Bounce rate: one of the most important metrics, not just in search engine optimisation, but in all spheres of digital marketing.
But what exactly is your bounce rate?
Why does it matter?
And most importantly, what can you do to make your bounce rate as impressive as possible?
Today, our SEO experts in Melbourne answer all of these questions, and more!
What is bounce rate exactly?
Alright, let’s get right to it: what is your bounce rate, and how do you know if you have a good one?
We know that bounce rate can be a bit hard to understand. Unlike most of the other analytics and stats we deal with, this one unfortunately doesn’t come with an easy, self-explanatory name.
At iformat, our SEO experts personally go over analytics data with our clients. And that includes bounce rates.
Essentially, the bounce rate refers to the number of people who land on your site and then leave afterwards from that same page. Essentially, they only visit the one page; they don’t view any others as part of that one session.
A low bounce rate serves as an indirect measure of how well your website is doing at “selling” you and your business. Additionally, it also serves as a handy measurement of how good your web design and user experience are.
In most cases, you will want your bounce rate to be as low as possible (not all, however – more on that later) as that means that people are sticking around and reading about you and your services!
Bounce rate is expressed as a percentage, and is calculated as such:
(Visitors who navigate away without performing an action / total visitors) x100
When we say “performing an action”, we mean interactions such as:
- Clicking play on a video
- Clicking a contact button
- Visiting another page
Really, the specific interactions you set in your Google Analytics profile depends entirely upon what you want people to do on your website.
What’s a good bounce rate?
Lots of our clients look at their bounce rate and immediately get worried.
The thing with bounce rates is most people on the internet just pop in and then immediately leave without sticking around. It could be misclicks or people simply shopping around, and not really paying close attention.
As a general rule of thumb, a bounce rate between 30% and 40% is excellent for most sites, and ideally, you’d like your bounce rate to sit below 55%.
It all depends on what your site is trying to achieve. What’s more, it will also vary depending on the type of site you own. For example, a low bounce rate is more important for an e-commerce site than a purely informative site.
If you want your website to act as a 24/7 salesperson however, you’ll want that percentage to stay low.
A high bounce rate isn’t automatically a bad thing
We’re making it sound like a high bounce rate is a bad thing. While it often is, that isn’t always the case.
Say you have a landing page as part of your PPC campaign (if you don’t know what a landing page is, click here to get caught up).
Long story short, these pages exist to get visitors to perform a specific action – that might be subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, registering for a free trial, or requesting a free quote.
And since these pages have such specific goals, it doesn’t really matter if visitors don’t click links or venture further into your site. Thus, having a high bounce rate is irrelevant (assuming that a good percentage of visitors are performing the action your landing page is designed around, of course!)
This is just one example of when a high bounce rate might not be problematic. Another might be informative articles, like blog posts.
Informative articles are an important part of your content strategy, as they:
- Create more opportunities for people to find your site
- Improve your search engine rankings
- Build credibility for you and your business
However, thanks to their nature as informative articles, many readers might click on, find what they need, and leave (or call you immediately). That’s why it’s more common for blog posts to have higher bounce rates.
Bounce rate tips and tricks
Okay, so now you know what your bounce rate is, and how it’s calculated.
Now for the million dollar question: how can you reduce your bounce rate?
While we may specialise in search engine optimisation in Melbourne, that isn’t all we do here at iformat. Our digital agency Brighton provides a wide range of services, including optimising your site to minimise bounce rate.
While the exact methods will vary depending on the site, there are a couple of things that can help just about any website…
Find out what’s happening on your site
The first thing to do when you are hoping to improve your bounce rate is to analyse the reasons that people might be clicking away from your page without doing anything.
In order to do this you will need to have some software on your side – luckily, Google Analytics is the perfect tool to get you started.
Once you sign up all you need to do is navigate to ‘Behaviour’. From their click on ‘Site Content’ and choose ‘Landing Pages’.
From there you will be able to assess what is happening on your site and make informed decisions about how to proceed.
Get visitors to your site hooked straight away
Did you know? Most people will bounce from a site within the first 15 seconds – truth be told, the real number is probably much less.
Just like with job interviews, you only have a couple of seconds to make an impression and get people to stay.
Therefore, if you want to improve your bounce rate, you need to get to work making your website compelling and worth staying on!
We suggest starting out by figuring out exactly what it is that your customers want to see.
Other than that, some general advice includes:
- Using photos and videos: this grabs attention immediately, and can help build credibility
- Think about layout: you want the top of the page to be attention-grabbing, as it’s the first thing visitors will see
- Quickly communicate value: don’t be afraid to prominently place your key value proposition at the top of the page – preferably in the banner
- Put a navigation bar at the top: this immediately gives visitors an overview of your services
Fix your website
Whether it’s an attempt at DIY web development or a cheap web developer pulled off Fiverr, a broken website can have serious effects on your bounce rate.
Put yourself in a visitor’s shoes. You find a website on Google, and click on it. When you get there, the website either:
- Doesn’t load
- Is slow and takes forever
- Is riddled with errors
Would you stick around? Probably not!
Fixing broken parts of your website can potentially be the easiest way to improve your bounce rate quickly and efficiently.
Not to mention, it also improves the user experience and reflects better on your business.
We start with a technical evaluation of your website that identifies things that need fixing. We’ll fix problems “under the hood” and investigate ways to speed up load times, keeping people on your site.
We also look at the design and layout, as one of the main reasons we see people diverting away from a website is because they can’t find what it is they are looking for.
Maximising the user experience means making it easier for people to navigate your site and find the information they need.
This will increase dwell time by increasing the opportunities to navigate further into your site, and therefore bring down bounce rates.
Be careful with pop-ups and interstitials
Pop-ups and interstitials (think “register now” alerts and the like) can be a powerful tool in turning your bounce rate around and getting people to stay.
However, they should be used with caution – who likes unwanted pop-ups, after all? Not us, that’s for sure!
When executed poorly, they’re irritating, disruptive and in many cases can cause visitors to immediately leave a website.
Not to mention, disruptive pop-ups and interstitials can also incur an SEO penalty, hurting your search rankings!
Pop-ups and interstitials need to be implemented carefully to ensure that they don’t have the opposite effect and actually drive your bounce rate up.
Bring your bounce rate DOWN and your website performance UP
Call Melbourne’s SEO experts
At iformat, our mission is simple: to turn your website into a 24-hour source of leads – one that’s always hard at work “selling” your business and bringing in new phone calls and jobs.
Minimising your bounce rate is just one part of that.
In addition to keeping people on your site, the iformat team also works hard to ensure that your website is also converting curious visitors into paying customers.
By creating high quality web content and optimising your website for conversions, we don’t just help you create more leads – we’ll also push you up in Google and get you found by more of your desired customers.
We’ve helped all sorts of businesses achieve their goals:
- Tradies of all stripes
- Heavy machinery manufacturers
- Allied healthcare practitioners
- Builders and developers
That’s just a small cross-section of the businesses we’ve worked with over the last 13 years.
And you can join them – if you want our online marketing team, get in contact with us ASAP.