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[Quick Tips] What is Bounce Rate, What Causes it, and How Can I Reduce it?

What Is Bounce Rate?

bounce_rateBounce rate is a data metric used to determine “the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).”

In short, Bounce Rate is “the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.”.

Example 1: If a user landed on your homepage, looked around a bit, and then left, this would be considered a bounce.
Example 2: If a user landed on your homepage, looked around a bit, and then visited your gallery page, this would not be considered a bounce.

What Might Cause A High Bounce Rate?

There are a wide range of reasons your website might encounter a high bounce rate, some of which are:
1. Single Page Websites – Websites with only 1 page tend to have an extremely high bounce rate, due to the fact that there aren’t any other pages of the site for the user to visit. This means that all of your visitors will only view a single page of your website before leaving, so each visit is counted as a bounce, making your overall bounce rate quite high.
2. Some Pages Missing Tracking Code – If your website has tracking code on some pages, but not others, this can cause a high bounce rate, as well. This happens because, if a user visits a page with a tracking code and then navigates to a page without tracking code, the tracking data is unable to follow the visitor’s path to the 2nd page, so the visit is counted as a bounce. This issue can be fixed simply by making sure ALL of your website’s pages include the same tracking code.
3. Boring Content or Site Design – If your website has a boring feel to it, this can also translate to a high bounce rate (especially on the homepage). Try to make sure your website/content is as visually friendly and engaging as possible, as this will greatly reduce your overall bounce rate because more users tend to navigate deeper into a site the more engaging and visually appealing it is.
4. Misleading Landing Page Content – Avoiding misleading traffic-building tactics whenever possible can also improve your overall bounce rate. A fairly common reason for a high bounce rate on a website is when a site sends paid (PPC) traffic to a page of their site, using misleading keywords/ad copy that doesn’t accurately reflect the content on the page (if a user clicks the ad expecting one thing and gets to your landing page and finds something totally different, they will likely leave the page and cause a bounce).

How Can You Reduce Your Bounce Rate?

There are several things you can do to try to lower your website’s overall bounce rate, including:
1. Remove or Reduce Popups & Ads – Popups can be really annoying, and they tend to cause a fair amount of users to leave a site, causing a high bounce rate. By removing popups on your site, you can reduce your chances of a new user becoming a bounce. Also, having a lot of text/image ads on your website can also turn users off in some cases, which can also translate to high bounce rates. Keeping text/image ads to a minimum whenever possible is also a good way to avoid a lot of unnecessary bounces.
2. Add Media & Visual Aids – By making your website more engaging through the addition of media such as a YouTube video or adding more visual aids to a page can keep a user on the site longer. This might not actually lower your bounce rate directly, but can affect your bounce rate indirectly. The idea is, the longer a user is on your site, the more likely they are to become interested in what you are presenting, which may prompt them to visit a additional pages of your site.
3. Crosslink Relevant Content – By presenting other relevant content via on-page links, you can prompt a user to visit additional pages of your site that they might not have otherwise visited, which can lower your website’s overall bounce rate a fair bit.
4. Create a Simple & Logical Navigation – Keep your website’s navigation simple, logical, and user-friendly. The navigation is a very powerful tool to get a user to visit additional pages of your website, but overly large/complex navigations can frustrate a user, which may prompt them to leave instead of viewing additional pages. Keep your nav short and sweet, and make sure to include your primary pages that you know most users will find valuable/interesting.
5. Offer a Deal or Special – By advertising a deal/special or something else that might highly interest your visitors on various pages of your website, you can sometimes prompt a user to visit the deal/offer page you were pushing, which then counts as a 2nd page visit. Doing this can sometimes reduce the overall number of bounces your website gets (the more attractive the deal/offer is, the more it tends to have a positive effect).

While having a high bounce rate is not always a bad thing (as it can range a large amount based on industry and other factors), it is good practice to actively aim to lower your website’s bounce rate whenever possible, especially since user behavior metrics (such as bounce rates) are starting to have a larger effect on organic SEO rankings on the major search engines, such as Google and BING.

WordJack Media provides a wide range of website design and online marketing solutions to clients throughout Canada and the US, including Collingwood ON, Ottawa ON, Barrie ON, Miami FL, Lakeland FL, Orlando FL, Charlotte NC, Hickory NC, Asheville NC and more. Contact WordJack Media today for more information about how we can help your business win on the web!

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