What is Bounce Rate, and How Can I Lower It?

November 21, 2011
What’s bounce rate, and how can I lower it?

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits to your website; if a visitor comes to your “About Us” page and leaves without visiting any of your website’s other pages, that registers as a bounce. The higher the bounce rate, the less effective your website is at keeping people interested, and the more potential business you’re losing.

Finding your bounce rate

You can see your website’s bounce rate by logging into your website’s analytics profile (such as Google Analytics). Although what defines a “good” bounce rate differs from business to business, web analyst extraordinaire Avinash Kaushik has previously stated that anything over 35% is “cause for concern.”

A high bounce rate could indicate that your website is not doing its job — it’s difficult to convert visitors into customers if all they do is visit one page of your site and leave.

How to decrease bounce rate

A high bounce rate can be symptomatic of some bigger problems within a website. Here are four factors that can influence your website’s bounce rate, and some tips for getting that number as low as possible so that your strategies have the best chance of success.

Keyword selection/bidding

If people are coming to your website and don’t see content related to what they searched for, they’re probably going to bounce right off your website and find someone who can provide them what they want.

Go over your SEM and SEO strategies. Are the keywords you’re bidding on and using in your ads and on your website relevant to your business? Are they the keywords for which you want to be found? Adjusting your strategies takes time, but if you can bring more relevant traffic to your website, your bounce rate will decrease.

Website design

Is your website clean and easy to read? If the page takes a long time to load, is full of ads, too-small text, garish colors, and auto-play music or sound effects, people won’t stick around long enough to learn anything about you.

Nothing on your website should wiggle, blink, flash, or sparkle. Keep it clean and simple, and let your content speak for itself.

Navigation

Is it easy for visitors to move around your website? If your navigation is hidden or complex, visitors may be bouncing simply because they can’t find their way to a second page.

Make it easy for visitors to navigate your website. Arrange your content in a logical and hierarchical manner, and place menus prominently on your pages. Include links to other pages within your text.

Page content

Your website’s content is what sells your business online; if your bounce rate is high, try some of the following tactics to get people to stick around longer:

  • Simplify your content by getting rid of jargon, repetitive language, and unnecessary information
  • Break up big chunks of text with headings for easier reading
  • Use images, graphs, and videos to explain more complex aspects of your business or industry
  • Link to other pages on your site to encourage people to click through
  • Create calls to action that entice people to convert into leads

Boost your website’s performance

If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like, but you can’t figure out why, consider signing up for our free website analysis. This analysis shows you a snapshot of your website’s performance, which can help you decide what strategies might lower your bounce rate.

Analyze my website!

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