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8 Tips For Reducing Your Website's Bounce Rate

A while back we provided you with a list of 5 Key Google Analytics Metrics To Keep An Eye On.  Now that you have a benchmark for your website's data we thought it would be useful to take a closer look at these numbers and provide some tips for improving them.  First up, Bounce Rate.

 

What Is 'Bounce Rate'?

As defined by Google Analytics, bounce rate is "Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page)."

 

Why Is A High Bounce Rate A Bad Thing?

A high bounce rate is the result of a user coming to your site and leaving without progressing further.  

This is down to two reasons:

  • They couldn't find what they were after and left.
  • They found what they needed and left without interacting on the page.  

The latter reason can occur when a visitor finds a contact number or similar piece of information that doesn't require further browsing.

The former reason however suggests design or functionality issues on the website that make it difficult for a user to get what they are after causing them to leave the site to search on a competitor's website.

 

Finding Your Bounce Rate

Google Analytics can provide you an overall summary of your website's bounce rates at:

"Audience >> Overview"  

But for a detailed insight into your website bounce rates you should take a look at specific pages that:

  • Attract a high level of traffic.
  • Are designed to register conversions, like forms or checkouts.
  • Landing pages designed for paid ad campaigns.

Pay attention to pages that show a high bounce rate as they are likely unoptimised and could be losing valuable customers.

Access specific page summaries in Google Analytics at:

"Behaviour" >> "Site Content" >> "Content Drilldown"

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Establish Benchmarks For Key Webpages

Once you have worked out the bounce rates for key webpages, record the current rates as a benchmark to measure any changes against.

Allow a period of time after any improvements for Google Analytics to register changes in traffic behaviour and then compare periods before and after the modifications to measure the impact of the the implemented changes.

 

Reasons For A High Bounce Rate And How To Improve Them

1. Poor Navigation

If a visitor to your site is looking to make an action, be it find information, get in contact or make a purchase.  If they arrive at your site and can work out where to make this action they will likely bounce off your site to a find a website where they can do what they went online to do.

Having a clear navigation that represents the actions a visitor is likely to take will help to direct them in the right direction to their desired outcome.  Regularly test links, buttons and load times to make sure a user is not going to get frustrated trying to navigate through your website.

 

2. Visually Unappealing

How your website looks is a reflection on your product or service you are selling.  So a website with poor quality photos or a cluttered layout is going to reflect badly on your brand and a potential customer's willingness to further explore your site.

Ensure you use high quality images and dedicate time to choosing a colour palette that reflects the tone of your brand.  

 

3. Not Mobile Responsive

Over 50% of web traffic is coming from mobile devices.  This mean that if your website isn't mobile responsive then it is going to make it more difficult for browsers to get what they want from your site.  Being mobile responsive means; a mobile browser doesn't have to zoom in on their device to be able to browse your site.  This means that elements like navigation menus, links, text and forms resize to make them useable on a mobile screen.  

Test your website's mobile responsiveness with Google's Mobile Responsiveness Test to check for any areas needing improvement.

 

4. No Clear Call-To-Action

To reiterate, when a visitor lands on a page of your website they are looking to act on a need they have.  If the page doesn't provide a clear guide towards what they are seeking they'll quickly leave.

Every page on your website should provide the visitor with a clear Call To Action so when they arrive on your site they know what their next step is.  This should be accompanied by a clear navigation menu and prominent search bar for an alternative option should the page not provide what the visitor is after.

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5. Slow Loading Webpages

A slow loading webpage has a direct impact on it's bounce rate.  A Kissmetrics Infographic highlights the impact slow loading has on a page's abandon rate.  

Things to look at for increasing page loading speed include:

  • Check your server speed.
  • Use web friendly image sizes.
  • Use simple design and interface.

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A website's bounce rate is ultimately a subjective thing, that is there is no ideal range for it.  However by improving your bounce rate visitors to your site are more likely to lead to a conversion.