A ”bounce rate” is not the rate at which a pro basketball player dribbles the ball! In the world of the web, that term describes the limited activity of a potential customer on a website.  A “bounce” is when someone visits your site and lands on a page but only stays on it briefly before leaving your site without taking any further action.

A “bounce rate” is one of a group of metrics (Analytics), or standards of measurement, by which website visitor traffic is evaluated… and hopefully improved. Having an Analytics tool installed on your site and routinely reviewing its reports is vital. A bounce rate is also a tool to help in determining and addressing conversion rates. Bounce rates need to be reviewed subjectively.

Below, we discuss some general best practices as well as certain advocated activities which can both hurt and help websites. As each business has its own unique value propositions and audience those activities will vary.

What is considered a high bounce rate? As a general rule of thumb, a 50% bounce rate is average. If you are at 60%, you should be very concerned; if you are at 80% you have a major problem! A goal to shoot for would be a rate of under 40%.

A high bounce rate suggests one of two things:

  • You’re attracting the wrong kind of traffic to your site.
  • You’re attracting exactly the right kind of traffic to your site.

Many people overlook my second bullet point, as most websites tend to be victims of the first. If a user comes into your site and finds exactly what they were looking for; an answer to their question or solution to their problem, they don’t stay a moment longer or look around on other pages – they appear as a “bounce”.

Websites that are excellent at solving information problems quickly often have high bounce rates. Such a website is designed to rank for question queries, offering precise and concise answers to its users, providing the answers they need, so visitors leave… but come back often.

Then, you have websites where it is critical to get visitors to stick (stay). You want them to spend time clicking around the site, browsing content, and build toward a conversion (an action like making a purchase or filling out a contact form).

In these cases (most cases), high bounce rates are a conversion killer, and anything you can do to increase the time on site and number of page-views can be directly be linked to any increased traffic and increased success.

Before an approach is made to improve something, it is important to have a firm understanding of what it is that needs to be improved upon.

Reducing the bounce rate on pages that have the highest volume of traffic from your highest converting sources means more engaged visitors and a greater chance of conversion.

Here is a list of bounce rate reduction considerations:

  • Avoid using distracting and annoying Pop-ups
  • Provide clear navigation to important pages
  • Have an attractive site design – both in terms of graphical treatments and readability
  • Have sufficient text on the home page to feed the search engines
  • Have a fast site loading speed
  • Make your site Mobile-friendly
  • Place a Call-to-Action on every page
  • Have a clear path from ad copy to landing page copy
  • Be mindful of Ad placement
  • Be blatant in your messages so that visitors don’t have to guess
  • Avoid the distractions of autoplay audio and video
  • Offer related content based on Personas (fictional, demographic customers)
  • Prominently display your site Search box
  • Split up long posts into smaller, more easily digestible chunks
  • Offer multiple ways for people to get the same info: text, video and images
  • Review and leverage internal site page search patterns

There are more items that could be listed but these make up an excellent starting point. Bounce rates are an area where a reduction, rather than an increase, is the goal. Take steps to put your website on its bounce rate ‘diet’ today!

Let us know how we can help with you develop your ‘diet’ or share your bounce rate concerns below.