Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that land on a page on your website and don’t visit any others. It is a measure of the effectiveness of landing pages. A high bounce rate means you are making a bad first impression. A bounce rate of less than 30% is considered good, but with 60% or higher, you have a problem.
Businesses need to optimise the stickiness of all of landing pages on their site; the home page and all other pages that are accessed directly from external links.
Here are a few ways you can reduce your site’s bounce rate:
Make sure you have easy to use, informative and useful reporting software on which to make data-informed decisions.
Look at your landing pages to see which have the highest entry traffic. Then use tools like Crazy Egg heatmaps to identify the worst bounce rate offenders. Test different page designs using A/B testing or Google Website Optimiser to find which works to improve your bounce rate.
Monitor the bounce rates for geography/language, browser/operating system and traffic source to identify issues. For example, one browser may produce a higher bounce rate than another, thereby identifying there maybe a browser specific issue.
Use the same keywords in your web copy and metadata to reinforce them to the search engines. In your search marketing efforts, if the bounce rate is high for keywords you are buying, you need to either improve the landing page to reinforce the topic or bid on keywords that are more relevant to your content.
The loading time of your webpage is important for both SEO and to keep visitors on your site. All unnecessary plug-ins should be deactivated and all images and code optimised to speed up the loading time. Your visitors will be more likely stick around and visit more pages if your pages load quickly.
Minimise external links from your web pages as these only give the visitor an excuse to leave. Be selective when including external references and put them out of the way, for example towards the bottom of a page.
It’s very tempting to improve the stickiness of your site with competitions and polls, but if the sole aim becomes to improve your bounce rate, your main message may become diluted. Your site’s mission to either sell, entertain or inform should always be primary.