How to lower the bounce rate on your site and why it matters

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If you’re spending hours upon hours creating quality content, the last thing you want is to lose visitors.

After you take the time to craft a website that stands out and write blog posts that rank highly in search engine optimization (SEO), you would like to see strong results in terms of new visitors coming to your site and leads generated as a result, right? Of course, crafting a well-designed website and writing targeted blog posts are not the only steps you need to take to achieve these lofty content marketing goals.

One of the most important challenges you will have to overcome is how to make sure prospective customers explore your website further. This exploration ties in with your bounce rate statistics. Bounce rate may be one of those statistics you neglect to measure after devoting so much time to website design, social media strategy and blogging.

However, this article will define bounce rate, examine why bounce rate matters to your site and explore ways in which you can start lowering the bounce rate on your site.

Defining Bounce Rate

Before going any further, it will be important to define bounce rate. There are many ways that content marketers define bounce rate so we will explore them in depth here. First, bounce rate is often presented as a percentage. This percentage shows you the percentage of sessions where someone leaves right after hitting the site.  

Your bounce rate measures the percentage of those who “bounce” right after hitting your site. The bounce rate is calculated by looking at the total number of bounces divided by the total number of visits to the page.

Google Analytics can track the bounce rate across your whole website or even just a single page. Having defined bounce rate, let’s move on to see why this statistic should be a priority in your marketing goals.

Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?

By looking at its definition, it should be startling to recognize the importance of a low bounce rate.

If the bounce rate percentage on your website is high, it could mean three things. First, it provides an insight into the quality of your website pages. If your website is difficult to navigate or does not provide a clear roadmap to addressing a visitor’s problems, they will “bounce” off the site and look for something better. In the same vein, by looking at the bounce rate on individual pages, you can see which pages rank higher on your website and adjust your website design accordingly.

A second component of a high bounce rate percentage is it can also measure the quality of your audience. A high bounce rate may lead you to realize that your business’ purposes and your ideal audience (i.e. the buyer personas you have crafted) do not align. In some ways, higher bounce rates jolt content marketers into changing their strategy to think about how they could better connect with their audience.

Finally, the last thing a high bounce rate can indicate is they have found the information they searched for on Google or another web search engine. Most likely, this scenario would most often apply to a website like Wikipedia or another website that provides a quick fix to someone’s issue. Most likely, for your blog or business you would like your interaction with them to last longer than a brief moment searching for a quick answer to a question.

Examining Your Bounce Rate

You may be wondering what a solid bounce rate looks like. Unfortunately, there is not a solid answer to this question. For instance, a Brafton report from 2017 found that the average bounce rate is 58.18%. However, this statistic varies across business- to-business (B2B) companies and business-to-consumers (B2C) companies. Generally, it can be said that having a bounce rate over 80% is something to be avoided.

Luckily for those who like to set goals, benchmarking is one of the helpful tools that Google Analytics offers. This tool measures bounce rates across what Google Analytics believes to be your industry.

In order to set up benchmarking, click on Account Settings in the Admin section of Google Analytics. Then, check the benchmarking box. After, navigate to your website’s behavior reports and click on “site content” and then “landing pages.”

You will then be able to see the average, site-wide bounce rate and under advanced features you can see the average bounce rates for sections of your website.

Tips on Lowering Your Bounce Rate

Low bounce rates, as opposed to higher-percentage bounce rates, indicate a website of good quality that keeps prospective visitors engaged in your products or services. After setting up benchmarking through Google Analytics, let’s say that you are now panicking over a high bounce rate on your website or specific pages as compared to others in your industry.

While a high-percentage bounce rate is alarming, there are certainly steps you can take to remedy the situation.

These steps will not be exhaustive but here are a few ideas of why your bounce rate may be high.

Optimize your page’s load time

This tip may seem odd but, if your website loads its pages slowly, customers will often navigate back to Google to find a website that loads faster. This tip is especially important for customers using mobile phones. Making sure that your website loads pages quickly on a computer and a mobile phone is essential to retain your customer’s interest and lessen any frustration they may have at slow-loading pages.

Make your website easy-to-read

Rather than presenting your content without much variation and a heavy emphasis on text alone, think about using headers, images or bulleted lists to break up the flow of information. Presenting easily-digestible information at a visitor’s first engagement can allow you to become more technical as the relationship grows.

Think about where to place your call-to-action

If you would like users to subscribe to an email newsletter, make sure it gets their attention but is not too obtrusive that they will click away from your website. Providing a clear and honest call-to-action will enhance the user’s experience.

We’ve written a guide on creating quality CTAs for your content, from choosing the type of CTA and how to position it on your site we’ve got you covered.

Rely on videos and images

We have discussed these topics before but in this context, if you use videos and images to capture someone’s attention right away they will be more likely to click on other pages of your website. High-quality images and videos show dedication to creating a user-friendly website that anyone visiting the website can appreciate.

Make sure your website is easy-to-navigate

Having a search feature or easily-identifiable pages will lead to a solid user-friendly experience. With a clear sense of where users are supposed to click for more information, you can provide a seamless experience from moving from one part of your website to another. Remember to put yourself in the mind of a visitor to your website. Would you click away from your site if it was difficult to use or hard to find information? By putting yourself in the audience’s shoes, you can begin to tailor simplified content to provide as much information as possible to prospective customers.

Remember, it is all about the user experience. Using these tips can enhance your audience’s trust in your business to help them solve their problems.

Going Forward

As mentioned, the tips on lowering your bounce rate are not exhausted above. For more information on lowering your bounce rate, check out these articles from Optinmonster or WordStream.

Hopefully, this article showed why bounce rate should be an integral consideration in your marketing strategy. If there are more tips on lowering your bounce rate that you have found successful, share them here and get started on lowering your bounce rate today!

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