What is bounce rate?

- 17 January 2019 -

Marketers and web masters like to create lots of fancy terms for the things they do. Bounce rate is one of those terms. But what is bounce rate and why does it matter to you?

What is bounce rate?

You know that increasing the amount of time your customers spend looking at your content is likely to increase your chances of making a sale. That’s what your bounce rate is looking for.

Your bounce rate is calculated by how long your users are spending on your site. If a user opens up your homepage but immediately clicks the back button, that’s a bounce. Google records it as 0 seconds spent on site, as there’s no second click to give it an idea of how long that page has been open.

laptop with Google Analytics showing what is bounce rate

What is a good bounce rate?

What is a good bounce rate depends entirely on your site and your users. Blogs and single page sites, for example, can expect to have a reasonably high bounce rate, as users don’t need to navigate elsewhere.

E-commerce and business websites, however, want to get their bounce rates as low as possible. They want their customers to move through their pages, looking at different products and offers and adding things to their digital baskets.

You’ll need to deep dive into your Google Analytics to find out what your average bounce rate is. That should give you a baseline for how well your site is working to keep potential customers around. Once you know what you’re working with, you can start bringing your bounce percentage down. A low bounce rate is much better for your SEO success.

Lowering your bounce rate

There are lots of tips and tricks you can use to lower your bounce rate. Here are a few of the most influential. If you’d like to talk about making more improvements to your website, get in touch.

Look at your individual page performance

If Google Analytics shows you that there are just a few pages that are the problem, start there. Revisit the copy on the page and make sure your content is well matched to your keyword optimisation. Do people find what they expect to when they land on your page? If not, they’ll continue to bounce.

woman on a computer researching bounce rates

Look at your marketing performance

It could be that a certain marketing channel isn’t working as well as it should. If your social media marketing is reporting a high bounce rate, for example, make sure your advert is well tailored to the page you’re linking to.

Make sure your optimised for different devices

Users can access the internet from all sorts of places, so you need to make sure your site is responsive. It’s no good having a site that looks perfect on a standard desktop if all your users are visiting from mobiles.

Speed up your pages

If your website is slow to load, potential users won’t wait around. They’ll bounce. You need to make sure your pages load quickly on different devices if you want to hold user interest. We can help you get your pages up to speed, just give us a call 01347 821928.

Open external links in new tabs

If you’re linking to sites other than your own, make sure it opens in a new tab. That way, the user can quickly come back to your site later. Even if they get distracted by the site you’re linking to, by using a new tab, they’ll have a handy reminder to come back to your site.

Google analytics showing what is bounce rate on website pages

Include in text links and calls to action

Make it really easy for customers to move through your different pages. Fit links seamlessly into your text and us bold call to action buttons to show your user exactly where they should go next.

Improve your readability

If your content is too dense or badly written, users won’t even try to make sense of it. Break up your paragraphs into easy to scan sections, and use headers and bullet points. You’ll also want to use nice pictures that are relevant to your content, as quality images dramatically increase the amount of time users spend on sites.

Impress with your meta descriptions

You get a little snippet of text on a search results page to convince people you’ve got what they’re looking for. Make sure you use those precious characters to accurately promote your page and to let users know what they’re going to get when they click.

Check out our top tips for writing meta descriptions.

To sum up

What is bounce rate? It’s simply the average amount of time your users spend on your site.

To bring your bounce rate down, you need customers to move to different parts of your site during their session. There are lots of ways you can keep users on your site for longer, including powerful calls to action, in-text links, and optimising your pages.

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