Bounce rate refers to those people who visit a single page of your web site, quickly “bouncing” away without further exploration. If your site suffers from a high bounce rate, it means you are not grabbing your visitor’s attention, and offering something which entices them to stay. The “average” bounce rate is from 40-60%, although these numbers change according to the type of website. Informational websites have an average bounce rate of 35-55%, while blogs typically have a much higher bounce rate between 55-75%. Whatever type of website you currently have, if your bounce rate is over 60% you should definitely be concerned, and if it’s over 80%, you have a serious problem. You can easily check your bounce rate through the use of Google Analytics or a similar program.
Causes of a High Bounce Rate
There are a wide variety of reasons your users may be bouncing away from your site, and most all of them can be fixed with a little elbow grease and ingenuity.
• Slow loading pages may be a primary cause of website bounce. Our increasingly busy world dictates that users want the website they click on to load almost instantaneously, and if it doesn’t, they rarely wait around, clicking away to a site which will load quickly. Make sure your site isn’t so plastered with photos and other bells and whistles that it loads slowly on lower speed Internet connections. Also, you will need to determine whether the person who built your site might have worked in Google Chrome, failing to check the site’s performance in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. Quite often a site which loads perfectly in one browser may struggle in another.
• A confusing site design can also leave your visitors frustrated and, well, gone. Your website should immediately convey trust as well as your core message and should be clearly organized, making it easy for your readers to navigate. While there are many ways to lay out your landing page, the right creative layout can be critical, and will take into account your specific product or service, your sales pitch and any additional information you feel is critical to your overall business theme. Depending on your specific product or service, you may need more text content or more visual content to build your credibility. Whatever your needs and the needs of your customer, keep your design simple, and don’t force your visitors to spend their valuable time searching for what they need. Put yourself in their place, and determine how you would want to find what you needed in the most expedient manner possible. Don’t lose traffic and revenue from a poor website design and eliminate distractions so your visitors can focus on your primary message.
• Make sure you are clear about your target customer—your goal is to target those people who are most likely to convert. Many websites unwittingly attract the wrong prospects, meaning the bounce rate goes up exponentially. You will use your keywords, content writing and landing page headlines to attract your ideal prospect, and when you have done that, there will be far fewer bounces away from your site. Once you’ve clearly identified your target customer, make sure you don’t unwittingly interrupt their experience on your site, which goes back to a clear, easy to use website design.
• Ensure there is a clear call to action on your site, and that you have provided the necessary path which leads to that action. Your landing page requires a concise next step, and informational sites will have a call to action on the home page. Make sure you are using your chosen keywords in the best way possible. Many times a search for a specific term leads the user to a site which is note even remotely what they had in mind. Highly searched, generic keywords are useless in the end if you are not providing what those people are searching for, and can be a significant cause of a high bounce rate.
Lowering your bounce rate may take some hard work, but the results are well worth it. Start small, expanding bit by bit, and reviewing your results along the way.