Everybody interested in Internet marketing is concerned about bounce rates. Webmasters and site owners panic when they see that they have a high bounce rate.
But what really is bounce rate and why is it important to keep it down? More than this, how do you lower your bounce rate?
What Is Bounce Rate?
According to Google Analytics, bounce rate is the percentage of visits that are considered as bounces to your site. What are bounces? It is when a user visits only one page on your web site without going on to another page. They can exit immediately, leave after a minute or two, or they can stay in one page without doing anything until the session times out.
Technically, bounce rate is derived by dividing the number of bounces by the total number of visits.
Why Is Bounce Rate Important?
Matt Quinn of Inc.com wrote that bounce rates are the most basic manifestation of the dissatisfaction of your site’s visitors.
Having a high bounce rate is an indicator that your page has disappointed your target customer and that you have just lost a potential sale. Either that or it means that you have made your customer so confused that he or she gave up on your page and moved on somewhere else.
What’s more, a high bounce rate is very detrimental to getting a high search engine ranking. Remember that search engines are looking to give users the best browsing experience by giving the most relevant results.
The good thing is, it is very easy to improve on your bounce rate, so there is no reason why your site should suffer long from it.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
1. Write relevant, informative and educational content.
Be sure that your pages give out the information that your users want to get and need. If a user is looking for blue yarn, gets into your site and sees that it talks about pink twine, then there is a high chance that the person would click on the back or exit button. Take a careful look at your keyword list to see which ones are causing the high bounce rates.
In addition, if you tell people to visit your page or to subscribe to your newsletter, then make sure that you give them an easy and very visible way to do just that.
2. Design for humans, not search engines.
Give careful consideration about your page layout. Does it make sense? When users get into a page on your site, is it clear to them where they should go next? Also, make sure that your page displays properly on all types of browsers: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, among others.
3. Speed up your loading times.
If your site takes too long to load, the user might think that it is down and might refuse to wait for it to finish loading.
Avoid pop-ups, splash pages and other distracting elements on your page. Remember that on top on making sure that your site loads fast, you should ensure that the user is not bombarded with unnecessary things that are not related to their search. For example, splash pages, polls and surveys often load first before the user could see the web page they clicked on.
4. Make it easy for people to discover similar content.
If somebody made an effort to search for chicken recipes and end up in one of your pages, then be sure that that page has links to other chicken recipes. This will entice people to explore other places on your site.
If you are using WordPress for your site, there are several plugins available for you to improve your bounce rates. Look for plugins such as those that show related posts, interlinking content and speeding up WP blogs.
These are the steps that could help you increase your bounce rates. Remember, though, that it all boils down to relevance and user experience. Work on that and you will never have trouble with high bounce rates.