How to Lower Your Website Bounce Rate
Usually, anything to do with website stats that is high is a good thing. Except when it comes to bounce rate. An ideal bounce rate is actually the reverse of most other website visitor statistics. The lower it is, the better.
This is confusing, to say the least, so let’s break it down a little more.
What is a Bounce?
If you want to get technical, there is a definition available on Google Analytics that explains it:
“A bounce is a single-page session on your site. A bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.”
In non-technical terms, a bounce means a person visits your site on one page and then leaves without visiting any other pages on your site. They either close the tab, or they click back on the browser.
According to SEO expert Neil Patel, “If a user comes to your site and doesn’t see the product they were expecting or doesn’t get the vibe they were anticipating, they bounce off your site and continue on their search.”
How is Bounce Rate Calculated?
A bounce rate is the percentage of all your visitors who enter and exit your site on the same page without clicking to other pages on your site.
Google Analytics takes this number of single-page exits people and divides it by the total number of visits to the site overall.
What is a ‘Good’ Bounce Rate?
As a rough guide, you can measure your bounce rate percentage this way:
30-40% is an excellent bounce rate
50%-70% is passable but could be improved
80%-90% means that your page needs improvements
Also, if you are getting less than 25% bounce rates it’s likely that your site is not measuring analytic results correctly.
How Can you Reduce your Bounce Rate?
There are thousands of blog articles on this topic today, so this question has potentially a million answers. But here are 4 simple ways that you can reduce the bounce rate on your website.
1) Remove Pop-Ups
Did you notice that when you clicked on this article we didn’t bug you with a pop-up box asking for your email? Aren’t you glad that you can just read what’s on the page without distraction? Us too.
Many sites attempt to grab visitors’ emails the second they arrive. Or they pester them with an ad. This tactic annoys the visitor, and they click back, causing a higher bounce rate.
Pop-ups have become such an epidemic that since early 2017, Google began to lower the SEO results of sites that obscure the content on their site.
(Note: There are many other ways to ask for an email, or to get visitors to click on another page. Better site design and calls to action are more likely to engage than an annoying pop-up.)
2) Make Your Site Readable
Sites that are hard to read get ignored. Just like a low-resolution video, website visitors won’t tolerate something that is hard to understand. They’ll look for an alternative.
Readability is an integral part of any web design, but here are a few tips to help you format your content and make it more readable:
- Use clear subheadings to break down big articles
- Use bullet points (like these) or numbers to explain benefits or key points
- Use charts, relevant images, and screenshots where appropriate
- Bold, italic or underline keywords to help people know something is important
- Ask questions in your writing to help get readers thinking
- Make your conclusion actionable in some way (i.e., click here to learn more)
3) Keep it Fresh
Would you want to read a news article from 6 years ago? Probably not. If you are seeking information, you want it to be current. While it is important to write about evergreen topics that are always valuable, make sure you keep up to date with current topics as well.
To find ways to keep your content current, you can focus on:
- Industry trends or changes that impact your readers
- Rules and regulations that are important for your readers
- Latest product releases that might interest your customers
- Reviews or previews of upcoming products
It’s important to note that unless you have a full-scale content team or want to hire a marketing agency, it is hard to keep up to date on a daily basis. Once a week is a good rule of thumb for most small business to update their website. The key is to find your balance and be consistent in your posting.
4) Above All, Make it Useful
It’s very tempting to think in terms of what Google wants from your website, instead of what the person on your site wants.
Remember: There is a human side to bounce rates – the actual people clicking off your website matter. The more engaging you make your site, the less likely they are to click away quickly.
Here’s a great question to ask yourself: ‘Is this useful?’.
Don’t just create ‘content for content’s sake.’ Nobody is going to read it. Today the web is full of sites jammed full of content that doesn’t help in any way or is a thinly veiled attempt to get your email address or click an ad. We are all smart enough today to know the difference.
This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lowering the bounce rate of your website. There are a ton of technical blogs that can help you to dive deep into the science as well.
TLDR: if you want to keep your bounce rate low, keep your site interesting, entertaining or useful, and people won’t click off immediately.