The term bounce rate is used when a visitor navigates away from the site it was directed to, after only viewing one page. It is calculated, in percentage, by the number of site visitors who leave after only visiting one page, essentially. Let’s not forget that this doesn’t always (depends on the analytics) include a length of time on one page. For example, if you land on this blog, read it and leave, it might be considered a bounce. So, you still think this is a bad thing? Not necessarily. Bounce rate isn’t always bad
A bounce rate is typically seen as a bad thing because if someone comes to your site, looks at one page and leaves, it must be bad, right? Wrong.
Why a bounce rate wouldn’t be a bad thing:
- The visitor was driven to your page, they found what they wanted and left
- They went to your site to find your contact info, and well, if you have that on every page or in the header, they will easily find that. (phone number, address, email)
- Sometimes I like to find out that a place is open before I go there – duh, what are their hours, and when doing a search for xyz store near me hours – the Google Gods should get me to the page with their hours. Check out how to search better here.
- They were looking for your rates and the page they landed on was your pricing page so they got what they wanted.
Bounce rate could be bad
Of course there are always two sides to the coin, so if the bounce rate isn’t good, it must be bad. You either get the right people to your website, or the wrong people. So, take a look at why they might have bounced and work on your website. Your website isn’t a one and done thing, so you should be working on it monthly!
- Is your website ugly? Well, yea, that could be a reason to bounce, for sure.
- Is it user friendly? If your website isn’t up to the website standards (location of the search function, contact us page, navigation, etc) then they might be confused on where to look
- Your website should be easy to read – your website might be killing your traffic, hmmm, that sounds familiar! Your website might be overly wordy, no visuals, crazy colors all of the place and etc…you’ll lose em.
- What about boring? As if! Could your website be boring? See above, do you have pages and pages of words with no spacing, no pictures and etc –so if you aren’t Wikipedia – do something!
- Your site loads slow, this could be a huge turnoff as well
- Simply stated, they were directed to your website, by search engines and just didn’t see what they were looking for, on one page.
- Expectations could be out of whack – like you had a PPC ad promising something for free and when they got to the page, it was 19.99 – false advertising – not good.
- Responsive websites are huge these days so be sure that when mobile users are looking at your website, that it is easy enough to read, from all types of devices. When was the last time you looked at your site on your mobile device?
Well, I’ve given you some suggestions above, but we can cover them some more here:
- Be sure your website content is easy to read, easy to follow, with white space and headings breaking out the sections. Don’t forget visuals
- Make sure you have easy to follow navigation just in case someone lands on the ‘wrong page’ of your website, they can easily find another. However, reminder, the point here is to NOT make the user work on your website!
- Check out your analytics and find what terms people are getting driven to your website for. If you are a fitness trainer, online only and the search engines are sending searchers your way looking for a gym – that would be a good reason for them to bounce.
- So, in this case, take a look at your content and your meta tags and be sure you are customizing them for THAT page and your website as a whole. If they are still clicking through, they are either – an idiot or –open for other options.
- You could adjust your analytics so it tracks the amount of time spent on that one page to a lesser amount to be closer in line with a true bounce. (This is a coding thing)
- Check out your load time and/or pop ups that may be sending folks away – ads and extra distractions can be a turnoff
- Be sure your site is mobile and device friendly.
Food for thought – Mashable indicated in 2013 that the average bounce rate was 50%.
All in all, a lot of what can deter folks from your website is the speed/load of your page and then the look and feel of it. So, be sure it looks visually friendly and is user friendly. On the same note, be sure that each of your pages’ meta tags and content are specific to that page. Ultimately, this is what they will see in the search engine results page snippet and what search engines use to determine the authority of the page/website and relate to the search query.
Bottom lineMake sure your website isn’t ugly and slow – or your traffic will bounce. C-ya! Click To Tweet
Hopefully this has been a little helpful to you. One last thing would be to check your bounce rate and keep track of it, so if you have a 65% bounce rate every month for 6 months then all of a sudden it spikes or drops, it should be something to check out. Let me know if you have any questions about bounce rate, website readability or search engine optimization. I’d love to help.