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