So, What Is A Bounce Rate?
Quite simply put, your websites bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a websites page, then leave. They don’t actually click on anything, they just wind up on one of your pages for a short time and leave.
Bounce rates and exit rates are different. Bounce rates only measure the hit and run visits in which people come to your site and then leave without navigating away from a single page.
Exit rates however are a little harder to understand, they include the percentage of people who leave your website via a certain page, but it may not be the only page they visited on your website. Visitors may have been on several pages before exiting from the last page they were on. This is why exit rates are not nearly as troubling as bounce rates.
Bounce Rates And Exit Rates – Comparing The Two
What if we were comparing bounce rates and exit rates for a thank you page. A rather high bounce rate for that page would be a little troubling since it would indicate that people are visiting that page only, and are then clicking away. Or worse, they didn’t fill out any kind of form to get to that page, which simply means you would be losing out on conversions.
However, a high exit rate wouldn’t be much cause for concern. This means that this page was the last in long list of pages visited, people exiting from the that page probably got there from a landing page first, possibly downloaded an offer on the thank you page, and left.
How Can I Reduce High Bounce Rates?
Generally speaking, high bounce rates may indicate that a page or pages are irrelevant or possibly confusing to your visitors. But don’t hit the panic button just yet, there are some things you can do to help you figure out what actions you need to take.
Bounce rates only tell you that someone wound up on one of your pages, and left without visiting any other pages on your website. What a bounce rate doesn’t do is let you know how that person interacted with your page, that’s why it is important to examine other factors of your web presence to help determine what is behind those bounce rates.
Here are some steps to help with your bounce rates:
1) Is Your Website Mobile – Friendly?
Today there are more searches coming from mobile devices rather than desktops. This makes it critical not only to provide a mobile ready experience, but also to make sure the experience is engaging. It would be terribly annoying to wind up on a mobile site only to find you have to zoom in to read the content. Just having a responsive site isn’t enough anymore, the mobile version needs to be user friendly and interactive.
Video is one type of engaging content, complex subjects can often be explained more concisely than text. This may be why four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product instead of reading about it.
But when it comes to mobile usage, longer videos require the use of more data and may slow down the user experience, causing the visitor to bounce. So, for that reason eliminating those longer videos from your mobile site, or creating more condensed and concise versions may help.
2) Check Out Your Bounce Rate Based On Different Sources
Sometimes the sources directing traffic to a page may have something to do with your bounce rates.
For example, your bounce rate is high for visitors coming from social media, take a look at the message you are using to accompany the content you are providing.
Does it actually match what the content is about? So you now have to ask, would a visitor clicking on that link in Twitter or Facebook expect to see the headline and initial image? If the answer is no to both, your promotional strategy may need some work.
When you distribute content for your website, make sure the messages actually match the pages that you are directing visitors to. You have to make sure you meet the expectations of the visitor, no matter what the source.
3) Avoid Other Distractions That Could Harm User Experience
So we now know a little bit about the importance of good mobile user experience, but that actually applies to all platforms. Things such as full screen pop-ups for example are annoying, and can also result in search penalties.
But we must always consider the user. You want visitors to be drawn to your page and stay as long as possible in order to convert. However, some pop-ups are useful such as well crafted inbound messages that add context to a site. But, try to avoid any that significantly distract the user and causes them to leave.
4) Find Out Which Keywords This Page Ranks For – And Does Your Content Adequately Cover Those Topics?
We know we have to be careful about misleading visitors about your sites content in social media. The same applies to keyword rankings. Matching keyword intent to your content is crucial to ensuring that organic visitors get the content they are expecting.
For example, someone is searching for ” How To Do A Keyword Research For SEO “. It is more likely that this person is looking for information on how to do keyword research rather than looking to purchase some software or product that will assist them in keyword research.
But, if they type in ” Keyword Research Tools”, then they are likely looking for a product to purchase.
So, when you go and assess those keywords for which your page is ranking, make sure they align with the actual content on that page. When you have done that, try looking at a topic cluster framework. This would be the kind that groups your sites pages into clusters according to subject, in order to help attract organic traffic to the correct pages.
Bounce Rates – The Full Picture
When you decide to go and investigate bounce rates, make sure you have the full picture. Take a look at how long visitors are staying on your site, where they came from, and what devices they are using, and if your content and experience is aligned with all of those factors.
You could think of bounce rates being like your vehicles check engine light. When it comes on you know there might be a problem, but you will need to check all systems to accurately diagnose the problem. Unfortunately there is no “one size fit’s all” fix for bounce rates, but knowing what they are and how the information they provide can help with your marketing strategy, will help to ensure the success of your website.
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