By Heather Quitos

It can be overwhelming to stay on top of so many different website metrics while figuring out how to adjust your website to improve them. Your website bounce rate is one of those key measurements. Knowing your bounce rate can give you additional insight into how your visitors are interacting with your site, which in turn gives you opportunities to lower it.

Before we look at how to lower your bounce rate, here’s a quick primer:

A bounce is when a visitor opens a page on your website and does one of the following:

  • Exits immediately.
  • Clicks on a link that takes them to a different website.
  • Clicks the back button to return to the previous page.
  • Stays on the page for 30 minutes without interacting with any of your page elements.

The bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of visitors who bounced by the total number of website visitors and multiplying that number by 100. If 1,000 visitors visited your website and 300 of those visitors bounced, then your bounce rate is 30 percent.

Your website’s bounce rate is a relative metric. You shouldn’t take the rate at its numerical value and deem it good or bad. To determine whether or not your bounce rate is concerning, consider the following:

Research from RocketFuel found that bounce rates can vary from 26 to 70 percent, and HubSpot has found different averages based on the type of page:

  • Content websites: 40-60 percent
  • Lead generation pages: 30-50 percent
  • Blogs: 70-98 percent
  • Retail sites: 24-40 percent
  • Service sites: 10-30 percent
  • Landing pages: 70-90 percent

It’s worth diving into your Google Analytics and looking at the Time Spent on Page and the Average Session Duration.

If visitors are spending a good amount of time on a page but haven’t engaged with it (such as by viewing a video or clicking a link), it’s likely that your content is relevant to their search but does not encourage any further interaction. This means there’s an opportunity to add more interactive elements on the page.

When does it make sense to have a high bounce rate? Optimized landing pages with a brief form that meets visitors’ expectations are expected to have a high bounce rate. Similarly, if you’ve created pages that clearly answer your visitors’ questions, a higher bounce rate is less of a cause for concern.

However, if your website has a less-than-ideal bounce rate, that doesn't mean you need to entirely redesign your website. Here’s how to lower your website bounce rate by making adjustments to your existing pages:

Optimize Your Page for Search

Don’t ignore the meta description for your website; it’s a valuable tool to let people know what your website is all about. Your description should be written in a natural (non-spammy) way and compel the person searching to click.

In addition, ensure that your targeted keywords are used in your meta description and throughout your content in an appropriate and relevant way.

How does this help lower your bounce rate? When the right visitors find your site, they are more likely to find your content valuable and more likely to stay on your website and interact with it.

How do you keep your rank in Google after a website redesign? Check out these  12 SEO mistakes to avoid when redesigning your website.

   

Create an Enjoyable User Experience

It’s important to make it easy for visitors to navigate your website and get the information they’re looking for.

Your navigation should clearly label each area of the website and should also be optimized for any screen. You don’t want visitors to leave your site simply because they couldn’t find the page they wanted.

Additionally, try reducing distracting CTAs or advertisements on your website. Too many pop-up ads and forms can be cumbersome and overwhelming as your visitor scrolls down the page. If you use pop-up forms, implement them thoughtfully so that they show up when the visitor expects more information.

Finally, make sure the text on your pages is formatted for readability: Digesting long, text-heavy sections of content is difficult, especially on mobile. Help your reader navigate down the page by providing subheadings and bullet points that break up the content and highlight important concepts or ideas.

Ensure That Your Site Loads Quickly

Loading time is a critical measure for websites—the slower your website loads, the more likely visitors are to abandon your website. Nearly half of consumers expect a page to load in two seconds or less—and 40 percent of those consumers will leave your website if it takes more than two seconds to load. Furthermore, your search rankings in Google can benefit from a faster loading speed.

To speed up your page loading time, avoid using auto-loading multimedia such as videos, and use Google’s AMP framework to load the mobile-version of your website quickly. You can also check out Google’s PaidSpeed Insights to identify page-loading opportunities specific to your website.

Build Credibility with Your Content

Ultimately, you want to build a website that visitors regard as credible and knowledgeable, which is one of the strongest ways to reduce your bounce rate. Your content should be compelling, match visitors’ intents for visiting your website, and help move them down the funnel by providing valuable information.

Visitor expectations can widely vary. They may be visiting for the first time, returning, or looking for specific information. When your website easily guides these visitors in the right direction, they’ll be more likely to stay on your pages and engage with your website than to leave disappointed.

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Heather Quitos

About the author

Heather Quitos is a Marketing Consultant at SmartBug Media. She is dedicated to crafting persona-driven campaigns with career experience in B2B and software sectors. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and received her master's in business administration from Marquette University. In her free time, you can find her trying new recipes in the kitchen. Read more articles by Heather Quitos.

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