Bounce rate – one of the most important metrics of your online business. A metric that can make you have sleepless nights if it’s high. But have you ever wondered how high is too high and how to improve bounce rate?
In this article, I’m going to tell you how you can optimize your bounce rate tracking and what you can do to prevent it from skyrocketing.
Let’s get started with the basics.
What is bounce rate and why does it matter?
Bounce rate refers to the number of people who visit your website but leave without engaging further with your brand.
The bounce rate that you see on your Google Analytics page is the site wide bounce rate which is a simple average of the bounce rates of all your webpages at any given point in time. Yes, it is possible to capture page-wise bounce rates and looking at them separately makes more sense than looking at the average number. The reason? The difference in content. For example, if you have an e-commerce website, it’s a no-brainer that your product pages will have a lower bounce rate than your blogposts.
With Google being the most popular search engine, you need to be in its hotlist for your category if you want to make conversions happen. While Google might not directly care about your bounce rates while determining your SERP ranking, it indirectly factors it in through its algorithm that decides the value of a webpage with regard to the user’s search intent. A high bounce rate signals the algorithm that your webpage is probably not that relevant for the user and you miss out on high SERP rankings. Therefore, you need to take measures on learning how to improve bounce rate from soaring high.
What is a good bounce rate?
Just to be clear, here, good means low. But, how to improve bounce rate? A ‘good’ value is a factor of multiple factors like the industry you’re operating in, the countries you cater to, your target customers etc. While an average bounce rate value of about 58% is considered safe, the number varies by about + 10% depending on the industry under consideration. You can use Google Analytics to see ‘what good (bounce rate) looks like’ in your industry and understand where your website stands. However, it makes more sense to look at the section-specific bounce rates of your website and then compare them to the industry averages of those sections. This will give you a better idea of your performance over a period of time. The idea here is to focus on trends instead of numbers.
You can segment bounce rates on the following results in order to derive valuable insights out of them:
Segment by age:
Knowing your audience is one of the key factors to determine your business strategy. It becomes all the more important if you run a business online. Age is an important metric to know your customers’ tastes and preferences. Use Google Analytics’ audience demographics filter to see if your bounce rates vary by the age of your leads
Segment by gender:
Use can use Google Analytics to see how your bounce rates vary by gender and come up with tactics to specifically target the gender with higher bounce rates
Segment by location:
Knowing if your bounce rates vary by country or states within a country can help you come up with custom content for local audiences
Segment by browser / device:
Knowing this metric might give you a good health-check on the technical specifics of your website. This can help you better configure your website for the browser with higher bounce rates.
Similarly, if your bounce rates are higher on mobile devices as compared to desktops or tablets, you could optimize your websites for the former
Segment by landing page:
Measuring bounce rates by landing page is extremely important as this is the first step of your customer journey. If they don’t like what the see in the first go, it is highly likely that they will “bounce off” and not engage with your brand further
Modifying bounce rates:
How to improve bounce rate:
Now that you know how to read and modify bounce rates, let me tell you how to improve bounce rate:
Review in-page analytics: This feature of Google Analytics helps you identify which sections of every page are seeing a higher bounce rate than others. You can come up with a strategy to enhance the content on those with higher bounce rates
Review page timings: This comes in handy when your bounce rates are high because of your website’s slow performance. Once you identify your webpages with high traffic but slower speed, you can get to work
Utilize A/B testing: Once you have identified the problem, you would probably come up with more than one solution. Use A/B testing to test to know which one gives you lower bounce rates, this is another way of how to improve bounce rate
Enhance readability: This might seem insignificant but is crucial. To purchase from you, users need to know who you are and what you do. The only way for them to do that is to read your content. If you go wrong with your font style, size or spacing, the user is highly likely to bounce off
Grab attention through images and videos: Sure, people need to read your content before taking an action, but they’d like if you have an image or a video explaining what they need to know. This will keep them engaged and lower your bounce rate
Make people take an action: Engaging visitors by having them take an action when they visit your website is a great way to keep them engaged. You can do this by asking them a question and having a click take them to a solutions page or by asking them to sign up for your newsletter etc.
Live Chat Support: People often visit websites in search of something and leave if they don’t find it in a matter of seconds. Offering assistance upfront can lower your bounce rates considerably
While high average bounce rate might be a cause of concern, segmenting it by demographical and technical factors can help you find the root cause and better inform your strategy of how to improve bounce rate.