If you check your Google Analytics data, you’ve probably noticed one factor that gets a lot of attention: your bounce rate. For readers unfamiliar with the term, bounce rate refers to the number of people that visit your site and then leave immediately without visiting a second page. It can also be described as a single page visit. High bounce rates can indicate a number of problems, from an ineffective web design to a mismatch between your online marketing messages and your website content. Reducing your bounce rate means that you are effectively engaging visitors and increasing your chance of conversions. Here’s a closer look at why websites have high bounce rates and what you can do to reduce yours.
Compare your ratings
A bounce rate in isolation doesn’t mean much. It’s important to look at your overall performance and your historical performance. For example, a bounce rate of 70% may seem high but if it’s dropped from 90% then you’re trending in the right direction. You also need to compare your rates against industry and site type averages. The team at KISSMetrics put together a helpful infographic that reveals some important statistics: the average bounce rate is about 40% for all websites. Retail sites range from 20-40%. Content-focused websites range between 40 – 60%. Simple landing pages are in the region of 70 – 90%. Your bounce rates are relative, both to your performance over time and your competitors’ sites.
Improve your design
One of the first areas to evaluate if you have a high bounce rate is your website design. Does your website have an attractive, professional overall look and feel? Is your message and positioning immediately clear to visitors at a visual level? Does the navigation menu make it easy to find what you’re looking for? It’s also important to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile devices, renders correctly on a full range of browsers, and that your page loads at a reasonable speed. Each element of a strong design reinforces a good visitor experience and high search engine rankings.
Showcase recent activity
Is the content on your home page fresh? If your site is currently showing dates of postings that are more than one month old, it’s time to update your content. Websites with fresh, regular content rank higher in Google’s search results. Regularly updated sites also build trust with customers and visitors. A site that hasn’t been updated in months leaves prospective buyers worried they’re interacting with a digital ghost town. Let visitors know that you’re working hard to bring them valuable information and actively serving clients or selling products. A quality blog is an excellent way to make sure your website has fresh content regularly.
Check your keyword/messaging alignment
A bounce rate can also indicate a mismatch between the search terms you’re ranking for and the messaging on your website. It sometimes happens that websites rank for irrelevant terms, as a natural byproduct of content generation and indexing. But overall, these type of visits should account for a low percentage of the people visiting your page. Understand what terms are driving your traffic. If the content is connected but you’re using different language, it’s time to evaluate your copywriting. Should your findings reveal that you’re simply not ranking for the terms that your customers are searching for, the fundamentals of good SEO will help overcome this issue.
Evaluate image and content quality
Another factor that’s important to consider is the quality of your site’s writing and images. Is the imagery professional, consistent, and appropriate to your business? Does it resonate with your audience’s expectations? It’s also helpful to audit your content. The quality of writing, editing, formatting, and thinking all play a role in whether visitors read and share your content. Weaknesses in either area can be addressed by identifying better imagery or hiring a professional editor or writer to whip your content into shape.
Does your business website have a high bounce rate? Contact Be Locally SEO today to discuss how to refine your website, content, and marketing strategies to help you engage prospective customers and keep them coming back for more.