Bounce Rate Blues: How to Beat High Bounce Rates

Mashable got it right when they said ‘a high Bounce Rate is the kiss of death’, as it’s evidence that your marketing strategy simply isn’t working. It’s one of the many metrics you can measure within Google Analytics which gives you a clear insight into how people are engaging with and using your website.

Below we’ll take a closer look at how you can bring your webpage’s Bounce Rate down, and in turn transform your website into a useful and valuable resource for your customer base.

Defining & Calculating Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of sessions in which a visitor has left the site from the entrance page without engaging with the page. As a general rule of thumb, a high Bounce Rate translates as the disappointing news that your visitors perhaps aren’t finding what they’re looking for when they first visit. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions.

Lowering your Bounce Rate takes a little effort, but it can help dramatically boost your online presence by ensuring visitors are sticking around to engage with your content and take the desired actions.

Below are a few tips to consider when attempting to raise those engagement levels.

Write for People, not Search Engines

Your content may rank highly, you may be hitting all those core keywords about your business and ticking every box in terms of highly honed SEO content, but what about your audience? Lots of organic traffic and a high bounce rate suggests that the search engines appreciate your work but real visitors are not all that impressed. Here are several reasons why that could be the case:

To bring your Bounce Rate down you have to write for your audience and offer them something new, exciting, useful and/or entertaining. They’ll stick around if you’re offering them something of value. Your meta descriptions, titles and content as a whole have to be written with your target audience at its heart or they just won’t stick around.

Design Matters

You could be the most talented content writer, bursting with ideas but if your website is poorly designed you will lose people as soon as they click. Our era is defined by images and design, and you therefore need to ensure your design is both attractive and pleasing to the eye, and in keeping with your business’ ethos and brand identity.

Every element of your website’s design and development matters, from the small tweaks that can help it load quicker to ensuring that it is mobile friendly. Your navigation must be clear to guide visitors comfortably throughout your site and the overall user experience must be positive.

Remember your Call to Action

Your Call to Action (CTA) is absolutely key to your website’s goals. Whether you want to encourage comments, garner opinion on a new product or bring in subscribers to your newsletter, getting something back from your users and giving them a task to carry out adds to the time they spend on your site, digesting what you have on offer and helps improve your Bounce Rate as they click through from the entrance page to continue to navigate and engage with the site.

Simplicity wins the day when it comes to writing a CTA and it gives your customers and potential customers the direction they need. Be descriptive when writing anchor text if you’re encouraging users to follow a link to the next page. For example, if you’re giving something away via a download, rather than write “click here” try “get your free copy today”.

Above all else, engagement is key to your online success. Applying these principles to each piece of content you create should help bring those high Bounce Rates down.

photo credit: Korbys Bouncy Balls via photopin (license)