Beginners Guide to How to Reduce Bounce Rate of your Website
One of the most important parameters that affect the performance of your website is “Bounce rate.” It is a metric that is oftentimes used by search engines to determine SERP( Search engine ranking position). Bounce is also one of the most misunderstood metrics that SEO experts find difficult to grasp.
When your site page has a lower bounce rate, it would be seen as having more engagement and page views, which can lead to more revenue and conversions. Low bounce rate, on the other hand, is used as an indicator of low content relevancy and poor user experience, or something else that is making your website visitors leave your website too soon.
In the course of this article, we would be looking at a complete beginner’s guide to bounce rate and actionable tips on how to reduce it.
What is Bounce Rate?
To get a quick grasp of what bounce rate is, let us use this scenario to understand it. Imagine walking into a brick-and-mortar store, and walking right back out. You don’t talk to any salesperson; do not try out any of the products; you just leave as you came.
That is called a bounce!
This use case also applies to a website. Your website gets a bounce when a user logs on to a page and does not interact with any on-site elements. There are a lot of things that make website users bounce from a web page. Some of the malpractices of web designers or content developers that makes users bounce include the following;
- Bad web page layout design
- Misleading content
- Pop-under and pop-up advertisement media
- Intrusive ads on a web page; this and many more.
There are other factors that can cause a bounce rate other than website owner malpractices.
- When a browser is closed
- Returning to the search engine results page
- Keying in a new URL in the address bar
- Following an external link that does not open in a new tab
- Timing out of the session of a web page
How Does Google See Bounce Rate?
Google’s official definition of bounce rate is “a single-page visit.” We can technically say that bounce rate is the percentage of web sessions or page visits that your web page gets from visitors.
With this metric, you can be able to tell how many visitors bounced your web pages in comparison to those that came to your site. Bounce rate most of the time, does not always apply to blogs or landing pages.
Your Facebook ad funnels can also experience a bounce. In this case, endeavor to optimize your ad campaign call-to-action buttons, so that they would not be a huge turn-off to visitors. Now that we know what a bounce rate is, let us look at how Google Analytics calculates bounce rate.
To help you get a better grasp of this concept, let’s take a look at how Google Analytics calculates bounce rates.
How does Google Analytics Calculate Bounce rate?
One of the metrics that google analytics helps your site to measure is your bounce rate. With these integrations in GA, you can optimize your page, so that you would increase your conversion rate. Google Analytics has the ability to automatically calculate the bounce rate of your whole site and its individual pages.
Although bounce rate is not the only metric that Google Analytics calculates, there are other metrics that GA can be used to analytically define. Bounce rate is inarguably one important metric that Google Analytics calculates.
In a nutshell, GA calculates your bounce rate by dividing your single-page sessions with your total page sessions. Google analytics that the bounce web page visits and divides them by your total page visits.
Let’s take for instance that you are running a microgreens niche blog, and get a total of 11,532-page visits monthly. Then inside the 11.5k visits, you get 8,598 bounces, your bounce rate would be calculated as follows;
8,598 (# of bounces) ÷ 11,532 (# of total visits) = 74.55% (bounce rate)
Kindly note that Google Analytics is not designed to explicitly show the exact number of the bounce rate. However, the most important metric is the bounce rate, as it affects your overall SEO and content marketing strategy.
What is a good bounce rate?
The answer to this question is a conditional one. The value of a Bounce rate varies depending on the type of site that a webmaster is running. For instance, single landing pages always have a high bounce rate because there are no other site pages to visit.
The SEO of a single landing page cannot be affected by high bounce rates because search engines must have already crawled the site and indexed it as a single landing page.
On the other hand, sites that have multiple pages like a blog can behave be dealt a devastating blow with high bounce rates.
Although, in an ideal situation, you do not expect 100% of your website visitors to convert or interact with the elements of your web page. So, it is commonplace to have bounced on your site.
But, down to our big question, “what is a good bounce rate?”
Truth is, there is no universal standard for a bounce rate, all you need to do is to set a benchmark between your website bounce rate and those of your niche competitors.
Here are some of the things that you can use as a benchmark to compare bounce rates;
- Industry niche
- The type of the website (single page or multiple page websites)
- Channels used for marketing
- The device, whether mobile or desktop
If the visitors to your web page are bouncing too much, you need to take immediate action and optimize your web pages to have a higher retention rate.
Also, when you poorly configure your Google analytics, your might end up not seeing realistic figures about your bounce rate. In the course of subsequent paragraphs, we would be looking at some of the actionable tips that can be followed to reduce bounce rate.
How to Reduce the Bounce Rate of your Web Pages
A high bounce rate can be very hazardous to the SEO health of your site. It is important to perform A/B tests so that you would be able to point out what areas of your web pages or individual web pages need optimization. Once you identify the problematic parts of your site that are causing low visitor retention, follow these tips to reduce your website bounce rate.
#1. Improve the speed of your website
A website visitor usually makes up their mind to binge on your content, only in a matter of seconds. The last thing they need is some blank page that is loading scripts. Sites that are too slow to load content can be a huge let-off to site visitors, making them bounce too soon.
You can use the Google Page speed insight tool to optimize the load time of your site’s web pages.
There are also some noteworthy strategies that can be used to improve site speed so that your site would enjoy a high retention rate. Though some of these strategies largely depend on the CMS or development stack that your site is built on. All-in-all, here are a few general tips on how to increase your site speed to reduce your bounce rate.
- To increase your website bounce rate, you need to optimize images, so that your site load time would increase
- Use a content delivery network to serve video content on your site
- Use a fast hosting provider
- In your hosting provider, opt for packages that offer fast loading sites
- If you are using the WordPress CMS, use a fast WordPress theme
- Still, in the context of a WordPress Content management system, use a caching plugin
#2. Optimize Your Calls to Action
Like I stated earlier, most users take just split seconds to decide whether your site is binge-worthy. Most of the time, with a simple glance at an area of a webpage they can decide not to interact with its visual elements. Though most of these areas would differ from one device to the other.
You can set out to optimize the CTA in this area. In that visible area, the Call to action should be clear and honest. It should be able to communicate the product solution of the online brand without giving off secondary interpretation.
CTAs that are not optimized would lead to a bad user experience and trust me on this one, users hate misleading information. If they get such a taste of distrust through CTAs, they would bounce and might never return.
#3. Employ the use of high-quality images, videos, and infographic to get user attention
When you deploy graphic content like videos, images, and infographics, you stand a 90% chance of decreasing your bounce rate. Truth is, sites that use high-quality images as fullscreen backgrounds have visitor retention rates.
Once upon a time, Google was famous for its minimalist layouts and white backgrounds, but today, they use high-end graphics for their landing pages. Take the google Adsense landing page, for instance, it has a good mix of engaging video and high-quality images.
Do you want to try out this strategy? You can source some high-quality graphic media from royalty-free sources.