Improve Bounce Rate

No matter how successful your internet marketing and organic SEO campaign there is always room for improvement – room to increase rankings, attract more visitors and make more sales. But success doesn’t depend solely on good search listing rankings and good website traffic. There are plenty of other improvements to be made which can boost your business’s profitability even further even with the rankings and traffic you already have – such as looking at how to improve bounce rate

Take a website I have been working with recently – they have successfully grown their brand and established their business at the top of their very competitive industry in just a few short years. They rank very highly in the organic search listings and have visitor numbers they could have only dreamt of a few years ago with visitor numbers up by over 400 percent in the past 2 years.

Yet….

Business could be even better…

Why?

Because some of their high traffic web pages have significantly higher (i.e. worse) bounce rate than some of their other popular other pages. That means there is potential to boost sales and leads from their existing traffic by simply engaging visitors better on those pages with a high bounce rate.

There are several factors that affect bounce rate so let’s take a look at what they are:

Improve Bounce Rate with Better Page Content

We all know that fresh, unique content is important for signalling that a website is reputable, has authority and deserves the attention of the search engines and real visitors – but you should also ask yourself the following questions about your page content:

  • Is the content what visitors expected based on the title and description in the search listings?
  • Is it detailed, informative and well laid-out content?
  • Does it use images and other graphics to break up large portions of text?
  • Is it easy to view on a small mobile device?
  • Have you used accordions and tabs for a better mobile user experience?

 

Improve Bounce Rate with Calls To Action

Are there enough calls-to-action (CTAs) prominently visible on the page, especially near the top – for those people with a short attention span – and near the bottom – for those who want to know more. If visitors are not encouraged to click through to another page on your website then the bounce rate will always be poor.

Use a mixture of clearly visible in-text links to related pages on your website and graphical CTAs too in the form of small images with overlaid text, which can be clicked to visit anther page. These graphical CTAs can also help create a visually more appealing layout.

Check that all of your CTAs are properly displayed on small mobile devices:

  • is the wording easy to read on a small screen?
  • are clickable elements (tap targets) large enough to actually tap with a finger?
  • are clickable elements (tap targets) too close together?

 

Test Changes

Once you have reviewed your content you will have a fairly good idea of why certain pages have a poorer bounce rate than others. And once you have improved the content you will be able to monitor bounce rate and see if it has improved. Depending on the visitor numbers you will need to monitor your changes for 2 – 4 weeks to ensure there have been enough visitors to make an informed judgement on whether the changes have improved bounce rate.

Remember Bounce Rate is the percentage of people who leave a page without viewing any other pages on your website  – so a high percentage is bad and a low percentage is good.

You can test the changes informally by simply monitoring bounce rate over time in Google Analytics or use Google Optimize to test variations of page changes – this tool is particularly useful for testing different wording on graphical CTAs and different positioning on the page, and even different colours.

 

A word of warning: In addition to looking at ways to improve Bounce Rate check the Dwell Time (i.e. the average time spent on the page) because some pages have a very high Dwell Time and High Bounce Rate which means visitors were engaged, read all of the page but didn’t want to read any more. This may suggest you need to break up the content into two or more pages to cover the whole topic.

 

3 thoughts on “How To Check and Improve Bounce Rate

  1. Checking bounce rate in our Google Analytics helped us identify our poorly performing pages but we’re struggling to reduce it. Any tips?

    1. Hi Monika,

      Assuming that the page content is what a visitor would expect when clicking through from the search listings, then the best way to improve (i.e. reduce) bounce rate is to add prominent calls-to-action.

      I find “clickable” images overlaid with text work well – add several throughout your content to break up large blocks of text.

      Also include in-text links to related pages on your website making sure they are also prominent (bold, underlined and a different colour to the surrounding text)
      Once you have your CTAs in place monitor the effect on your bounce rate for 2 – 4 weeks in Google Analytics. If there is no change try changing your CTAs until you discover the ones that encourage people to click through.

      Not only will you reduce bounce rate but you’ll also learn something about what visitors are really looking for.

      Good Luck!

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