Most website metrics are easy to understand … that is until you get to bounce rate.
But this metric, while less clear, is one of the most important indicators of the health of your site and the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s not enough to attract people to your website. You need to attract the right people and keep them there — and that’s where bounce rate comes in.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and leave without viewing any other pages. So for example: Someone views your product page and then immediately exits.
So a low bounce rate — below 40% — is actually a good thing! It means visitors are viewing multiple pages per session and reading more and more of your content.
A high bounce rate — above 60% for content sites — is when you need to be concerned. These percentages may be different for your site.
Honestly, there are a bunch of different reasons your bounce rate could be high. And to uncover the culprit, you’ll need to channel your inner Sherlock Holmes.
Open your analytics platform of choice, whether it’s HubSpot or Google, and we’ll figure out exactly why people aren’t sticking around.
Start your investigation by running Google’s PageSpeed test. Reducing your page load time will improve the experience for mobile visitors trying to access your site.
On that note, make sure the design is optimized for mobile, and it’s easy to find information — no pinching or zooming necessary.
And if you have pop-up ads and auto-play music or videos, get rid of them. This type of disruption only encourages people to hit the “back” button.
Next, review your bounce rate per traffic source to see if people visiting via email, a referral site, paid, or another channel are more or less likely to view multiple pages. If the bounce rate from social looks high, consider if the messaging actually matches the content you’re driving visitors to. If visitors from organic search are bouncing at high rates, consider if your title tags and descriptions are misleading.
Then, look at your top-viewed site pages and blog posts. A contact page with a high bounce rate makes sense. But if a landing page’s rate is in the same range, you need to get to work optimizing it for conversions.
You can also also reduce bounce rate by improving the user experience and design of your site. Add a related content module to your blog and improve interlinking between posts. Review your main navigation and footer. Make it easy for visitors to find the most important information about your products or services and to keep clicking. Clean, professional design is a signal of trust.
Finally, consider the needs and concerns of your target audience. Does your site’s messaging and architecture clearly address their questions? Do you have clear conversion paths that lead people to more targeted content? Consider A/B testing copy and imagery to find what makes visitors click to additional content.
By reducing your bounce rate, you’ll improve the user experience — making people want to stick around and learn all about your brand.