Your website’s bounce rate is an extremely important statistic to keep an eye on when looking at your Google analytics. A bounce rate is the number of people who immediately leave your website after landing on it. Users who bounce will have no interaction on your website and are essentially a ‘wasted’ visitor. A high bounce rate for a particular keyword, or page, on your website also means decaying performance on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in the long term.
There are potentially hundreds of factors as to why one individual visitor left your website so quickly, some can be influenced and some cannot. For example you can’t help if an individual dislikes the particular colour of a website, but you can help when people bounce due to long page load times or if they are unable to find the information they wanted based on the keyword they used in the search engine.
Although the lower the bounce rate the better, it is very uncommon to have a very low bounce rate percentage. Few websites will have a bounce rate of lower than 10%. A good bounce rate is considered 30% or lower, although between 30% and 40% is also quite good. If you website is new and without a fan base or loyal customers, you should be aiming for the 40% barrier.
OK, what simple things can you do to help improve (decrease) your bounce rate?
- Interesting content is also one of the main factors in visitor retention. If a user is greeted by a wall of text, they may well be likely to leave. Where as if your text content is split up into paragraphs, with images and video’s of what the page is about, it is a more rewarding and interesting experience for the visitor.
- Use proper keywords for pages; it is essential that the visitor has landed on the page using the most relevant keyword. For example a user looking to research bicycles with a keyword such as “fastest bicycles” may not necessarily be after purchasing one and a page trying to sell bicycles to them will not be relevant to their needs. The most relevant keyword to a page selling bicycles will be something like “fast bikes for sale”.
- Related links and more useful information is a good way of keeping users interested. The more good content on different pages there is to read the more likely the user is going to click on an internal link and interact with your website cancelling out any potential bounce rate.
- Encouraging social interaction is also a good way to keep a visitor interested. For example a daily or weekly poll on the sidebar of a blog will easily get a user to interact. Other features such as a commenting section also increases the likelihood of interaction with a visitor able to comment on your content.
Lowering your bounce rate will inevitably mean a bigger fan base or customer base, as well as improvement of your Google positioning. The more visitors that actually stay on your website and enjoy your content the more likely you are to have a successful website whether it is a blog, a “business brochure” or an e-commerce website.