In this week’s blog we are talking bounce rate and what it means for your business. A high bounce rate is one of the biggest online conversion killers. If the majority of users are only making it to your home page before immediately closing it down, you don’t really stand a chance when it comes to converting them into paying customers. You need to make sure that when you’re high enough in the search engine rankings to get a click through, the opportunity isn’t wasted by them heading back to Google because they are dissatisfied with what they are seeing.
So what is bounce rate precisely and how does it impact on your business’s success? Let’s clarify what this actually means – and the steps you can take to guarantee you’re not affected by it.
What is bounce rate?
The easiest definition of bounce rate is the number of users clicking onto a specific website who then opt to leave the site after visiting no more than one page. This applies to anyone who clicks through to a website, from any source (be it email, social media and / or as a result of a simple search engine query), and then subsequently leaves without opting to click through to any other pages.
Is a higher bounce rate always a bad thing?
Sometimes a high bounce rate can be an indication of a positive user experience. Take for example, someone is searching for a cake recipe. If, after their search results are generated, they are able to locate a list of ingredients (and method e.g.) in one click, and without having to navigate through any other pages of the same website, this would be the most satisfactory outcome, as far as the user is concerned.
So what’s the impact on my business?
Fewer bounces mean more page views, which may well translate into increased revenue, direct engagement and / or a more long-term connection with readers. An unusually high bounce rate is very definitely a signal of poor user experience, so it’s worth decreasing it to a point where you’re sure that you are getting ‘good bounces’ and not bad ones.
How can I lower the bounce rate on my website?
Improve site speed.
Many people assume that if their bounce rate is high, the issue lies in their website’s content when in fact, it could be due to a more serious problem, such as page load time. It doesn’t matter how great your site is, if it won’t load properly or takes ages to load, users are not going to hang around to view what you have to offer. Research shows that 47% of users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, making on-page optimisation crucial in reducing your bounce rate.
Use a single, clear call to action.
You should also think about what outcomes you want from your users once they’ve viewed your material. Don’t include too many calls for action on your page as this will only confuse the reader. Whether it’s information, expertise, products and / or services you have to offer – audiences should be able to access whatever they need quickly, easily and with the minimum amount of effort.
Use targeted linking in your content.
When considering internal links and anchor text, focus on what is relevant and use a logical linking strategy. Links to additional information should work in complement with the subject matter and enhance the information or knowledge your readers are searching for. Resist the temptation to cram internal links into every article within your archive and think carefully when selecting your click-throughs. Make sure your audiences have clear access to the information that they need, rather than what you think they want.
Mobile optimisation is key.
This is something we mention a lot in our blog posts as it is so relevant when it comes to maintaining great websites, being able to promote your brand and gives you the best possible chance of reaching your target market. We still see so many brilliant businesses who are limiting their potential by not having a website which functions properly on mobile devices. The number of users accessing the web primarily from their mobile devices increases year on year and failing to optimise for mobile is a sure fire way to up your bounce rate.
Navigation of your website should be easy and effortless. When users click through to your site, it is essential that they can see who you are and what you do – and how they should navigate to other pages to explore further. Don’t make anything too hard to find. If your website is not intuitive or clearly laid out, users will ‘bounce.’
Limit broken links.
Broken links equals poor user experience and even worse, leads to an incredibly poor perception of your business. When met with a link and a subsequent error message, audiences will ultimately hit the back button and leave your website feeling dissatisfied. They may have unknowingly missed an opportunity to locate something they need and you will almost certainly lose a potential customer to someone whose website is fully accessible. To remedy this, you can check and locate broken links using Google Search Console.
We hope that these simple tips on reducing your website’s bounce rate have given you some food for thought – and can serve as an outline for creating engaging and effective website content. If you’re still unsure, or you think you might need some extra help in getting this right, get in touch with us here at The Digital Studios for further support and advice.