What Is Bounce Rate & Why Is It Important?
The bounce rate of a website is significant because it indicates how successfully — or, more crucially, how poorly — people engage with the content or user experience of a webpage.
When someone views a single page on your website and does nothing before leaving, the bounce rate is measured. The amount of visitors that leave a website without taking any action, like as purchasing anything, filling out a form, or clicking on a link, is known as the bounce rate.
It's critical to understand bounce rate as a marketer and how it affects your overall digital marketing strategy. A high bounce rate, for example, may indicate technical SEO issues like a slow page load time. In this article, we'll go over what makes a decent bounce rate and how to enhance it so that your conversion rates and organic search results improve.
Problems With Your Website's Bounce Rate
You've probably noticed the Time on Page metric in Google Analytics alongside the Bounce Rate. This is an estimate of how long readers spend on average on a certain page, as the name implies. Because Google Analytics (and other analytics platforms) requires two clicks to accurately calculate Time on Page: a "entrance" click (typically the link click that brings a user to a page in the first place) and a "exit" click (typically a click on a navigational element that takes them away from a page), Time on Page is an approximated metric rather than a clearly defined measurement.
Unfortunately, this critical exit click is frequently overlooked. Have you ever viewed a page for a few minutes before shutting the tab (or the browser)? If that's the case, Google Analytics won't be able to accurately calculate Time on Page because it missed the crucial exit click during that session. In this case, it doesn't matter if a visitor landed on a page, read the full 8,000-word blog post, and then exited completely pleased – if they close the tab without hitting the quit button, the session is recorded as a bounce. The same may be said for sessions in which a user opens a link in a new tab and then closes the original tab before shutting their browser. This is why, as a statistic, bounce rate is a bit of a dud.
Because of this shortcoming, many marketers are shifting away from utilising bounce rate as a metric and instead relying on so-called "attention metrics" like dwell time and scroll depth. Although it's impossible to correctly quantify bounce rate (and Time on Page), it's still worthwhile to attempt to keep your bounce rates low. Even so, if your bounce rate is astronomically high or suddenly jumps as a result of adjustments you've made to your site, you've got a serious problem on your hands.
Steps To Improve Your Bounce Rate
1. Reduce Webpage Load Time
Many marketers believe that if their bounce rate is high, the fault must be with the content of a page – when, in reality, severe issues can occur before a user even has a chance to read it.Taking an eternity to load is likely the worst drawback a website can have. After all, it doesn't matter how excellent or horrible a website's content is if a user can't read (or even see) it, and more than 45% of visitors want a web page to load in two seconds or less, making on-page optimization critical to lowering your bounce rate.
This is especially true when it comes to mobile websites. As per reports, a connection speed delay of just 500 milliseconds can result in a 26 percent rise in "peak annoyance" and an 8 percent drop in engagement. Slow-loading pages are also one of the most common reasons for ecommerce shoppers abandoning their carts. Only 2% of the world's top 100 e-commerce websites have mobile sites that load in less than five seconds – and one-fifth take nearly eight seconds to load completely, which is almost criminally long for a site that lives and dies on conversion rate optimization.
One of the most effective techniques to lower your bounce rate is to format your pages to be as friendly and accessible as possible. The less "work" a visitor needs to do to achieve what they want, the longer they are likely to stay. Use white space to make your content more approachable and avoid overwhelming your readers with long paragraphs that cover entire pages.
2. Widgets & Promotions In The Sidebar Should Be Used Sparingly
Some web sites are perfect for providing your visitors with relevant articles, deals, and other information. Blog sites are a good example, and you'd be hard pressed to find a good blog that didn't include something in the sidebar. Cramming your content's digital margins with adverts, discounts, award badges, and other nonsense, on the other hand, is a certain method to overwhelm your visitor and persuade them to leave.
If you want to draw attention to relevant content from your sidebar, do so in a way that adds value to the reader. Also, keep an eye out for pop-ups from businesses like Bounce Exchange. These advertising can be really effective, but they can also be extremely distracting, especially if they display as soon as a person arrives on a page. Allow ample time for your visitors to become immersed in your content before swooping in with newsletter sign-up offers or other promotions. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or go too hastily.
3. Smart Formatting Makes Your Content More Accessible
Here are some ideas for making content look less intimidating:
- Headers should be used appropriately.
- Subheadings are used frequently.
- Images that are appropriate
- Lists with bullets
These formatting options make your information more accessible to readers and allow them to swiftly browse or skim your content to find the parts that are most relevant to their requirements. Don't, on the other hand, disrespect your readers' intelligence. Trust your audience to know what they require, and then provide it. There are sites that, although providing excellent information, insist on inserting a line break or an image between each sentence, which can be just as unpleasant as large walls of text.
4. Compare The Bounce Rate To The Time Spent On The Site
Taking bounce rate data out of context can be just as problematic as depending on it solely as a barometer of your site's performance.It's crucial to consider your bounce rate in the context of your entire website. This will help you determine whether the issue is with a specific page, a type of page (such as your site's blog or product pages), or your entire site.
If your Time on Site numbers are good, but your blog pages have a high bounce rate, your content could be the issue. If your bounce rate is high and your time on site is low, you may not be giving visitors what they want in a broader sense. When making decisions that will effect your entire site, make careful to check usage trends with wider site statistics to ensure you're not dealing with an abnormal outlier of a page, or that you're not overlooking a larger problem by focusing too narrowly on the details.
5. Make Sure That Your Website Is Easy To Search
Even in the year 2022, site search functionality appears to have remained essentially untouched from the headache-inducing days of Geocities sites. For whatever reason, many websites treat site search as an afterthought, resulting in a big missed opportunity to provide your visitors with the tools they need to locate what they're looking for while also lowering bounce rates.
In terms of control, even the most accurate, relevant content recommendations place the ball firmly in your court. Site search, on the other hand, allows visitors to locate exactly what they're looking for, rather than what you believe they're looking for. If you've ever tried to search a website only to be greeted with a "Page Not Found" or "No Results" page for a search phrase that should have yielded dozens of results, you understand how inconvenient it can be.
Sure, your site's search feature will never be as good as Google's, but that doesn't mean you should dismiss or overlook it. Users are more inclined to stick around if they can simply search for and find what they're looking for.
6. Optimize Ruthlessly For Relevance
Aside from technical concerns like page load times and failing to follow formatting best practises, one of the most significant contributors to high bounce rates is relevance – or lack thereof. Some websites work hard to target specific keywords, only to deliver information that is only loosely related to the query at best, and completely unrelated at worst. You can practically guarantee that a user will bounce if the page you're serving isn't directly relevant to their query. As a result, it's critical that you prioritise relevancy over all other factors.
If you decide to go after a term and succeed, make sure the content of the page you deliver is highly relevant to the query. When targeting keywords, keep in mind the user's intent. Is the prospect looking to purchase or learn something? In which part of the funnel are they? What issue are they attempting to resolve? All of these questions may help you give the most valuable, relevant content to your audience, and the more relevant your content is to visitors' inquiries, the more likely they are to stay on your site once they come.
7. Include a Single, Straightforward Call To Action
Just as you should think about what the user wants when delivering content, you should also consider what action you want users to take after they've eaten whatever content you're offering. You may prompt your visitors to take action by presenting ONE crystal-clear call to action after you know what you want them to do.
The more CTAs you have on a single page, the more likely your visitors will be confused and overwhelmed. Sure, it'd be ideal if we could put multiple CTAs on a single page and trust visitors to thoroughly explore and assess each one before taking action, but let's face it, that's not very likely. Visitors should be able to find – and do – what they want to do quickly and effortlessly on your site.
8. Restructure Your Product Pages
It can be difficult to obtain product pages. If you provide too much information, your viewers may become overwhelmed. If you provide your prospects too little information, they may not feel as if they have enough information to make an informed decision. However, if you spend even a little time looking at product pages, you'll likely see various improvement opportunities that could help you not only reduce bounce rates but also increase conversion rates.
People don't convert from product pages for a variety of reasons, one of which is that they aren't ready to make a buy or complete a transaction. Sometimes it's as simple as buyer hesitancy or aversion to price, but other times it's because they don't have access to the information they need about a product. This may include information about where something was made, facts about your return policy, or customer reviews.
It's important to remember that product pages have higher bounce rates than other sorts of sites, and that this might vary even more depending on the nature of the product or service in question. If you're seeing exceptionally high bounce rates on your product pages, try adding more information to see if that helps.
9. Mobile-Friendly Design Helps You Improve Your Bounce Rate
It's a little depressing that we have to emphasise how critical this is, but the number of websites that aren't mobile-friendly is staggering. With the number of people accessing the Internet primarily through mobile devices growing every year, failing to optimise your site for mobile is essentially encouraging users to leave and go somewhere else.
Unfortunately, in case of larger websites, developing a mobile-friendly site is a huge pain in the neck. That's all there is to it. It can be a time-consuming process that may be beyond your technological capabilities, resulting in an additional (significant) cost for your site or organisation. However, the importance of mobile optimization for all types of sites cannot be overstated, and you should strongly consider making your site mobile friendly, regardless of the time, effort, or cost involved. If your site takes more than a minute to load, it doesn't matter how nice it looks on an iPhone.
10. Make Your Site's Navigation As Simple As Possible (Most Important Point)
You might think of your site users as lazy, entitled, spoilt little snowflakes who want everything spoon-fed to them with no work in the simplest (albeit probably harshest) terms. This may not be the most lovely image of your target demographic, but let's face it: if you make your users do even the tiniest bit of work to acquire what they want, they'll simply leave and go to another site. As a result, it's critical that your website navigation be as simple as possible.
Consider a user's perspective on a normal browsing session on your site. They arrive at your site, and after a brief examination of your website content – frequently the only time you have – they conclude that, while this page isn't exactly what they're looking for, your site may be able to provide them with what they're looking for. They then try to find the page they're looking for, only to discover that your navigation is obscured by illogical animated drop-down menus, image links that don't look like image links, and other navigational horrors. What do you believe they'll do next, in your opinion? They'll bounce, that's for sure.
Your site navigation should be simple, easy to understand, and provide a smooth experience for users moving from one section of your site to another. Visitors shouldn't have to guess where they are on your site to figure out how to navigate it, and they shouldn't be forced into fake paths designed to guide them through your sales funnel. Remember, they're the ones in charge, not you.
Examine your present site navigation and look for ways to make it easier to use. Then make it even simpler. In fact, I encourage you to make your site navigation as simple as possible, even if it appears counterintuitive, because that's what your visitors desire. They don't care about you or your business; they just care about themselves and what they want.