You may have heard the phrase "bounce rate", 'bouncing' around in conversations surrounding web development (yes I know, we're hilarious), but what is is bounce rate? Why and how should you improve it? In this blog we will be covering just that.
Bounce rate is when a user views a page and then proceeds to leave the site without viewing any other pages on the site.
For example if one user was to view the home page of your site and then decides to navigate away from your site, this would cause the bounce rate of your home page to be 100%. If however, a second user was to view the home page of your site and then decided to navigate to an additional page of your site, this would cause the bounce rate of your home page to be 50%.
Having a low bounce rate is a ranking factor among many search engines, including Google and Bing. After all, search engines want to serve users quality content rather than just popular content. Therefore it is paramount that your site has as low a bounce rate as possible to increase your organic rankings in search engines.
Do not false advertise. False advertising to get clicks from search engines is only going to harm your site in the long run. Users will become frustrated to find that the actual content on your pages is not as described in the search engines and will navigate away from your site. This will lead to a high bounce rate on your site.
Ensure that your site's content is valuable to your users and that your content is meeting your visitor's needs. This will build trust in your users and will encourage users to continue to browse your site and therefore improve your site's bounce rate.
Is your site a single page? If your site consists of a single page then the bounce rate of your site will be 100% no matter how you attempt to lower it, this is because there are no other pages for your users to navigate to. This is something to consider when deciding if your site is going to be a single page.
If your site takes a long time to load this could cause users to navigate away from your site before the page is even loaded. However, even if a user did not fully load a page, if a user chooses to navigate away from your site then this still increases bounce rate. Therefore, ensuring your site has fast page speeds will help increase your site's bounce rate.
It is only frustrating for users when coming across 404 (missing) pages on your site and is only likely to make a user bounce from your site. Therefore, reducing the number of 404 pages on your site will improve the bounce rate of your site.
Creating a pleasant and easy website design for the users on your site is key for acquiring a low bounce rate.
A site that has a poor layout and navigation menus will only lead to confuse users and make users more likely to bounce from your site.
In addition, a balance of CTAs (Call To Actions) on your site will help create a low bounce rate. Too many CTA's and your users will become overwhelmed as to where to go first, and too little CTA's, and users will not have a clear user journey and will become lost and confused.
In summary, bounce rate is an important ranking factor and the key to improving your site's bounce rate is by creating a user experience for your users that will not frustrate or confuse, but instead will engage and compel your users to continue browsing your site.