Web Site Bounce Rate
Retaining Web Site Traffic and Lowering Bounce Rates.
A web site without traffic serves absolutely no purpose.
Assuming your Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Pay Per Click campaigns are effective, and you are driving traffic to your web site, then retaining that traffic is the next requirement to ensure your web site achieves business goals.
The topic here is not conversions, but some of the more common reasons why a web site visitor arriving on your web site bounces straight back off again. I will be posting a blog on web site conversions in the near future.)
Definition: Web site bounce rate is the percentage of total web site visitors for a set period of time who leave the web site without clicking through to additional web pages.
What is a reasonable bounce rate? There is no pre-determined bounce rate which can be used as a baseline for determining if your bounce rate is excessive or acceptable, as there are far too many variables between web sites, business niche, design etc.
The best guideline, and it is only a guideline is to use the benchmarking feature in Google Analytics which providing you have Google Analytics installed and it includes some historical data allows you to compare the performance of your web site against those of similar web sites within your industry.
Obviously, unless you have a one page web site, or if you have a landing page where a visitor can accomplish their conversion, minimizing the bounce rate should be a priority issue for web site owners.
A high bounce rate also has a detrimental affect on your ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Search Engines are sophisticated and a Searcher returning immediately to the SERPs after quickly visiting your web site is an indication to the Search Engines that your web site is not relevant to the Search terms used and will adjust your ranking accordingly.
Non Relevant Results Provided By Search Engines
Of course Search Engines do not get it right all the time and will list your web site in the SERPs when it has absolutely no relevance to your web site topic, products or services. To understand better what Search Phrases have been used to locate your site you can utilize the following tools:
- Google’s web master tools
- Google Analytics
- Web site logs
Unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about the non relevant Search Phrases you ranking for in the SERPs. Once you have determine the keywords and phrases which are not relevant but are accessing your web site from the Search Engine Results Pages, you are now prepared to evaluate and remedy other issues which may be affecting your web site’s bounce rate.
Audience Identification and Targeting
One of the primary reasons a web site may have an excessively high bounce rate is the web site’s potential audience has not been properly identified. If this is indeed the case when these visitors arrive at the web site, the topic, service and products of the web site will be of no interest to these visitors and they will immediately leave and search for a web site that does meet their interests and objectives.
Poor Keyword Selection
Keyword research is the foundation of virtually all your Web Site Performance strategies whether they are Organic Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing or Pay Per Click Campaigns. Keywords are the most important factor in the success of all these strategies.
The keyword / keyword phrase is the foundation of your content for all strategies, it is what people search for and often the topic of your Social Media Marketing initiatives. If the correct keywords and phrases are not researched, analyses and selected your content and topics will not be relevant to your targeted web site visitor. As I have previously stated when a visitor lands on a page which is not relevant they leave, it’s that simple.
Ad Copy – Titles – Descriptions
How your web site is represented in the both Organic and Paid Search results affects your web site’s bounce rates.
Ad Copy used in PPC campaigns and the Titles and Descriptions used in the snippets for Organic Search results should be written to encourage Searchers to click on your link and visit your page.
The ad copy, title and descriptions should be an honest representations of what the visitor will find on arrival to your web page, if it not they will surely bounce straight back to the SERPs having a detrimental effect on both your Organic ranking in the SERPs and your Pay Per Click campaign.
Landing Pages are critical to ensuring you captivate the attention of visitors upon clicking through to your web site within seconds.
The landing page must be highly relevant to the ad copy, title and description Searchers have viewed on the SERPs, and must be evident almost immediately. The two things that Internet users have very little of are, time, and patience. If it not immediately apparent how they benefit from visiting your web pages they will be gone and your bounce rate will be up.
Web Design and Web Usability
First impressions count, a poorly designed web site which is cluttered with excessive graphics and poor content leaves visitors confused and reduces visitor’s confidence in your web site, product and services.
The web site content must be clear and concise and easy to view and understand. If users are not able to do this, the result is again leaving the web site and increased bounce rates.
Web Site Navigation
It only makes sense that if you want your visitors to click through to additional web pages the web site navigation structure must be clearly labeled and intuitive.
Navigational issues do rank highly when considering bounce rate, to ensure your visitors are able to navigate the web site to additional pages be sure to do a thorough analysis of the ease of use of the web site’s navigation.
Bounce Rate – Conclusions
Bounce rate is an important web site issue. High bounce rates affect your business profits due to potential customers leaving your web site. Also the detrimental affect of high bounce rate on your rankings is a very serious issue as this will affect your web site’s ability to drive new traffic to the site in the future.
The issues raised are not a comprehensive list of issues which affect bounce rate, there are definitely other issues which are contributing factors. Pay attention to the reasons stated here and you are well on your way to improving and lowering your web site’s bounce rate.