When visitors click on a link directed to your site, they can either look at that single page or view more from your website. If they do not view more, their single session contributes to your bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who do not visit any pages other than the one they were directed to. Webmasters use bounce rate to evaluate how engaging content and design is for site visitors.
Decreasing bounce rate is important because it determines keyword conversion, when a valuable action is taken by a person while on your website, such as looking for more information or making a purchase.While a visitor spends more time on your site, they are more likely to make a valuable action which means more revenue for your business.
After adding a new update in July, Google Analytics now allows users to view adjusted bounce rate, meaning they can determine the amount of time it takes to mark a session to count as a bounce. Visitors who have not met that minimal amount of time users determined is enough to meaningfully engage with the site, ranging from 10 seconds to a few minutes.
Here are ways to decrease your bounce rate to keep Internet users coming back for more and stay on your website longer.
One of the main causes of a high bounce rate is broken links or missing pages. After clicking on a link to your site, if visitors encounter a 404 error indicating a page does not exist, they will most likely exit from your site without looking for more pages.
Consider whether the cause of your bounce rate is the design of your landing page, whether it makes it difficult for visitors to navigate and look for information. Landing pages that have simple navigation will increase the readability of your site because it will make it easier to find related or additional information. Designing your website to have sidebars or menu bars on every page will increase ease of use. Add a search function near the top of every page and a site map at the bottom to increase the likelihood people will look for more information.
If you have a landing page that is slow to load or any other pages that may cause visitors to become impatient while waiting to load, you will have a high bounce rate. Resources from a third-party such as widgets might contribute to the slow speed of your site so avoid integrating their content or widgets.
Another factor in determining how long visitors spend on your site is whether you have made the purpose of your site obvious, reflecting it through its design and content. Be specific with your descriptions of your products or services and be sure to include a call-to-action, what you would like visitors to do: look up more information, participate in a promotion, etc. Also include headlines and graphics to communicate product details and features.
A major deterrent visitors on websites have all encountered are misplaced or distracting advertising such as pop-ups, audio ads or animations. These can turn visitors’ attention away from your content or frustrate them. When asking for users to subscribe to your newsletter, instead of forcing them to view a pop-up with information to subscribe, direct them to a page where they can opt-in.
While ads help bring in revenue, avoid placing the ads where they break a visitor’s line of sight with the content. For example, for pages with articles, avoid positioning ads where it will separate paragraphs from each other, which can break trains of thought. Ads that are too close to navigation tabs/sidebars or that mimic site content can result in mistaken clicks away from your site.
Your high bounce rate can also be the result of simply not adding the Google Analytics tracking code to all your pages so be sure to verify that you have. If you need help with your bounce rate or conversion testing, we have small to large packages to see higher conversions and more customer activity from your website.