image of tausif akram By: Amby
2 Oct 2013

How to Lower Your Bounce Rate

“Bounce Rate” refers to the percentage of traffic that leaves your website within the first 30 seconds. (Usually by clicking the “Back” button.) This phrase is tossed around a lot, because one of your ultimate goals should be to lower your bounce rate. Part of that is understanding why they are leaving, the rest is understanding how you can get more visitors to stay.

First of all, you’ll probably never have a 0% bounce rate. Plus you don’t want it that low. Not saying it’s impossible, but it’s an impractical goal to aim for. It’s more reasonable to shoot for a 10-20% bounce rate. In fact, you don’t really want a 0% bounce rate and I’ll explain why in a few more inches. Keep in mind that a certain number of visitors will leave your site because … well, we don’t really know why. That’s as helpful as the “Keyword (not provided)” that always tops your Traffic Sources Overview in Google Analytic but it’s a write off that you have to live with. Then, you will have people who are looking for your product/service, but cheaper quality or lower priced. You know the type who always tries to negotiate price? They are bad for your sense of self worth, and a good landing page will convince those buyers to look elsewhere. or that reason, and a few others, you can associate your bounce rate based on what people expected and if you were a right fit.

Consider where that traffic came from… The top 3 traffic sources are search engines, backlinks, and direct traffic. If somebody already knows your web address, this is usually the product of direct marketing—most likely offline. The important thing isn’t always the source of traffic on its’ own, but what they expected. Let’s say you had a temporary promotion for 10% off {product} a few months ago. There’s still a few links floating around… but what happened to the page? Perhaps there was a temporary landing page dedicated to the promotion which you deleted instead of updating, and now there’s a 404 error for visitors coming in through those links. Perhaps you named your rates in a link… several years ago… and visitors coming through those back links are disappointed that your rates have doubled. So they bounce. Perhaps you optimized a page for a general keyword and ranked well, but the context was not what a person was looking for. Perhaps the person found exactly what they were looking for and had no reason to stick around. For whatever reason, if your bounce rate is too high (50% or higher) then you are disappointing far too many people and you can simply forget about ranking well in search results!

So here are a few tips to keep your bounce rate down to a reasonable level:

  • Pop ups and roadblocks are annoying.
  • Poor web design or lengthy intimidating content creates a bad first impression.
  • Excessive ads littering your site will also raise your bounce rate.
  • Beyond that, slow loading pages are one of the largest leading causes for a high bounce rate. Check your page speed here.
  • Make sure it’s easy to navigate through your website.
  • These days, websites that aren’t mobile friendly will be abandoned quickly for another that is.
  • Just in case, customize your 404 page to be helpful or entertaining.

Keep each page of your website consistent, informative, and valuable.

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