Whether you’re an individual blogger or an established enterprise, the problem of low bounce rate does keep you awake at night. No content creator would settle for a high or an extremely low bounce rate. In fact, it’s single-handedly the most dreaded metric for a website owner.
Your website can be equipped with the finest theme and premium content, but if the visitors are abandoning your site, there’s definitely something wrong.
In this blog, I will share five easy steps in which you can lower the bounce rate and increase your ROI.
As a website owner, you might already know that the bounce rate is directly proportional to the conversion rate. i.e., The longer a user stays on your website, the better they’re going to engage with your content.
Bounce rate as a term is usually used in relation to Google Analytics. It’s the percentage of single interaction visits to a website. This means that if a user doesn’t click on any other page than on which he lands, the session is considered as a bounce.
For instance, a user visits your website, spends a few seconds or even minutes on a particular page, but doesn’t interact or navigate to any other page, this would then be referred to as a bounced session.
Remember, Bounce Rate is inversely proportional to the engagement on your website. Higher the bounce rate, lower the engagement, lower the bounce rate, higher the engagement.
A high bounce rate means that the page on which the user has landed doesn’t have the information he/she is seeking. It’s not engaging enough and is incapable of providing an excellent experience to the visitors.
Few of the many reasons behind a high bounce rate are:
While these points are the main reasons for a high bounce rate, there are several other factors that might cause this issue as well. For instance, quite recently, my niche website had a 25% higher bounce rate than usual. Upon troubleshooting, I realized there was no problem with any of the points above but rather the new theme that I had applied. As soon as I changed the theme, within 48 hours, the bounce rate was back to normal.
The term Good Bounce Rate differs from business to business. For some times, even a bounce rate as high as 80% is impressive, whereas, for others, even a bounce rate as low as 50% can spell trouble. If we’re to follow a general rule of thumb, the bounce rate can be classified into five different categories.
Use the image below as a reference point to gauge the bounce rate on your website. For instance, if you own a website regarding ‘Home & Garden,’ ‘Food or Drink,” or ‘Jobs & Education,’ it’s great to have a bounce rate between 50-60%. However, if you own a news-related site, having a bounce rate between 65-75% is quite acceptable too.
Now that you have a fair idea of how bounce rate works let’s check out ways in which you can reduce your website’s bounce rate.
To improve your site’s bounce rate, you need to understand the factor(s) that are causing it in the first place. The best way to do so is by ranking your pages based on the bounce rate. By doing so, you’ll be able to sort the pages in ascending or descending order. This will help you narrow down to the essential pages. The most straightforward way of doing this is by using google analytics or a third-party analytics tool (Interlink).
A page that is attracting 10,000 pageviews a month might have a higher bounce rate than the page that just has 2000 or 3000 visitors. This doesn’t mean that the better-ranked page has an issue. The best way to track user interaction on any page is by assigning values to pages based on the traffic they are generating. This will help identify the pages that need to be worked on. While doing this, make sure not to stay fixated on the bounce rate and consider the traffic volume as well.
Once your pages are ranked, and you have considered the traffic that they are generating, you can then compare the statistics. For this part, consider the following scenario:
If you get an opportunity to reduce the bounce rate on one of these two pages, which would you choose? If you’re not an expert, you’re likely to choose B because it has a higher bounce rate i.e., 82%. However, it’s ‘Page A’ that needs more attention. Why? Because Page A’s bounce rate isn’t much lower than Page B even though it’s attracting twice the traffic. Here’s where you can take the help of different traffic sources and locate the problem areas.
It’s quite possible that excellent user experience may not lead to an interaction. And while that will be considered as a bounced session, it won’t be fair to see it as a negative aspect. Why? Because the bounce rate cannot possibly provide the true reflection of what your page has to offer.
Image Source: Grow Code
Here’s where you should look at the time each user spends on a particular page. If you pit bounce rate against the average time spent on-site, you’ll have a clear reflection.
If the bounce rate is high and time on site is low, there’s a severe problem with your website. However, if the bounce rate is low and time on site is high, you know that your content is still providing value to the end-user.
A high bounce rate might not always be a direct result of poor content or substandard UI/UX. Sometimes, users might bounce off just because your webpage took more than 6 seconds to load.
Based on a study done by Strangleloop, even a single-second can cost 7% of your sales and can decrease customer satisfaction by about 16%.
To combat this, you can use tools such as Google Page Speed and Pingdom to analyze the issues and fix them. Similarly, you can even use third-party website optimization plugins (Interlink), which can help improve the speed of each page and improve the overall user experience on the site.
Lower bounce rate helps in improving user experience above everything else. If the users are satisfied, they will visit your website repeatedly and might even bookmark it. The lower the bounce rate, the higher the page views, and conversion. Make sure to implement the steps mentioned above, and you’re likely to see a drastic improvement on your website.
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