The number of e-stores is increasing every year. More and more often people prefer to shop online. What are the most important factors taken into account by potential customers? Why do people leave your website and how to prevent it? In today’s article, we’re going to spill the beans and tell you how to reduce the bounce rate!
Table of contents:
- Bounce Rate – What Is It?
- Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
- What Is a Good Bounce Rate?
- Other Important Factors Related to Bounce Rate
- Does a High Bounce Rate Hurt SEO?
- Where Can You Check the Bounce Rate?
- How to Reduce Bounce Rate?
- Improve the Layout of Your Website and Take Care of User Experience
- Ensure That Your Website Has a Responsive Web Design and a Mobile Version
- Place a Call to Action on the Most Popular Subpages
- Improve Your Website Loading Time
- Stay Concise
- Diversify Your Content
- Apply Keywords
- Remember About Search Intent
- Define Your Target Group
- Avoid Pop-Ups and Click Baits
- Get Rid of Broken Links
- Link Wisely
- Make Your 404 Page Engaging
- Publish New Content
- Show Your Expertise
- Use Available Tools
- Engage Your Users
- Bounce Rate & SEO – The Takeaway
Bounce Rate – What Is It?
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visited your website and left it before entering another subpage. It’s calculated by dividing the number of people who entered only one subpage of the site by the number of all visits to the website.
It’s shown in the graphics below.
How to Interpret Bounce Rate?
You can expect a few scenarios which caused visitors to leave the site.
- Internet users didn’t find what they were looking for on your website and decided to leave it by closing the tab or going back to the search results.
- Users already found what they were looking for on the first subpage and didn’t need to go any further.
- There is also the possibility that users clicked other URL on your website and were automatically redirected to another site.
- To consider all possible scenarios, you should also take into account the fact that users might have spent so much time on one subpage of your website that the session time exceeded 30 minutes, without any interaction, and this situation was counted to bounce rate.
- And last but not least, maybe your website has only a homepage, and users aren’t able to enter another subpage. The bounce rate for one-page websites will always be relatively high.
Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
It turns out that there is a difference between the bounce rate and the exit rate.
The exit rate indicates how many times visitors leave the website after visiting a few subpages. It’s given in percentages and calculated by dividing the number of exits by the number of page views.
This parameter can be checked in Google Analytics, in the Behavior Tab.
What is a Good Bounce Rate?
Are you wondering if your bounce rate is acceptable? This is how we can evaluate this parameter:
80% + – unacceptable level
70 – 80% – bad level
50-70% – average level
30-50% – desirable level
As you can see, the bounce rate ranging between 30% and 50% is acceptable.
Is it always the case?
This is a very general classification and everything depends on the industry and the type of the website. This scale works well for all classic shops. Besides, this indicator is interpreted differently for landing pages.
The infographic below shows proper bounce rate levels for website types:
Bounce rate is also different depending on the industry you operate in:
|Average Bounce Rate|
As you can see there’s no such thing as a standard good bounce rate. It depends on the type of website and industry you operate in. So, remember to take these factors into consideration before you make any decision to improve your bounce rate.
Other Important Factors Related to Bounce Rate
When talking about bounce rate we have to mention two other factors. Dwell time and pogo-sticking are connected with bounce rate and are also indicators of how well is a website received by users.
Google algorithm also analyzes dwell time – the time between the moment the user enters a page straight from the search results and returns to the SERPs.
This metric allows robots to evaluate the quality of the result while verifying the bounce rate and the average length of a user’s session. Based on this, they determine whether the search result is satisfactory and meets user expectations.
Pogo sticking happens when users visit several different websites in order to find a satisfying answer to a query. Here’s an example:
Let’s say someone is looking for information about “how to repair a washing machine”. They visited result number 1 but didn’t find a satisfactory answer, so they moved to results number 2, 3, 4, and so on.
If a lot of people pogo stick after choosing the first results, it’s a sign for Google that something is not right. Apparently, result number 1 is not good enough for users, so Goole will drop it down a few positions, and try to find a more accurate page.
Pogo sticking helps Google sort the raking in a more accurate way.
Does a High Bounce Rate Hurt SEO?
Does the bounce rate affect your positions in the search results?
This parameter doesn’t have a direct impact on the ranking. So although it’s not a ranking factor, it’s a sign that your website doesn’t meet users’ expectations.
Good user experience and proper targeting are crucial to engaging website visitors. They help you reach top positions in the SERPs.
What to do if your bounce rate increases? Analyze user behavior (Google Analytics) and implement relevant changes.
Where Can You Check the Bounce Rate?
You can check your bounce rate in Google Analytics.
Log into your GA account and choose the Audience Overview. Here you can check the bounce rate for your whole website:
You can also check the bounce rate for individual pages. Go to the Behavior Tab and then to All Pages:
Remember to check the bounce rate for different traffic sources! Organic, Paid, and Direct traffic will have different bounce rates. Compare them and analyze where you should make improvements.
How to Reduce Bounce Rate?
There are many reasons why people leave websites.
They don’t find what they need, or the content they are looking for is on the first subpage so they don’t have to go any further. The page navigation isn’t intuitive, etc. The possibilities are endless.
What we want to achieve is to increase a dwell time – as we mentioned before, it’s the time a person spends looking at a webpage after they’ve clicked a link on a SERP page, but before clicking back to the SERP results.
How to solve the problem? What to do if your bounce rate is too high? Below you can see a list of a few tips to start with:
1. Improve the Layout of Your Website and Take Care of User Experience
The layout of your website matters more than you think. Focus on these aspects:
- Is everything clear and easy to comprehend?
- Is your menu intuitive?
- Is the design user-friendly?
This aspect includes elements such as user-friendly, readable colors and fonts.
It’s also very important that users know what to do next on your website. Study the customer journey of your website and make sure that it’s clear what the next step should be. Users will leave confusing websites.
2. Ensure That Your Website Has a Responsive Web Design and a Mobile Version
Today, mobile devices are eagerly used by people all over the world. Very often we browse the net while sitting on the bus or commuting to work. We frequently complete transactions on mobile devices.
Make sure that your website adapts to various types of resolution.
3. Place a Call to Action on the Most Popular Subpages
Use various tools (e.g. HotJar) to determine which subpages are viewed the most frequently. Thanks to that you’ll find out where to place your Call to Action that will engage users and encourage them to perform a specific action.
4. Improve Your Website Loading Time
If your website loads more than 2 or 3 seconds, users probably won’t wait. Instead, they’ll enter another site that loads faster.
It’s a good idea to compress your pictures and graphics so that the website loads as quickly as possible. Use Page Speed Insights to analyze your page loading time and see what elements need improvement.
5. Stay Concise
Don’t write long essays that no one will read. Instead, create shorter paragraphs that include the most important pieces of information. This way, users browsing the net on smartphones will be able to easily scan the page and find what they need.
6. Diversify Your Content
Content isn’t only text.
Diversify your website with infographics, videos, or images. They can effectively communicate the message, attract visitors and convince them to stay on the page for longer.
7. Apply Keywords
Make sure that your content includes relevant keywords corresponding to the topic of your website. Use appropriate words, sentences, and paragraphs to show Google and users what your website is about.
8. Remember About Search Intent
When choosing keywords and phrases you want to rank for, remember that users have different intents when typing in queries.
When you research your keywords in SEO tools pay attention to the intent that’s displayed next to every keyword.
Find out more about search intent from this article – Search intent in SEO. How to understand users?
If it’s informative – don’t use it for your product category – users want to find information and not buy a product when they type in this keyword, so they’ll bounce off your website right away.
9. Define Your Target Group
Define your target audience and use appropriate language that will help you reach recipients.
Convince people that your offer is addressed just to them. Intrigue potential customers, engage them, and encourage them to stay on your website for longer.
10. Avoid Pop-Ups and Click Baits
Avoid intrusive advertisements that prevent users from accessing the content.
Catchy titles with false promises aren’t effective anymore. It’s true that they may initially attract people to your website. But, such visitors will quickly leave it when they realize that the navigation isn’t intuitive or you’ve tricked them, hence your bounce rate will increase.
11. Get Rid of Broken Links
Broken links may quickly irritate users and they’ll leave your website frustrated.
Use Google Search Console or Screaming Frog to detect links that don’t work properly and get rid of them.
12. Link Wisely
Focus on your internal link strategy. Create link chains that will keep users on your website for longer.
Don’t provide links to random product categories or blog posts. Give people thematically related content and keep them on your page for longer.
13. Make Your 404 Page Engaging
The 404 page can include more than the message saying that the page was not found.
Give users alternative subpages they can visit and help them find the information they need. This will surely decrease the bounce rate.
Remember to fix 404 errors as soon as possible. Find out how to do this in our article – https://delante.co/how-to-fix-404-errors/
14. Publish New Content
Saturate your website with quality content. Remember about the EAT principle when you craft your content to make sure it’s the best it can be.
Give users a variety of topics and blog posts to choose from. This may convince them to stay on your website for longer since they have more material to check out. Moreover, it shows Google that your website is active and up-to-date.
15. Show Your Expertise
An increasing number of users look for reliable content. Show them that you’re an expert in the field and you know what you’re talking about.
Use positive comments and reviews to build your recognition and convince people that your company is trustworthy.
16. Use Available Tools
Track user engagement and behavior with tools such as Google Analytics. Check the bounce rate, web session duration, or the number of pages visited per session. Analyze the data and draw conclusions to determine areas for improvement.
17. Engage Your Users
The easiest way to reduce your bounce rate is to add modules that engage users. Comment and rating section, Instagram feed, videos showing the products just to start. Your goal is to keep users on your website as long as possible.
To make sure your customers have a clear understanding of your offer, create tables that compare different products, add reviews and links to thematically related blog posts. Provide your users with all the information they might need so they don’t leave your website to search for them somewhere else.
They also might need additional support so add a chat to your website, so they can ask questions directly.
Bounce Rate & SEO – The Takeaway
If you apply all the above-mentioned methods and tips, then you’re bound to decrease your bounce rate and improve your sales.
Primarily, focus on the users and their experiences. Make your website navigation intuitive. Give visitors the content they’re looking for.
Decreasing the bounce rate will support your SEO activities. Remember that customer trust is priceless and affects the decision-making process.
Do you need help with improving your website SEO-wise? Contact us – we can do it for you!
This is an update of an article published in 2019.