Why a high bounce rate doesn’t have to be bad

We all like to keep the visitors on our site or blog (yes so do I – so please STAY :)) There is an awesome tool that can help us keep track on the visitors. Some of you might know it already – it’s called “Bounce Rate”. If you are have been working with Google Analytic you probably know it. And if you haven’t Google Analytic on your site – go and get it as fast as you can.

 

Okay ready for the definition – taken from Google Analytic ?
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.

So is a high bounce rate bad? No – it doesn’t have to be. Maybe your visitors came because of a search on Google and clicked on your natural link or your Google Adwords and found what he or she was looking for. Maybe your visitors stayed 2 hours on a single page or maybe the visitor stayed only for 2 second. You can’t really tell. So it doesn’t have to be bad with a high bounce rate – BUT. (Yes I know .. There is always a but!)

Normally you would like a low bounce rate. You want your visitors to see more pages, maybe go and sign up for something or maybe buy something. And then you have to work with the bounce rate (I like the sound of the word Bounce – don’t you?)

 

So what is a good bounce rate?
It really depends on your line of business. Many blogs have like 80% bounce rate. So if your blog has that – don’t worry. With blogs – many visitors read a post and then move on.

In business like hotels and motels its normally with a bounce rate around 30%. The reason is that people are looking at the hotel, try to read about it, looking pictures and so on.

But – you are in trouble if the bounce rate suddenly increases or decreases dramatically. What did you change that made that happened? If one page on your site has a very high or very low bounce rate you might want to change that page, or change your other pages to get the same high bounce rate.

The bounce rate on your site depend a lot on your site architecture and industry. But let me tell you some good advices to get it lower.

 

How to get a lower bounce rate
Okay there’s in fact a lot you can do to lower the rate. So I will take you on a “lower-your-bounce-rate-tour”. Ready?

Yes yes yes… I will do it as a list. I am a list lover :)

 

How you write
1. Motivation. Your visitors have been curious enough to click on a link to your site in the first place. So if you can offer something else, something interesting or compelling, maybe a block of related articles or recent user comments – then he will probably stay longer on your site.

2. Content Format. Don’t write too lengthy paragraph. Instead use bullet points, a few pictures (yes I know I have to be better with that) to break up things Specific topics. Stick to your topic. If your blog is about …. Hmm… Dogs don’t write about fast cars.

3. Important information and call to action first. Get to the point, what do you want the reader to know. And remember to put a call to action near the top too.

4. Provide Relevant Content. Yes I know that sounded simple – well something things are simple right? Most people are searching on Google, found your link interested. So maybe you should work a little more on the copy :). Yes I know the old saying – content is king.

5. Language. Use the language of your target audience. I tell you guys my Danish is much better than my English. But I wonder how many of you can read Danish? You don’t write the same way if you are writing for kids or for business people right? Let a customer read your text though.

6. Update Your Content. If your text is 6 years old. Take it away or update it. Nobody wants to read old stuff on the internet.

 

Sites architecture
7. Search box. A search box is always great to let the visitor find other relevant pages on your site.

8. Page load time. Is your page slow at loading. Do you have too big pictures or heavy pictures. If so many people will move away.

9. Design. How is your aesthetically design. A good aesthetic design shows trust. If it looks homemade you will lose some visitors right away.

10. Clear Navigation. Don’t make it hard for people to find his way around on your website.

11. Traffic sources. Check out your sources. Sometimes people from Twitter or digg getting a much higher bounce rate than people from Google Adwords. Maybe you need new specific landing-page for some of your traffic sources (you really should try that out)

12. Pages check. Check out your different pages. Do they have a different bounce rate? What is the different content, copy, design of theses pages?

13. Test test test. Every time you change something to lower the bounce rate – remember to check out the rate. You will have to know what is working for you.

 

Okay that was the writing… The fun part is to higher your bounce rate – so go out and kick it :)

As always yours

Henrik

 

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