Your site’s analytics is a powerful resource when it comes to learning more about your target market. It can tell you how successful you are, help track where people are going, and clue you in on what works and what doesn’t.
An analytic that doesn’t get nearly enough attention or thought is bounce rate. For many, it’s simply a secondary data set that sits next to general traffic numbers, but it’s so much more than that. Here are different ways your bounce rate can inform you more about your consumers, your site and what you need to improve.
Learn If Your Content Is Interesting Enough
At the base level, bounce rate tells marketers if they were able to capture their visitor’s attention. A high bounce rate on a content page can be indicative that what you are presenting isn’t interesting enough. You can further investigate if this is the case by cross referencing your bounce rates with average times on the page.
If a content page that should take at least 5 minutes to read fully, and maybe a minute to skim lightly, has an average time of a few seconds before people leave, you aren’t capturing the attention of your readers. They are looking at the page and then hitting the back button once they realize they don’t care to keep reading.
A big way to improve this is to have headlines that keep a visitor’s attention and matches what they are looking for. They are clicking on a link to visit your site for a reason, whether it’s for entertainment or information, and then you aren’t meeting their expectations.
If your content is in any way intimidating, like long paragraphs with small fonts or massive words, it might also be scaring them away. Having clean web design, interesting content, and making it easy to enjoy are all ways to lower your bounce rate. Don’t be afraid to change up your content and spice things up from time to time.
Attracting the Wrong Market
It easy for website owners and marketers alike to hunt after increasing their general traffic. It stems off the thought process that the more people visit the site, the more leads and sales they’ll get. So, they do whatever they can to increase sales, regardless of whether it works for their target market. The end result is attracting the wrong consumers.
A clear sign of this is a high bounce rate on the whole site, but especially on your main page. That means people are coming to your site and leaving without even going to another page. Not ideal for increasing sales.
It’s not uncommon for a home/main page to have a higher bounce rate than the rest of the site, especially if you post updates on it that people regularly check. But an extremely high one can indicate you are attracting, or misleading, the wrong market to your site. This could require a major overhaul of your site and marketing practices to realign your work with your target market’s preferences.
Another clear sign that you are attracting the wrong market is if you have huge amounts of leads that never sell. If this is the case, you might want to produce some exclusionary personas to help focus what you want to do and what not to do on your site.
Mobile Bounce Rates
Breaking up your bounce rates can help determine how effective different parts of your site performs. One extremely useful way is figuring out what works best on your mobile version versus your desktop. People browse the web much differently on mobile devices than they do on desktop. Yet many keep their content and site nearly identical between the two platforms, minus how it appears on the screen (if your site is mobile friendly.)
High bounce rates on mobile could mean a couple of things. An extremely high rate, like in the 90%, is a glaring clue that there is something wrong with the mobile interface or design. If nearly everybody is leaving your site quickly and isn’t sticking around for anything, the cause could be a design flaw that pushes them away or offends them. This could include far too many ads, overly long load times, or bugs that mess with the viewing pleasure.
When High Bounces Rates Are Good
While not the most common, there are specific times a high bounce rate could be good. A prime example of this is a product page that redirects customers to a third party site like Amazon. If a person landed on the product page and then left to a site you want them to visit like a vendor, it will count in your bounce rate.
Another page that might be acceptable for a higher bounce rate is your contact page. If people are emailing, calling, or filling out a form and none of these options lead to another page, it will count as a bounce if they landed on that page.
Improving Bounce Rates
In most instances, a high bounce rate isn’t good. It’s impossible to eliminate bounce rate entirely, but a healthy/average bounce rate is around 50%. Lower than 50 is excellent and higher than 65% is when you should start to worry. Even if you have a good or above average bounce rate, you could always improve it.
One key way to lower your bounce rate and retain visitors for longer is to provide offers at the end of every page. Wherever a visitor may land, there should be something enticing them to stay longer. If you run a business blog, have articles similar to the topic somebody just read linked at the bottom, going more in depth about it. Every page should lead to another in a natural sense that keeps people moving through your site. Not only will this lower your bounce rate, it will also improve sales if that is your site’s purpose.
As you experiment with different ways to lower bounce rate, you’ll learn more about what your consumers and visitors want. Analyze pages with low bounce rates to find out what’s different about them and use that information. Decisions based off of data are much more likely to succeed over ones made by intuition or common sense.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.