Importance Of Bounce Rate And 9 Ways to Improve It
- September 26, 2019
- Posted by: Vishal Bhatia
- Category: Analytics
With over 1.94 billion websites existing on the internet, for a website owner, there’s no other nightmare than having a higher bounce rate. After all, what’s the point of having a website when people are not staying back on the web page to go through the content.
What is a bounce rate according to the internet and the search engines?
In analytics, a bounce rate is defined as a single-page session on a website, where the session triggers only one request to the analytics server. This single request happens when a user opens a single page and exists without triggering any other request.
Bounce rate is a significant element of a website as it is the 4th most important ranking factor in SERPs and can take a visitor further down the sales funnel if fixed up in the right way.
A higher bounce rate means a lower conversion rate. This is because as unless engagement happens, one cannot hope for a new customer or a loyal visitor who would keep coming back for more. Therefore, the higher the bounce rate, appalling the situation is.
What is a good bounce rate?
It is difficult to generalize the metric for a good bounce rate as it differs from industry to industry. In most cases, it is typically a measurement of a website’s overall engagement and performance.
In a few cases, it might also be higher because a website visitor got exactly what they were looking for in the first go.
For example, someone looking for a dry cleaner’s number would leave the website sooner if the number is placed in the top fold of the web page. This doesn’t mean that the website has a flaw.
Here are a few industry-wise average bounce rates.
A high bounce rate, whether good or bad, is subjective based on the type of page and the source of traffic. It is, therefore, necessary to keep the website’s health in check to make sure that the website visitors are not backing off for a negative reason.
What causes a website bounce rate to go up?
1. Slow Loading Time
A website’s speed is included in the ranking algorithm of many search engines including that of Google. Search engines are focused on promoting content that offers a positive experience to the end-user and therefore cynical of a website that loads slowly as that gives a poor experience.
The preferable average load time of a web page is 3.21 seconds and 53% of visitors are observed to abandon the website if it takes longer to load than that.
How Page Load Time Affects Bounce Rate
|Bounce Rate By Page Speed||Bounce Rate (%)|
2. Blank Page, 404 Error, or Any Other Technical Error
Another way to improve the bounce rate of a website is to ensure that the web pages are all loading well, are not blank, returning a 404 with no CTA, etc.
These factors lead to an exceptionally high bounce rate and can cause Google to drop the web page from search results.
3. Inappropriate Title Tag and/or Meta Description
A user might land on your web page thinking the content is about one thing, only to discover that it was not, and then bounce back to where they come from by clicking the back button.
A misleading title tag and meta description that does not accurately summarise the content of the page is one of the reasons for a higher bounce rate.
Tips to get the title tags and descriptions right:
- Write a unique title tag and description for every page.
- Include 1-2 relevant keywords.
- Keep the title tags between 50-60 characters.
- Keep the descriptions action-oriented.
- Most importantly, remember that you are writing for both your users as well as the search engines.
4. Low-Quality Backlinks From Another Website
Thoughtless copywriting is one of the reasons why a website receives unqualified visitors from a misleading anchor text or inappropriate context of the backlink. When this happens, even a perfect website with everything right going on starts getting a higher bounce rate.
In such a scenario, it is best to reach out to the website and ask them to remove the link. Or one may update a disavow file in Search Console that tells Google not to take that site’s backlink into account when it comes to determining the quality and relevance of the website in question.
5. Affiliate Landing Page or Single Page Site
The purpose of an affiliate landing page, a single page site, portfolio site, the landing page of an eBook, etc. is to give the basic information to the user before deliberately sending them to the merchant website.
In these instances, it is natural to observe a higher bounce rate as the visitor has nowhere else to go.
6. Bad UI/UX Experience and Low-Quality, Under Optimised Content
Too many CTA-heavy features like ads, email subscribe buttons, pop-up surveys, etc. disinterests a visitor after a point and leads to a bad UX.
While these pop-ups are useful and their right placing and timing can take your website to the next level, they can also discourage someone from going ahead and leave the website right then.
Similarly, too much content without formatting and any visual appeal, or poorly optimized content can also be a factor resulting in a higher bounce rate.
“People ignore design that ignores people.” Frank Chimero, Designer
7. Appropriate Content
Search engines like Google get a positive signal when a user finds a web page highly relevant to their search query, prompting them to spend a couple of minutes on the page. Even better when they explore ahead.
This kind of user intent, especially when one wants to rank for a particular search query, is gold.
Moreover, if one has a properly optimized page with a quick-hit CTA form, chances are that the user spends less than a minute on the webpage.
Such a page also gives an opportunity to further entice the visitor to read some of the relevant blog posts available on the website after filling out the form through a pop-up.
8. Disproportionate Contribution by a Few Web Pages
A page with long-form content has a lower bounce rate. However, a single CTA landing page from the same website that quickly satisfies user intent might have a higher bounce rate once the visitor has taken an action.
These pages although cause a disproportionate bounce rate, however, are good to go as long as they provide the required information to the user.
It is a matter of concern in case one of these pages have a significantly higher bounce rate causing users to leave en-masse.
How to reduce bounce rate on the website?
One of the best ways to reduce the bounce rate of a website is by identifying and fixing issues with individual pages. Apart from that, here are a few ways to reduce the bounce rate of a website further.
1. Improve the website’s speed.
No one wants to keep waiting for a website to load, no matter what information it might carry. It has also been observed that websites that load in 5 seconds get 70% longer average sessions.
After all, with a plethora of websites available with similar content if not better, it is imperative that a website doesn’t welcome a visitor with blank page loading scripts.
5 tips to improve the website’s speed:
- Reduce image size and ensure that they are in the right format.
- Remove HTML comments, whitespaces and empty elements, and CDATA sections, decrease the page size, reduce network latency and speed up load time.
- Using a content distribution network will enable a user to have a faster and more reliable access to the website.
- Fix broken URLs as they cause wasteful requests.
2. Having a Consistent Content Strategy
Despite the possibility that experimenting with different content strategies can yield better results, a consistent content plan should be the base. These strategies will make sure that the end-user stays on the website for as long as possible.
Keep a steady flow of blog posts with the kind of content that resonates with the end-user. Along with, optimizing the website content using high-value keywords can improve search performance, in turn attracting high-value customers to your website.
Quick tips for a strong content strategy :
- Define the target audience
- Set clear goals to achieve from the content strategy
- Write content that is relevant for the reader
- Include a variety of content like eBooks, videos, infographics, case studies, webinars, etc.
- Optimize the content with the right keywords
3. Focus on Providing a Better Overall User Experience to the Visitor
Website’s user experience encompasses not only the ease of interaction or the aesthetic appeal of the web pages but also the readability of the text.
Creating a website that looks great on all screen sizes is the first step to make sure the visitor does not leave the website in a few seconds.
The next step is to make sure that all aspects of the website are easy to use and interact with seamlessly for good user experience. This should be in sync with the readability of the text with regards to the font size, color, line spacing, etc.
Best UX color and contrast tips for a website:
- Convert designs and text to grayscale to ensure all users can read important info
- Avoid the color blue for any text other than links
- Take into consideration the contrast on different screens
- Reserve one color for CTAs so that it stands out
- Use warm and bright colors to highlight, and cold and dark colors for the background
Make note of elements like subheadings, usage of bullet points, shorter sentences, highlighting important parts of the text, etc. to ensure that the reader gets to participate and not just glance through the content.
4. Optimised Call-to-Action Button Placement
A website that does not give away what it is all about in the first few seconds is bound to push away the visitor for some other website.
After an attractive headline and meta description, a clear and prominent call-to-action button can lead to reduced bounce rates and higher conversions.
A CTA should compel the users to click and explore further to another resource page on the website. When optimizing a call-to-action button, attention must be given to every element as small as the text used on it.
5. Using High-Quality Videos and Images to Captivate User Attention
With very little time on hand, a user wants to get hold of as much information as possible. Videos and images are other effective tools that are highly engaging, gives away information in a crisp and short duration, and grabs the user’s attention, eventually decreasing the bounce rate.
Animations, audio narrations, full-screen backgrounds, inline images, etc. there are a number of persuasion tools that can be clubbed with a CTA for best results.
6. Open External Links in New Window
A successfully designed website includes how well the website looks, but also involves the navigation of the website.
Ensure that any external or new link opens in a new tab to avoid back button fatigue in the users. With this, every time a user clicks on a new link, they do not have to click the back button to return to the previous page.
7. Targeted Landing Pages with A/B Testing
A website can be broken down into elements to check which one of them is not performing optimally. This A/B split test must be a part of every content strategy to see how each page performs. This makes it easier to resolve issues and improve the bounce rate.
This is all the more usable when a website has different landing pages that target different audiences, regions, keywords, etc.
A targeted landing page that shows the content to a user in their local language and is focused on their location greatly improves the overall user experience.
8. Show Credibility
Anyone looking out to buy a product these days scrutinizes a brand before making a purchase. A website can play a very important role to help them make up their minds.
A simple slider with customer reviews and testimonials has also been effective in most cases. When converted into success stories with storytelling elements like illustrations, audio, and video it can make it more real and appealing.
The same goes for displaying any award, endorsement, certification, affiliation, quality scores, etc. to build credibility. Firstmost, it boosts the buyer’s confidence in the brand. It also gives them reassurance that their personal information is safe, ultimately eliminating the buying dilemma.
9. Attracting the Right Visitor
Another reason that negatively affects the bounce rate is getting the wrong visitor from the start. A major targeting problem, this happens when the published content is not relevant for the market aimed for.
Taking the buying cycle at each stage into account can resolve the issue and help draft the right content for the website.
Monitoring the bounce rate from time to time helps improve conversions. It also improves the website’s overall health, eventually helping in pulling organic and relevant traffic.
Websites take time to flourish and this checklist to reduce the bounce rate is exactly what one needs to ease the job!