What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate is an online marketing metric that refers to the percentage of visitors who land on one page of your website and exit without viewing any other pages. As a metric that tracks single-page visitors, bounce rate reflects your website’s effectiveness at retaining visitors.
A visit to a page is considered a bounce only if the visitor exited your website directly from the entrance page, without viewing any other pages.
The average bounce rate of a web page is calculated by dividing the total number of bounces on a page in a set period of time by the total number of entrances on that page in the same time window. The average bounce rate of a website is determined by dividing the total number of bounces across all the pages in a set period of time by the total number of entrances across all the pages in the same period of time.
Possible reasons for a high bounce rate
Bounce rate is a significant metric. If a high percentage of your visitors bounce, their behavior can indicate several issues:
- They didn’t find what they were looking for,
- They found what they were looking for but the offer didn’t meet their expectations (unexpected charges, end of promotion, registration form, etc.)
- They found what they were looking for but were not compelled to buy (your website is not user-friendly or is not optimized for conversions).
You want to build rapport with your potential customer, so it’s important that she browses your site and ultimately converts by visiting other pages – whether that means she consumes more content, signs up to your newsletter, or purchases a product.
Average bounce rates can vary depending on the industry you’re in:
- Content websites: the average bounce rate is 40-60%
- Blogs: the average bounce rate is 70-98%
- Lead generation websites: the average bounce rate is 30-50%
- Service sites: the average bounce rate is 10-30%
Retail sites: the average bounce rate is 20-40%
- Landing pages: the average bounce rate is 70-90%
Following are some of the often cited reasons why visitors leave:
- Website design (poor contrast, poor choice of color, fonts and other design elements)
- Confusing navigation
- Text-heavy design
- Unresponsive design
- Poor formatting: not using bold or italics, little or no spacing between lines and paragraphs
- Website looks spammy – too many ads or promotional offers
- Page takes too long to load
- Poor use of headings and subheadings
- Audio and video content that auto plays
How to reduce bounce rate
- Target the right keywords/channels. It’s likely that a high bounce rate indicates low-quality traffic. Use Google Analytics to determine those traffic sources that are driving poor quality traffic and either work to improve them, or terminate the campaigns altogether. If your website is attracting the wrong crowd, don’t be surprised when visitors bounce. Optimizing your keywords and choosing the right channels is key.
- Nail interlinking. To encourage visitors to browse other pages on your website, add as many organic links to other relevant content, products, and pages, as you can.
- Be helpful. Not everyone who will land on your website will be ready to make a purchase. Some might be browsing, others may be doing research. Don’t stop at simply providing the product description, try to think from the potential customer’s perspective, what other information could help them make a decision? Elements like customer reviews and customer Q&A can be very persuasive.
- Improve usability. If they find your website difficult to navigate or too hard on they eye, new visitors will leave almost immediately. Needless to say, this can have a dire effect on your business. You can enhance the usability of your site by adjusting the size of your headlines, picking out the right fonts, selecting contrasting colors, making use of the white space and bulleted lists, and improving the information architecture of your pages.
- Optimize your website for mobile. It’s one of the key rules that everyone’s banging on about, but it still gets ignored all too often. People are increasingly shopping on their mobiles. If you can’t provide an enjoyable experience and your website isn’t responsive, there is no doubt that visitors will bounce.