What is Bounce Rate and How Can I Reduce It?
On a recent blog post “How to Promote Blog Content for 1st page Results” I received a comment from someone asking how to reduce bounce rates on his blog. Having done plenty of research and taken action on this myself I thought I would share my findings. Now before I do, I thought it would be best to explain what is bounce rate and why is it important?
See the Original Blog Post “How to Promote Blog Content for 1st Page Results” Here!
What is Bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the numeric term for the number of visitors that find your site by whatever means; search, paid advertising, inbound link, or anything else, and when they land on your page click straight out again without taking any action. Action being defined as interacting with your website, clicking on a further link, going to a different page or clicking on an advert. If that person leaves straight away they become classified as a bounce and this will show up in your bounce rate stats.
So for example if 100 visitors reach your website and 65 leave straight away without taking any action then your bounce rate will be 65%.
Why is Bounce Rate Important?
Bounce rate is important because if you have a high bounce rate then it suggests that people are not finding what they are looking for when they arrive at your site. For example, if you click on an advert for red tennis rackets and you land on a page that is advertising purple squash rackets, then the information provided was not what you were looking for. There is a lack of congruency and due to that you leave the page immediately.
This is important to the website owner and in particular to the search engines. If the search engines are giving your website high organic rankings for Red Tennis Rackets and people are bouncing at an incredibly high level then the search engines will look at that high bounce rate and say “well actually we are sending a lot of traffic here and in fact no-one is finding this useful so we will downgrade that site and move something else up in its place.”
The search engines’ goal is to provide the user with the best possible results for their search query. If your page is not providing the search engine customers with that service then they will find someone that will.
What can be done to reduce Bounce Rates?
Below I have listed a few ways that I would recommend on how to reduce Bounce rates
- Make sure your content delivers exactly what it says on the tin. If your content is discussing the merits of purple squash rackets then that is what you should be advertising in links, on paid search and organically.
- Make it snappy. People have very little patience and when they want to find out the answer to a question or learn more about a product or service they want to know NOW! If your site is loading up large image or video files then this could have a negative effect of load time.
- Make it look good. Have a design and a theme that instils trust in your visitors. No one wants to search a page that is a throwback to static pages of the early nineties.
- Don’t Overkill with Adverts. There is nothing more off putting for me than landing on a page loaded with adverts. As soon as I hit one I bounce straight away and so do many people. If you do have adverts make sure they are relevant and sparse.
- Make it social. People like to see that they are not alone and that other people have found the information useful. Make it easy for others to leave comments and connect.
Understanding what is bounce rate and how to improve it is vital in today’s online world. If today you have 1000 people visiting your site but only 50 are staying and engaging with your content and looking to take action by buying your products or subscribing to your email list, then imagine the possibilities of having four hundred or even six hundred staying. That is why bounce rates are very important and taking action to assess and do something about them will be a real advantage to your business.
I am always keen to here your comments, let me know your thoughts on how to improve bounce rates in the comments box below.