When analyzing your website, it is easy to get lost in all of the data and different metrics. Where should you focus your time? What metrics even matter? One of the most telling statistics of how your website is performing is “Bounce Rate.”

What Is Bounce Rate?

A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without clicking around or engaging further on your site. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who bounce off your site. This is calculated by dividing a total number of bounces by the total number of entries to the website or page. You can view the bounce rate for your site by logging into Google Analytics and reviewing the “Audience Overview” report. To view the bounce rate for individual pages, check out the “All Pages” report.

So why is this important? Avinash Kashik said it best, “Bounce rate describes your customers experience with your business as I came, I puked, I left.” Your customers typically leave your website without engaging simply because they are not finding what they are looking for. Reducing your bounce rate means you are taking action to increase your conversion rate and increase the likelihood that your audience will click through to additional pages.

High Vs Low Bounce Rate

You’re probably wondering at this point how to determine if your bounce rate is considered “high.” The answer is, it depends, and it depends on your industry and what your website is designed for. If your website’s purpose is to get users to view more than one page, then a lower bounce rate is preferred.

Here are some example bounce rates for reference according to KissMetrics.

  • Retail sites: 20-40%
  • Landing pages with one CTA: 70-90%
  • Portals like MSN or Yahoo: 10-30%
  • Service sites: 10-30%
  • Content websites: 40-60%
  • Lead gen: 30-50%

If you’re unsure about what bounce rate you should be aiming for you can set up the “benchmarking” capability in Google Analytics which allows you to compare your data to industry averages. To do this follow these steps:

  • Open the “Admin” panel in Google Analytics
  • Go to “Account Settings”
  • Select the “Benchmarking” checkbox
  • Once the Benchmarking functionality has been activated you can compare your bounce rate against industry standards under the Audience Reports. The Benchmarking tabs allow you to compare by channel, location, and device.

How to Improve your Bounce Rate

Now that we’ve determined what bounce rate is and why you should care, let’s talk about how you can improve your existing number. Here are some key things to look out for when optimizing for bounce rate:

  • Page load speed: Pages that take five seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38% vs pages that take two seconds to load only have a bounce rate of 9%.
  • External links: Make sure external links open in a new window so the visitor can easily close it and not be redirected from your content.
  • Landing pages: Using landing pages targeted to specific groups and audiences can help limit confusion.
  • Usability: Usability and user experience (UX) play a major role in the success of a website. UX encompasses all aspects of the user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. If your website is not user-friendly your visitors are more like to drop-off.
  • CTA: Make sure there is a clear call to action for the user. CTA’s pave the way for users and shows them the next step.
  • Popups and Ads: Use promotions and ads sparingly and only when necessary. These can be disruptive features that encourage visitors to leave your site.
  • Optimize for mobile: In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices. If your website is not optimized for mobile you could be excluding a huge portion of your audience.
  • Keywords: Using keywords relevant to your audience helps to direct relevant traffic to your website.

Bounce Rate is an important metric when determining user interest in your website and content relevancy. Here at Kevin Brown Design, we take design and functionality seriously when creating your new website. Our strategic marketing approach to web design ensures that every part of your site serves a specific purpose that is relevant to your end goal, helping to increase conversions and decrease bounce rate. Contact us today to learn more about our web design process.

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