When you are developing your website or blog, your goal is ultimately to reach as many people on the internet as possible. Ideally, you would want your page to rank the highest on any web search engine for the corresponding subject matter, and you would want the highest amount of traffic flowing to your property.
But does it end there?
The answer is obviously no. To have a successful web property, you need to see growth in the number of relevant visitors to your pages. Your site may have a 1,000,000 visitors a day but it doesn’t mean a thing if 999,990 of those leave because they felt that your site isn’t what they were searching for.
These leaving visitors are referred to as bounces.
If you have registered your site with Google Analytics, and are familiar with the Google bounce rate Metric, you would already be aware of your website’s / app bounce rate. Even though you are provided with your site’s bounce rate on Google Analytics, this is not helpful without understanding how and why the bounce has happened in the first place and what you can do to fix it. In most cases, the bounces rate analytics is not given enough attention or even entirely overlooked.
If you are willing to learn more about Google Analytics, check this Google Analytics Course at Udemy which is available for Free of Cost.
Reasons why Bounce Rate Happen on Website:
A bounce occurs when the visitors land on any page on your site and leaves without navigating further. A more specific definition can be found by following this post: Bounce Rate Demystified at Kissmetrics.
What is a bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the measurement of the number of visitors that viewed only one page compared to the total number of visitors, over a period of time. It is represented as a percentage number.
If you are interested to know more about the website bounce rates, follow the 2 posts:
- Can the Bounce Rate be a Key Performance Indicator?
- Six Tips For Improving High Bounce Rate / Low Conversion Web Pages
A high bounce rate can be attributed to several reasons but usually, they are addressable. As there are multiple reasons behind a large bounce rate, I have segmented the reasons into 4 wide categories that are as mentioned below:
- Website Visuals – Ranges from the choices in color and text to the resolution responsiveness
- Website Content – Covers all aspects related to content on your website.
- Website Navigation – All reasons involving links and navigation
- 3rd Party Additions – Bounce rate reasons due to external media, advertisements, and plug-ins.
This segmentation can help you understand in which aspect of your site’s development you would need to focus your efforts.
Problems with Website Visuals:
- Font size and lack of contrast also leading to lower user accessibility.
- Bad page layout and design.
- Bad browser rendering such as Cross Browser problems (e.g. looks good on chrome but bad on Mozilla/IE).
Problems with Website Content:
- Message describing product/service is unclear on site.
- Bad blog/Content design and highly complex language use.
- A lack of related posts on the blogs and not linking to relevant previous posts.
- Irrelevant content and a lack of relevant pictures.
- A lack of other options for readers, if they are not satisfied with the posting but want to read more by the same poster.
Problems with Website Navigation:
- Too many pages on a site.
- Poorly mapped website navigation.
- Using direct links as opposed to opening a new tab.
Problems with Website 3rd Party Additions:
- Excessive use of pop-up’s and advertisements.
- Multiple exit paths like external links, affiliate banners, and banner advertisements.
- Poor Blog page load time due to too much media, plug-ins, and advertisements.
Poor page load time due to excess embedded media.
- More distractions in the form Automatic video/audio playbacks and Lot of product/ software/services / external sites review, also interruptions to sign up for a newsletter and an unwanted chat box dialog.
Now that we have identified the causes of bounce rates, let’s move on to the methods to tackle these.
How to Fix ( Reduce ) Bounce Rate and Get More Traffic:
Again, I have segmented the methods into the same categories.
Fixing Website Visuals:
- Provide a page with contrast and choose a good Font Size.
- Design and map the layout of your site pages responsibly.
- Provide a browser resolution responsive Layout for your site.
Fixing Website Content:
Your message should be immediately visible and clear about your product/service.
- Design and map the content of your site responsibly.
- Use reader-engaging articles.
- Make use of Page SEO practices.
- Use post excerpts where applicable.
- Use of related posts in Blog sites.
- Add Call To Actions.
- Provide a popular posts options menu.
- Provide a few exclusive free downloads.
- Plan out your choice of search keywords in advance.
Fixing Website Navigation:
- Plan your navigation bar responsibly.
- Minimize your distractions.
- Provide a search box.
- Minimize the number of pages you have on your sitemap.
- Use relevant content on the topic of your site.
- External links should open in new tabs.
- Add a poll to your blog site.
- Personalize your site’s 404 page.
Fixing 3rd Party Additions:
- Remove or Limit Ad placements.
- If your page has multiple Hi-res pictures or other media, to increase response time, use AJAX during the development stages to “Lazy-Load” these.
- Increase the speed of blog page load by the use of plug-ins.
- Provide Quality external links.
- Counter-act sources of Bad-traffic.
While some of these methods look very similar to others in another category, they are there for a reason. In the weeks to come, I will be going into more details of these methods as well as the reasoning behind them.
Meanwhile, if you are interested to know, more about Industry Bounce Rate, head-over to post of RocketFuel Blog.
A post by Pauline Darley.