Watch Out for The Bounce!
What Your Bounce Rate Means & How to Improve It
Is your website delivering the volume and quality of leads and enquiries you want?
If it’s not, there could be a number of reasons why it’s underperforming, but one of the first things you need to look at is your website’s ‘bounce rate’.
Your bounce rate is just one of a range of metrics you can easily access using Google Analytics. Google’s tool tracks and reports how visitors engage and interact with your website, providing you with valuable data you can use to improve its effectiveness.
But what exactly does the term ‘bounce’ mean in this context? Put simply; it’s used to describe a visitor who lands on a page of your website – and takes no action before leaving from the same page.
How does Google measure your bounce rate?
Google Analytics takes note of every visit where no action is taken, as described above. It adds them all together, dividing the figure into the total number of website visits (also called sessions) over the same period.
Expressed as a percentage, the resulting figure is your bounce rate.
Interpreting your bounce rate
How high or low your bounce rate is will depend on a wide range of factors, but the lower it is, the better your website is working.
There are no hard and fast rules, but as a guide, a bounce rate above 50% should set alarm bells ringing, as this is likely to indicate a site is not performing as it should.
If like most websites, yours depends on visitors viewing more than one page as they move towards taking the action you want, a high bounce rate is not good. As mentioned already though, it’s an average, so a higher rate that gives cause for concern needs to be looked at more closely. By drilling down deeper into Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see bounce rates for individual pages and identify any that require attention.
A page’s purpose will influence its bounce rate. Pages which are purely informative – a blog or a contact page for example – are likely to have higher bounce rates. Similarly, if you have a single-page site, or offer other types of content for which you expect visitors to engage in single-page sessions, a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.
But if your home page or an important landing page has a higher than usual bounce rate, it could be highlighting a problem. These kinds of pages are generally ‘stepping stones’ on the sales journey, and if they’re not working effectively, they’ll prevent your website delivering the volume and quality of leads and enquiries it should.
Tips for reducing your bounce rate
If you have a high bounce rate on a page where visitors should be taking some action, it suggests there’s a problem you need to fix.
There are a number of issues which could be causing your visitors to leave prematurely, and asking yourself some key questions will help you to uncover the root of the problem:
- Does the page meet visitors’ expectations?
One reason for a visitor bouncing from a page might be that what they find doesn’t match with their expectations. Review the link visitors are taking to get them to the page – is it a logical follow on? Is it making promises that for some reason the page isn’t fulfilling?
- Is there a strong call to action?
Every page on your website needs to have a strong call to action. If a page has a high bounce rate, check that the next step you want visitors to take is being clearly signposted. Is the call to action message clear and unambiguous?
- Is the page designed around visitor usability?
How’s the usability of the page? To be effective, all pages on your site must be designed around the user experience, with intuitive navigation that includes an easy to use menu and logically positioned links to related pages.
A high bounce rate could indicate visitors are exiting because the page layout is unclear or confusing.
- Is the look and feel of the page compelling?
Are the images and words you’re using working as hard as they could be to engage visitors and encourage them to take the next step? Both have a vital role to play in persuading visitors to take action.
- Are you giving visitors using mobile devices an inferior experience?
The bounce rate for visitors using mobile devices is generally a little higher than for those using a desktop. But a significant difference could mean visitors are exiting quickly because they’re getting a second-rate user experience – perhaps because your site is not fully responsive, or because the mobile version presents them with a layout that’s confusing or difficult to navigate.
It’s worth noting that an unusually high or low bounce rate might sometimes be due to a faulty website, or to Google Analytics not being installed correctly.
Do You Want More Leads & Enquiries from Your Website?
Are you happy with the quantity and quality of the leads and enquiries your website is generating? If you’re not, MMD can undertake a full website review. This will include looking in detail at the bounce rate for each page and making recommendations to minimise it.
For help or advice, send us a message or call us on 0118 380 0131 now!