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Tips To Reduce Bounce Rates 

What is a bounce rate? 

This is a common question in today’s digital age and one that requires some explaining. In summary, it refers to when a customer comes to the initial page on your site and leaves almost immediately without navigating to another page.

You may have heard that having a high bounce rate means your site is doomed but this is rarely the case, so don’t be scared when you see this. It can, of course, have some significance around the design of your site, but it can also suggest that the site is simply not what the user was expecting when they landed there.

How can you identify a bounce rate?

Google analytics is typically the main method of finding and establishing how users are interacting. Many analytics packages measure a bounce as a visit or as a session including 1 page. Therefore, a visitor who read only one page and then left would still be considered a ‘bounce’ even though they were engaged in the content of the page.  Setting timers specific to your users can help. For example, if there is a large amount of content, people that stick around for more than 20 seconds are excluded from bounce rates and you can instead set this up as a goal to track separately.

Measuring your bounce rate is open to much interpretation and can provide vastly different results. For example, blogs often have much higher bounce rates. Therefore, it’s also important when assessing bounce rates that you remember that users are coming from all different devices, browsers, locations etc. This means each screen size delivers a totally different experience for that user and will determine the bounce rate for that segment of traffic. Even page load time will determine this; if the page loads extremely slow on a mobile device the chances of the user leaving are high.

When you jump into Google Analytics and look at mobile specific info you will be able to see this information. The Apple iPhone may have an above average bounce rate and this may be identifying some issues which need to be looked into further.

Image credit: Get Response.

Image credit: Get Response.

Ensure there are no broken promises

If you are getting the wrong type of traffic coming to your site then this will also affect bounce rates. Visitors may be just curious about your business but are not serious about engaging with you. This low quality traffic could be bouncing for a number of reasons. Perhaps the search engine link was incorrect, or maybe the users were not ready to purchase at the time of the visit. For example, social media traffic have notoriously low conversion rates as they are simply surfing the web.

This is important to note especially when identifying bounce rates on display ads as it will provide insight into how successful your ads are. Do the pages the ads are directed to engage the user? Perhaps they clicked on it to view a specific product being advertised but the link is directing them to the home page. Broken promises equal bouncing traffic.

Engage users at all costs

Ultimately, if you are not engaging users, then most or your users will bounce. Use a strong value proposition to eliminate this risk. This does not have to typically be something addressing your company directly, but instead attracts your users, why they are there and, more importantly, why they should stay. Use each page carefully to determine these value propositions to carefully entice the user. For example, your contact page should address what happens once the form has been completed or contact has been made. This will remove any ambiguity and reduce the risk to bounce.

To conclude, we don’t want to just reduce our bounce rates. We want to improve conversion rates by bringing targeted traffic to the right page, at the right time and providing the right message.


By Charlotte MacInnes

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