What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is a metric you will find in your website’s Google Analytics account. It shows the percentage of single-page visits in which users have landed on your website and then left without interacting any further with the page. Having a high bounce rate in certain areas of a website can mean that your content isn’t engaging with your audience, and therefore they are leaving your website without navigating any further.
What reasons could there be for the high bounce rate?
Some landing pages on your website might have a high bounce rate for a couple of reasons – either because the visitor landing on the page could not find the information they were looking for or they found the page difficult to navigate.
In some instances there may be pages on your website that have a high bounce rate for a specific reason. In particular, the contact page will attract users who will want to get a phone number or contact details before leaving. In this case, a high bounce rate would be understandable. However, if you have other pages on your website such as services pages, where the bounce rate is particularly high, then there could be work that needs to be completed in order to help visitors interact with the content and increase levels of engagement.
How can I lower my website’s bounce rate?
Generally speaking, the lower the bounce rate the better, as this means that people are actively engaging with your website. Using various techniques, there are a few ways you can actively lower your bounce rate in order to effectively engage your audience with the landing pages.
Research your keywords
You need to identify the keywords each page of content should rank for (check out our guide on a structured approach to keyword research). By doing so, you will hopefully see the benefit of the content being correctly optimised for search engines fairly quickly. With the correct keywords in place, your content should start to attract the right audience who will want to interact with the content. It also means that you can tailor the content depending on the different types of audience your website might attract.
Make use of your meta-descriptions
It is generally thought that meta descriptions don’t actually have much impact on where you rank in the search engines, however, they can still be import. The meta-descriptions should be used to encourage users to click through to your website from the search engine listings rather than clicking through to your competitors to your competitors when the meta content is ranked next to each other in the search engine results. Use your keywords and persuasive text to show that your page of content is going to offer them the information they want to see.
It is important that your website has a fast loading speed as users will not wait around for a slow loading page. For example, ecommerce websites should be aiming for a 2 second page speed load time or faster. A slow loading time can be looked on as a negative ranking factor which can result in lower search engine positions.
Check out your page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Once you have completed your keyword research, you shold optimise the layout and content on the landing page. The following points will help you enhance the usability of the website, making the website easier to navigate by implementing a good User Interface that will also help convert traffic.
Every page on your website should have a call to action – whether it is to get the user to contact you or push them through to further content. The CTA directs the user to the exact action you want them to take so you need to think about what you want your user’s to do then, then point them in the right direction.
Link to Similar Content
Following on from creating a CTA on each page of your website, you should also consider other areas of your site that users might like to continue onto after landing on the current page. Linking to similar or related content is a good way to keep a visitor on the website, rather than leaving straight away.
Interactive content is a great way of achieving a high engagement rates on your pages. It can also position your website as an authoritative source which will encourage users to share your content, extending its reach. Interactive content can be really beneficial when it comes to your content marketing strategy, which will help direct even more traffic to your website.
There are lots of different ways in which you can create interactive content, including:
- Interactive tools
- Information visualisation
Break up your content
Sometimes landing on a page filled with a long length of text can be too much for a visitor, therefore encouraging them to click away. It is best to break up your content using headings. This approach makes the content much easier to digest and also gives users the chance to jump to areas of the page that they might feel are more relevant to what they want to read. Content can be broken up using H tags – which will also help with optimising your page for search engines.
H tags work in a hierarchical structure so you page should only ever have one H1: the page title. After that each sub-heading should be a H2, then subheadings within that should be H3 and so on.
An example of a heading structure:
H1: The Importance of a Blog
H2: Benefits of Blogging
H3: Blogs help with SEO
H3: Blogs create opportunity for social shares
Bounce rate is a metric that should be continually analysed, so going back through old pages and content and reformatting them to entice users to navigate through the website is key. Bounce rate should also be considered heavily when creating new content, as you will now have an understanding of how to adapt new pages to maintain it at a lower level.
Aiming for a lower bounce rate should be something that you gradually work towards. By using some of the tools and techiques mentioned in this article, you should begin see a change in the amount of time that a user spends on your site, and how much they interact with it.