What are bounce rates and how do they affect me? I hear you ask…
Well, for starters, Google Analytics defines a bounce as any visit where the visitor arrives on a site and views only one page before they exit. So, in the eyes of a search engine, high bounce rates are a good indicator of a poor site experience or perhaps demonstrate the site’s lack of relevance to the search query entered by the user. Therefore, this means that bounce rates could be a significant factor affecting search engine rankings.
So, the relevance of bounce rates to you, as a site owner, is that not only will high bounce rates potentially reduce your rankings, but it also means you’re losing out on conversions.
But where can I find out how bouncy my site is? (Unfortunately not a particularly technical term but I like it)
You can take a look at bounce rates for specific pages on your site via its Google Analytics account. When investigating bounce rates on your site, keep in mind that in Internet terms, 50% is a moderate bounce rate so a page with a bounce rate below this is good news.
However, if you find that your pages have bounce rates higher than the 50% bench mark then you may wish to take some action to encourage visitors to move past the entry page and peruse the site further.
But how do I improve my bounce rates?
Hey presto! You’re in luck…below I have compiled some points you should consider in order to improve your page bounce rates and ultimately increase rankings and conversions. So sit up straight and pay attention…pens at the ready? Let’s go…
Navigation and Layout
- Is the navigation and page layout consistent with the rest of the site?
- Are there links to related pages (or products on an e-commerce site) to encourage navigation through the site?
- Is the key information positioned above the fold of the page? A gripping image as an eye catcher and a short teaser paragraph are also key for encouraging visitors to stay on the site / convert for you.
- Is there a sufficient amount of white space? Are there too many distractions putting the visitor off completing a conversion?
- Think about the layout of your copy…Is the text broken up? Do you use bullet points? Have you bolded out important words? Think about making your copy as easy to read as possible for visitors.
- Does the page include visible calls to action encouraging visitors to take a particular action? It is especially important that these appear above the fold of the page.
- Are titles within your page copy bold and clear at the top of the page so the visitor can clearly see what the page is about?
- Is there a sufficient amount of optimised content on the page to engage visitors? We usually recommend approximately 150 – 200 words per page. Remember to include relevant keywords in your copy.
- Is the font a reasonable size making your content easier to read?
- Are your contact details visible on every page in case the visitor has a question regarding your services or products? Can visitors tell how to contact you?
- Do you provide good quality, high resolution images?
- Does the site offer a search function in case the visitor cannot find what they are looking for on the landing page?
Points to consider for an e-commerce product page
- Can visitors tell what to click on to place an order? Is there a “Buy now” button available above the fold of the page?
- Can visitors find price information on the product?
- Is there a sufficient description of the product / service on offer?
When considering your bounce rates please be aware that although the lower the bounce rate the better, this does not account for visitors who may be finding your site and contacting you straight away. These visitors may still be enquiring however as they do not navigate through your site, they will also be classed as a bouncing visitor.
All in all, anything which improves the usability of your website will have a positive knock on effect on your bounce rates and will likely increase conversions. Implementing any of the recommendations above is a quick, simple and effective way of improving bounce rates on your site, so what are you waiting for? Jump to it!