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How to Improve Your Website’s Bounce Rate

Not seeing the conversions you want from your website? Check out your bounce rate. Learn why a high bounce rate could hurt your sales — and how to fix it ASAP.

When it comes to online marketing, keeping users’ attention is necessary. The longer a user stays on your website, the more likely they will convert to a sale for your business. Conversely, the quicker they “bounce” away from your site, the lower your chances of converting a sale. 

If you’re dealing with a high bounce rate on a vital landing page or across multiple pages on your website, you’ve come to the right place. Learn why your website might have a high bounce rate and how to fix it ASAP.

Bounce Rate: What It Is and What It Means

Before jumping into bounce rate improvement strategies, let’s start with some essential terminology and common questions about bounce rates.

What is a bounce? 

A bounce is a single instance of a user finding your website, clicking on it, viewing one page (and one page only), then leaving your site. “Leaving” can be navigating to an external website, clicking the back button on their browser, closing the browser tab, or letting their session time out.

What is bounce rate?

When looking at Google Analytics or similar data dashboards for your website, you’ll see the total number of sessions and bounces (amongst other metrics). Bounce rate is the percentage of total sessions during which visitors leave your website after visiting only one specific page. 

Exit rate vs. bounce rate: what’s the difference?

The most significant difference between a bounce and an exit is the number of pages a visitor views during their session. To be considered an “exit” for a particular page, a visitor would have to view multiple pages on your website then leave the website immediately after viewing that specific page. 

Here’s an example of the difference:

  • Session 1: Visitor views page A on your website, then leaves the site. 
  • Session 2: Visitor views page B on your website, then navigates to page C, then page A, then leaves the site. 

Session 1 would count as a “bounce” for page A. Session 2 would count as an “exit” for page A. Each of these would affect page A’s bounce rate and exit rate, respectively. 

What is a good bounce rate? 

In general, an average-to-good bounce rate is under 55%. A higher bounce rate is not always an indication that something is wrong, though. 

A desirable bounce rate can depend on several factors:

  • Page purpose. When a page is meant to be informational or allow users to submit a form, they don’t necessarily need to navigate away from that page for the page to fulfill its purpose. In this case, single-page sessions and high bounce rates are expected. If reaching your desired end goal requires users to navigate multiple pages, a high bounce rate may cause concern. 
  • Industry average bounce rate. Some industries and business types simply lend themselves to one-and-done user sessions. Do some research to find the industry average bounce rate, and make adjustments if your website is outside the typical range. 

How to Improve Bounce Rate

Whether you’d like to improve average bounce rates across your site or focus on a few specific pages, these strategies can help.

1. Keep Your Content Short and Sweet

People are looking for quick answers. Can they get them from your brand? The average user stays on a web page for 10-20 seconds — that’s only extended if they like what they see as soon as they open the page. If key information on your page is buried in long paragraphs toward the bottom of the page, it’s time to fix that. Showcase a clear message and value proposition at the top of your pages to keep users engaged. 

2. Prioritize Easy Readability and Flow

Breaking content into subheadings can help with search engine indexing (hello, higher ranking!), but it can also keep users interested. When creating content for web pages and blog posts, use a hierarchy of headings to make your content skimmable. Numbered lists and bullet points can also help the reader get maximum value in a short amount of time, which ultimately keeps your brand top-of-mind as a helpful resource they’ll want to turn to again in the future. 

3. Make Page Speed Improvements

You only have a user’s attention for a few seconds before it wanders, so make those seconds count. Eliminate user frustration (and missed opportunities) by improving your website’s loading speeds. Use PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to quickly identify site components that are slowing things down.

4. Overhaul Your Page Navigation

Once users land on a specific page, is there a clear path of where to go next? Do you give them good reasons to keep clicking? Besides having top-quality, search-optimized content, your site pages should have easy, intuitive navigation. Don’t make searchers hunt for more information or next steps—you’ll lose them if they have to work too hard to find what they need.

5. Optimize for Mobile Use

Think you don’t need a mobile version of your website? Think again. Mobile users account for more than half of all search engine queries. Make sure your website is up to par with mobile-friendly features, navigation, and visual flow. 

Improve Your Average Bounce Rates with High-Quality Content

High bouncing is fun on a trampoline, but in online marketing, a high bounce rate can spell trouble. GPO’s tried-and-true content approach can improve a high bounce rate— and turn page views into sales for your business. Chat with us today to see how our team can help.

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