We know keeping up with your website metrics can be a challenge. There are so many variables to look at—pageviews, average time on page, landing pages, exit pages, impressions, CTR. Bounce rate is an important metric and one that you should be keeping an eye on. Is it high or low? Is a high bounce rate good or bad? What does bounce even mean? This week, we're giving you a quick overview of this metric—how you can find out this vital information and how you can improve it.
If you don't have Google Analytics installed on your website, that's the first step. It's fairly easy to do, and odds are, if you paid someone to create your site, that's something they already took care of. As long as you have a Gmail address, they can give you access to view your website analytics. If it's not already installed or you have more questions, there's an entire Help Center devoted to this topic, or you can always email us to take a look at it for you. But analytics are an invaluable resource of information on your website visitors—what they look at, where they come from, how long they stay, etc. Definitely worth the effort!
What Is Bounce Rate?
Your website's bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on a page of your website, then leave without any interaction at all. You know all those times you go to a webpage and then almost immediately hit the back button? That's what this is, and it's generally not behavior that you want to see.
An average bounce rate is roughly 41-55%. Lower than that is great, higher than that is okay; but anything over 70% is somewhat worrisome.
If your bounce rate is higher than you'd like, there are several contributing factors to look at.
Load time is the arguably the most obvious problem and probably something you've encountered yourself a time or two. You're searching for some information or product online, click a search result, and then the page doesn't load right away. How long do you wait? 5 seconds? 10? 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load, and it stands to reason that the same would be true on a desktop, give or take.
User experience isn't the only issue, either. Google takes your page load time into account when ranking search results, and it will prioritize one that's better optimized.
This ties in, of course, with the above-mentioned load time factor. You can filter your analytics to see desktop vs. mobile traffic, and if your bounce rate is higher on mobile, you know there's a problem to address.
You can see the different sources of your website traffic: direct, social, referral, organic search, and paid search. Looking at the bounce rate for each one can give you some clues on where you might be going wrong.
For instance, here we're seeing the highest bounce rate is from social traffic. Look back at what you've been posting and see if the message matches the content that you linked to. The more relevant the landing page to what a visitor clicked on, the more likely they'll stick around.
Similarly, if your bounce rate is high on paid search traffic, that means you need to take a look at your ads and your landing pages to make sure visitors are getting what they searched for. There's no sense in paying for a click and not delivering the information they wanted.
Including the Right Content for Your Keywords
Continuing in theme from the last item, your organic search visitors should get the content they were expecting when they clicked through to your page. The keywords you set in your metadata should match the keywords you use throughout the page, and those keywords should form the foundation of your page's content.
If your page is about your flooring installation services, you want to attract visitors who are searching for “hardwood floor installer,” not “How do you install a hardwood floor?”
Attractiveness and Legibility
And finally, it all comes down to aesthetics. An overly crowded page is confusing to the eye and deflects attention from what you want the visitor to see. Large blocks of text are off-putting, which is why it's important to break them up with images or condense important points into a bullet list. If the page is appealing to look at and easy to read and navigate, you're that much closer to getting your visitor to stay.
Your bounce rate provides insight into which pages perform best and which ones need some tweaking. It's an important metric, though it's most helpful when considered in conjunction with others—like the amount of time spent on a page and how many pages are visited per session.
If you're unsure how well your website is performing, ask us for a free consultation!
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.