If you’ve spent any amount of time diving into your business’s website analytics you probably have seen this term bounce rate. What is Bounce Rate? Well, your site’s bounce rate is the percentage of site visits that are only single-page sessions where the user visiting leaves without visiting a second page. Bounce rate is calculated by taking the total number of single-page visits divided by the total number of visitors to the website.
Bounce Rate is essentially just a metric that shows engagement. I like to think of this metric as answering the question “are people having meaningful visits on my site?”
Bounce rate is a key indicator for Google’s placement, but there isn’t a specific percentage your site needs to be hitting. Each industry has a different standard and HubSpot has compiled a list that shows average bounce rates across different types of sites. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, but they could offer some insight into page performance.
40% – 60% content websites
30% — 50% lead generation websites
70% — 90% blog posts
20% — 40% retail / e-commerce websites
10% — 30% service websites 70% — 90% landing pages
If your bounce rate currently isn’t lining up with your industry benchmark, don’t fret! Bounce rate is something that can be worked on continuously, and we have a few ideas on where to start.
How To Improve Bounce Rate
Before you jump right into making changes, you should take some time to get an understanding of your site analytics. This will help you understand where changes are needed most. With that in mind, here are a few examples of effective ways to improve pages with a higher bounce rate.
One way to reduce bounce rate is to reconsider how it’s being calculated. Google will count a bounce as someone who spends a substantial amount of time on one page so long as they don’t go to another page before leaving your site. A solution that you can implement is a virtual pageview in Google Analytics for applicable events. This helps to create a more accurate representation of what bounce rate is on your site.
Diving into your analytics to identify the different traffic sources of users can be beneficial to understanding where your website’s bounce rate is most in need of improvement. For example, people coming from an organic search may discover your content as exactly what they are looking for and have a lower bounce rate and higher conversion rate. However, that isn’t necessarily the case for someone who finds you through a social channel, or, even a PPC ad.
If you are trying to increase the engagement of visitors on your site, the most effective action is to identify and highlight content that you think they will like *(another reason it is important to get a good understanding of who your customer is)*. An excellent indicator of this is which pages are seeing the most traffic organically.
Once you have identified what content that is, you can design your website around that set of most engaging content. For example, if are an educational site, you might include the most visited, or commented on blogs front and center for easy discovery of that content.
If you are seeing a vast majority of your traffic coming from returning visitors over new visitors, keep your content feeling fresh and new. Update content when available and use new imagery. This will make the content feel less stale to returning visitors, while also increasing the chance that returning visitors will engage differently on your site.
In addition to displaying the most relevant/popular content, you can also make improvements to the design of your site. This might include improving imagery, using good color contrast (accessibility is so important!), and crafting better calls to action on pages. If our goal was to get a user to check out the 1981 blog, we would want to make sure there is a clear call to action driving users there.
Your goal with your site should be “what will give my visitors the best possible user experience,” and part of that is having an as easily navigable site as possible. Having a clear, hierarchical structure will vastly improve that user experience. Make it easy for your customers to find exactly what they are looking for.
If a user is frustrated by how hard it is to find what they need, their chance of converting gets slimmer, and their chances of bouncing are even higher.
Factor into your consideration what your users are browsing your site on. If your site is designed beautifully for a desktop experience, but you haven’t put any time into mobile responsiveness and your customer is mostly engaging on mobile, then their experience won’t be as seamless, and their likelihood of bouncing increases. Your site needs to cater to both mobile and desktop responsiveness.
Another important fix that can help your bounce rate is page load time. Studies show that users are more likely to leave a page if it takes more than a few seconds to load
There are several tools to help with understanding your load time, but we recommend starting with Google’s free service PageSpeed Insights.
Lastly, removing pop-up ads and other data-heavy elements from your site can help to reduce bounce rate. Try A/B testing different improvement ideas to be confident that the changes you have made are positive improvements overall.
Comparing your bounce rate by channel (organic, social, referral, paid, direct) will help you see whether that are issues with traffic sources that could indicate other issues.
If one channel sees a higher bounce rate, it is worth investigating your campaigns and efforts for that specific channel. For instance, if people are coming to your site from a pay-per-click advertisement, make sure the content on that landing page is specific to the ad. If you haven’t already, you should consider creating landing pages specific to your campaigns with clear calls to action. This will help reduce your bounce rate.