If you have analytics tracking installed on your website, you’ve likely heard the term “bounce rate” before. You may even have a general sense of how the changes you make on your website affect your bounce rate, but do you really understand what it is and what a high number means for your business?
What is Bounce Rate?
A “bounce” is defined as a visitor who navigates away from a particular page on a site without viewing any additional pages. Therefore, bounce rate is the percentage of overall visitors who bounce. Visitors that bounce may hit the back button to return to the search results, navigate to a bookmarked favorite instead, or they may simply close their browser altogether.
Regardless of where these visitors go, they’re leaving after having a minimal interaction on the website instead of spending quality time browsing various pages, which is why many website owners look for ways to reduce bounce rate.
Is Your Bounce Rate Too High?
A high bounce rate is typically an issue because it means that visitors to your site are leaving before they’ve had a chance to access or interact with much of the content that you’ve worked hard to develop. On some occasions, however, a high bounce rate isn’t a problem at all.
In these cases, a company has typically developed a free tool or some other resource to solve a problem for visitors and once that problem is solved, they have no further need to linger on the site. This is the exception to the rule though because most websites are trying to monetize visits by getting users to sign up for a trial, download something, subscribe to a newsletter, request a quote, buy a product, or achieve some other type of conversion. For this reason, a high bounce rate can spell a problem.
It’s important to remember, however, that a high bounce rate isn’t the problem in and of itself – it’s the symptom of a bigger problem. Bounce rates can vary greatly between industries, but typically, a bounce rate of over 25% is considered to be high and a bounce rate of over 40% is considered to be critical. But more than looking at the individual number, you should pay attention to how your bounce rate changes over time. If you have a bounce rate of 28% but that’s down from 45% the month before, you can be assured that you’re headed in the right direction with the work that you’re doing.
How Can You Lower Your Bounce Rate?
There are numerous problems that can lead to a high bounce rate, but the most common are things that ruin the user experience, like:
- Slow website load time
- Poor site navigation
- Unclear calls-to-action
- Misleading or incomplete on-page content
To lower your bounce rate, you need to prioritize user experience over everything else. This may mean redesigning or restructuring your website, removing marketing or sales elements from each page, and cleaning up your layout.
Whatever you can to make your website more inviting to first-time visitors should be prioritized when it comes to developing and updating your website. Often times, there are tricks that you can use to improve user experience without actually having to sacrifice the goals of a particular web page.
Things like reducing image file sizes can improve site speed without requiring that you actually remove anything, while simply changing the colors of your existing buttons can make them pop out from the rest of the content so that you don’t have to re-write them. Even small changes like these can help reduce bounce rate, so go ahead and test out different website changes and see what will give you the biggest improvements.
Kona Company is a digital marketing agency that can help you drive more traffic to your online store – and begin to convert more visitors starting today. We have a highly skilled team that can help plan your entire digital marketing strategy and execute all of the elements needed to make your business successful. Contact us today for a complimentary evaluation.