Bounce rate is one of the most important metrics a marketing manager can consider: it is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing just one page, and a good indicator of how your content and site usability is resonating with your audience. The average bounce rate is around 50%, and anything under 40% is considered to be very good. A bounce rate of 70% or over is high for most pages on a website, although if the first interaction a user has is on a blog article then a higher bounce rate is more expected.
How To Improve Bounce Rate
There are several steps to take to improve bounce rate on your website. Below are a few tips from Section:
Improve page speed: Page speed is arguably the most important metric you should look at in relation to bounce rate. Multiple studies have shown that bounce rate increases with higher page load times, and more than 40% of users will abandon your site if it takes over 3 seconds to load. That means if your site loads slowly, you will be starting at a high bounce rate before accounting for users who leave your site for different reasons. This illustration from Soasta demonstrates this point:
Examine the messaging on your site: One of the main reasons a user may leave your site quickly is if they don’t understand your product or service. If your homepage is unclear or vaugue, impatient internet users will likely click off your page rather than try and navigate to different sections to understand what you are offering. Clear and concise messages that immediately indicate to a user why they should browse your site further are crucial to lowering bounce rate.
If you are using online advertisements to bring users to your site, ensure that the page each advertisement links to is relevant to the keywords on the ad. For example, if a user clicks on an ad proclaiming “Shoe Sale! 70% off everything” and is directed to a homepage that does not mention the sale, they will be more likely to leave than if they were directed right to the sale page.
Adjust ad targeting: Ads through search engines such as Google or Bing and social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter often take some tuning before they will deliver the right results for your business. Certain keywords may bring a high volume of low-quality traffic to your site. These are users who click on an ad and are unlikely to navigate your site further.
Look at the conversion and bounce rates for each of your keywords or targeting groups and adjust or remove those which are not performing well. Even if these keywords are bringing traffic to your site, if that traffic is unlikely to ever convert it is a waste of your advertising money. To bring higher-value visitors to your site through advertising, focus on long-tail, specific keywords and direct users to an appropriate landing page. A keyword such as “Women’s winter hiking boots” is better than “Women’s boots.”
Create clear actions for users: One reason users may navigate off the first page they visit on your website is that they aren’t sure where to go next. Should they browse product pages, read a recent article, download a guide, or sign up for an account? The calls to action on your website will be determined by how you want users to convert, but no matter what they should be clear both in wording and design. Too many different calls to action or buttons on a page can be confusing, but without any direction users are forced to dig deeper before making their next move.
Stick to one or two clear calls to action on each page, and include a menu at the top that stands out visually and has clear categories for users who want to decide themselves where to go next.
Look at metrics by device type: Users browse websites differently depending on the device they are on. Those on a laptop or desktop computer are likely have more time to look through a website and may be more patient when it comes to page speed. Mobile users take load time into consideration even more harshly: a study by Google showed that 53% of mobile users navigate off a page if it fails to load with 3 seconds.
If your website is not optimized for mobile phones and tablets that will also have a negative impact on bounce rate as pages may not render correctly. If your bounce rate is higher on mobile devices and tablets than on desktop computers, you should look into improving mobile performance and ensure your site is responsive for all types of devices.
Improve page speed and bounce rate with Section
Section is a website performance and security solution built to enable developers to achieve optimal performance. Through our global Content Delivery Network and flexible, open versions of Varnish Cache and ModSecurity we give sites the power to improve their speed and protect themselves from malicious traffic. Learn more by contacting our team today.