Bounce Rate is an important metric when it comes to measuring the optimisation of your pages, blogs and ads. However it’s not as simple as just a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ Bounce Rate. Depending on the type of page and the aim of it a ‘good’ Bounce Rate can vary wildly. The Bounce Rate tells you if visitors are staying on your website or if they’re leaving without taking a look around.
So What Exactly Is Bounce Rate?
A site visitor has ‘bounced’ if they leave your site after viewing only a single page. If a visitor bounces it suggests one of two things, either they’ve found exactly what they were looking for or they see nothing they’re looking for. Context is important when it comes to deciding whether your Bounce Rate is in the right ballpark.
If your SEO and PPC ads are perfect then there is a high chance that your visitor has found exactly what they wanted on that first page they’ve visited from a search engine. However you normally want want to capture a visitor’s attention for longer than it takes to read a single page. Whether that’s with more related content, offers or an option to subscribe for updates.
There are a lot of reasons someone might only visit one page, for instance depending on your business type it’s good practice to put your contact details on every page. If your first Landing Page is good enough you might find that a customer immediately picks up the phone to you. Likewise you might have an Ad or link to an affiliate or separate site which could cause a bounce. When thinking about Bounce Rate you should also factor in the ‘time on page.’ If the time on page is just a few seconds and results in a bounce then it’s an indication that the page has not given the visitor the information they were searching for. If the time on page is a reasonable amount longer then you can begin to assume that the content of the page is what the visitor was looking for but the rest of the page content, such as CTAs didn’t engage them enough to stop them being a ‘bounce.’
- Blog or Content Based – 50-90%
- Retail or eCommerce – 20-40%
- Landing Pages – 30-70%
When it comes to Landing Pages Bounce Rate depends heavily on the industry you’re in. When considering whether your Bounce Rate is too high there are multiple factors to consider, one of the key ones when it comes to Landing Pages is whether you are paying for those visitors. If you’re paying for every visitor to that page then it’s clearly more of an issue if a large portion are bouncing than if they’re finding the page organically or being sent there directly.
How To Improve Your Bounce Rates
Segmentation! Remember your Buyer Personas? Whenever we talk about writing content or preparing ads we always make sure we focus on the correct Buyer Personas to maximise engagement. This can mean a few things. Firstly you might want to consider different pages with the similar content displayed in different ways if previous testing has shown certain Buyer Personas react differently to each. This works better for Paid Search or Outbound campaigns as it can lower your SEO value. It’s also important to remember that only a segment of the people that find your pages will be your ideal customer, whilst you want to lower your Bounce Rate you don’t want to get too hung up on it. If it’s people who don’t fit your demographic bouncing then you’re not losing any business in the long run. With all that said.
Know Your Sources! Analyse where the majority of your traffic is coming from. Now analyse the Bounce Rates of these particular types of traffic. If the people finding you on Social Media almost always bounce but people who find you organically via search engines make up the majority of your conversions then it’s time to stop catering so much to the Social Media crowd. Remember we don’t track metrics for vanity. A low Bounce Rate but no change in conversions isn’t gaining you much. Cater to the sources of quality traffic first and foremost. Work on getting better qualified traffic from other sources and your Bounce Rate will drop, rather than changing your content or strategy to appeal to people who aren’t going to convert anyway.
Be careful with off-site links! It’s good practice to source your information and embedding links into blog posts for further reading helps to situate you as a source of reliable information. However if you make these too prominent you might cause someone to leave your site and not come back as they get distracted by content on another site. I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves reading an article that was a link from a link from a link with no idea how we got there half an hour after opening a blog post! Keep your first in-text link in-site if you can, it’s good to add off-site links to prove reliability but make sure they always open in a new tab or window.
Cater to a short attention span! This is a long blog post, I know that! Sometimes that’s OK, especially if someone is specifically searching for the answer to a problem or expecting an in-depth article. But generally speaking you want to say everything important in as few words as possible. The quicker you can convey your message the better!
- Keep your web design clean and clear
- Make sure it’s Mobile Responsive!
- Use imagery correctly
- Ensure you have a fast load time, if your page doesn’t load quickly I’m going somewhere else
- Have proper formatting of text elements, headings, paragraphs, bold etc
Make ‘follow on’ content as obvious as possible! Have you got a blog that expands on the topic? Link it somewhere obvious! Do you have an eBook that you think might interest someone who’s on that particular page? Have a big, bold CTA! Remember there’s no rule that says CTAs have to be at the bottom of a page. As long as you follow the standard rules of avoiding clutter, noise and confusion you can play with your link placement as much as you want.
Know your ‘Sticky’ content! Look at your analytics; what pages consistently get the most views and which have the lowest Bounce Rates? Use these to your advantage. Depending on your website design you might have a sidebar, if not you might want to link your most popular content at the bottom of most of your blog pages for instance. Analyse these pieces of content, is there something about them that is making them ‘sticky?’ Sometimes it’s just a couple of great blogs you’ve written that fit well together but other times there could be something different about the page or style of content. Learn what you can!
The final bit of advice here is not to get too hung up on Bounce Rates, it all depends on context. There are times when a high Bounce Rate is bad and there are times where it doesn’t really matter. If you’ve got a page with even information on and people have a direct link to it then there’s a good chance a page like that will have a high Bounce Rate. On the other side of things if you have a landing page that is connected to a Paid Search ad and it’s got a high bounce rate you need to analyse what you can change to improve that.
As always with Digital Marketing, don’t get caught up in vanity measures!