5 Steps to Improving Your Bounce Rate

An important aspect of analysing website data from Google Analytics and AdWords, aside from conversions, is bounce rate.

Bounce rate is a good way to determine the effectiveness of certain pages on your website. It is applicable to all pages across a website, but may be more commonly referred to when looking at data from landing pages and sometimes blogs. Occasionally it is overlooked, particularly if there are regular conversions. However, bounce rate is an important aspect and can help to improve both conversions, and the amount of time that people spend on your site.

It is important to highlight a common misconception that bounce rate is related to a period of time the user is on the page before leaving, it isn’t. Put simply, if someone lands on your webpage and at any point leaves that page without clicking to another page within the website or interacting with anything on that landing page, they are classed as a bounce.

A high bounce rate is not necessarily a bad thing, for example if you are taking users to a one page blog with no links, or if the landing page purpose is to drive calls, then those pages will have a higher bounce rate. What is considered a good bounce rate for you depends entirely on your website.

Some sites are meant to bounce more than others. For example, if a user searches ‘when did Gary Lineker play for England?’ and they find the answer on your website, they may leave the page almost immediately, resulting in a higher bounce rate. In this case, it would be assumed that this isn’t a bad bounce rate, however it would be a good idea to look at trends over a longer time period.

In comparison to this, if you are posting blogs, and linking to other internal pages on your website, the assumption is that you would like users to remain on your website for a longer period of time, resulting in a lower bounce rate. Similarly, if you have an advert running through AdWords, you might also want users to stay on your website for a longer period, in the chance that it may result in a conversion.

Why do users bounce?

  • Clicking on an external link on your page
  • Closing the tab or web browser
  • Clicking the back button
  • Typing a new URL

How can I improve my bounce rate?

Clear calls to action

Ensure that there are clear calls to action on your webpage. By including these above the fold, as well as being easily viewable and clickable, the chance of conversions is increase

Mobile Friendly Website

Earlier this year, Google stated that mobile searches had overtaken desktop search. That’s reason enough to have a mobile friendly website.

Landing Pages

If your landing page isn’t relevant to what you’ve said in your ad, chances are users will bounce straight off your site. Make sure you are taking users to an appropriate page.

Page speed

Load time is an important factor on both mobile and desktop. Slow page loads could result in people exiting the site, especially if it takes too long and they’re looking for a quick answer.

External links

A quick and simple fix, ensure that external links open in new Windows; otherwise you may be asking for a higher bounce rate without meaning to. This can sometimes be useful for internal links too, for example if you want to relate back to a previous blog post, but you want your reader to reach the end of yours as well.

As mentioned, there is no good or bad bounce rate as this varies from site to site, and a good bounce rate for your site may be considered a bad bounce for another. There are many other factors to improving bounce rate, and as well it should be considered alongside a number of other metrics.

For more information or advice on improving your bounce rate, contact the team at Digital Clarity today.

Sophie Burrows
As a Senior Digital Strategist, Sophie's role is focused around working with clients to achieve their business objectives, through a mixture of digital marketing channels. Having worked closely with clients in a variety of disciplines over the last five years, Sophie has gained an invaluable insight into what makes for a successful campaign. Applying a strategic process along with deep analytics insight has made Sophie an in-demand digital strategist.
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