Bounce rate is often misunderstood and is one of the key performance indicators while determining the SEO tactics for a particular website. Read on to find out more about it and how you could lower the bounce rate value to a certain extent.
Firstly, I would like to clear some points regarding Bounce Rate. Here are the most common questions and their answers:
What is it?
Simply put, it is the number of visitors directed to your website through search engines, but bounce back to the search engine to look into other resources without navigating into any other pages on your website.
Does it affect your SEO campaign?
I know it hurts, but having a high bounce rate will negatively affect your SEO campaign. A high bounce rate would signal the search engines that your website, although it does contain the keywords entered by people, doesn’t prove to be relevant to those keywords, which will bring your ranking down. Also, your website could get penalized.
How could I measure it?
There are numerous tools; however, I feel Google Analytics would present with a more accurate version of the results.
What are the min and max numbers?
The rule of the thumb is that anything less than 30% is a low bounce rate, and something more than 50% is a high bounce rate and you need to do some serious analysis to find out the reasons.
What is the difference between Exit Rate and Bounce Rate?
Often people mistake both these terms as one and the same. However, there is a huge difference between both and one should not misunderstand them.
As explained earlier it is the number of visitors who bounce back to the search engines, without looking further in the website. Let’s understand the exit rate now.
Exit rate is the last viewed page by the visitors in a particular session. Whether the visitor is on the first page, the 15th page or the last page, it shows how many visitors have left the website from a particular page.
It is one of the most hampering factors for your website to secure a top page position on major search engines. It could be lowered by making your visitors stay on the website for a longer time. How could you do this?
Lowering your Bounce Rate
- The look of your website: The most significant step for any website, at the essential stages, is the design and the layout part. The website should please the eyes of the user in order to make them stay longer on the website. A disorganized website would create a bad first impression on the reader’s mind compelling them to leave the site at once, worsening your bounce rate.
Also, make sure that the fonts that you select should be readable and at any point, the reader should not feel that the fonts are incomprehensible.
- Stick to your topic: Content forms an essential part of your website as the visitors need to find relevant information on the topic which they have been searching. Always keep in mind, that the content is original, relevant, and based on your industry niche.
- The loading time of your webpage: A slow loading time will only add to your worries as it tests the patience of your visitors, who ultimately will give up and leave your website swearing not to come back again. Avoid inserting heavy pictures or videos into your webpage. Instead, you could use compressed ones if required.
- The size of images: A reasonably sized image would attract your readers gaining their engagement with the website. An A/B testing would be most helpful here as you could test with the various aspects like inserting the images at various places with sizes varying to check out which one works the most. A nice picture would ensure that your audience stays on the website for a longer time and click on other pages.
- Links to external pages: Your visitors would appreciate if you provide them with links to some external sources for some more information. You could insert a link at the bottom of the page and ask your visitors to click on it to get some more information on the topic. Make sure, that the external link opens up in a new window so that the visitor could always come back to your site when required
- Relevant Headline with Keywords: It is advisable to use a keyword in your headline, but it could turn out to be disastrous if the content is not related to the headline as more customers would leave the page at once.
- Include a Search Bar: Always have search bars on your website which could be easily seen, so that the visitors could enter the topic which they would like to search for on your website.
- About Us Page: Prepare an attractive About Us page which would give some more information to your visitors regarding your business, you and the products and services associated. You will in fact see people clicking on the About Us Page and the bounce rate going down
- Enable commenting: You could design the page in a way so that it refreshes every time a visitor enters a comment which would record more than one page visited thus lowering your bounce rate.
- Internal Linking: This is something that Wikipedia does. You could insert links connecting to the pages of your own website in case a visitor wants some more information on something that is mentioned in the article.
- Pop-up windows: Now, this is the most annoying part in any website. It devalues the overall user experience if something worthwhile is not given. They usually disturb the users while looking for information.
- Make your website mobile friendly: It is beneficial to have websites built for mobiles and tablets as well which could be an effective way of lowering bounce rates. Not only the design and accessibility, but also the language should be lucid so that the people on the move could catch up with the information given on your site.
- Be wise with Ads: Even Google has started penalizing all those websites which have huge ads. The ads should not be placed wherever you feel like inserting them and taking the users for granted. Your visitors would leave the page as soon as they come to know that they are being victims of unwanted ads.
Closing Thoughts: It won’t hurt you to follow the guidelines given here and they are worth implementing. However, these are not magical tools which will bring your bounce rate all of a sudden to less than 10%. High bounce rates are the killers of conversion and anything you could do to increase the visitors’ time and pageviews will directly supplement to the success of the website.