How To Reduce Your Bounce Rate In Google Analytics


Bounce rate is something of a misunderstood metric, a dirty word in a world that demands you convert visitors into customers. Put simply, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away after viewing a single page. Google Analytics does the hard work, calculating your bounce rate for you – and this has nothing to do with the time visitors spend on your site.

Bounce rate can be a great way to measure the quality of traffic your landing page or website is getting, and you should take a high bounce rate seriously; it's usually indicative that site entrance pages such as your landing page or homepage are not relevant to your visitors, impacting your conversion rate. It's said that a bounce rate of over 35% should be cause for concern – anything higher than 50% and you should be worried. But what about reducing your bounce rate? We've got some tips on how to reduce bounce rates that will ensure your website performs better for your business.

Make your website more attractive

We've all seen them, those dull, featureless websites that don't stand out from the crowd. Maybe you're even guilty of creating one for your business (we hope not!) - but it doesn't have to be that way. A visually unappealing site can be off-putting to the user. When visitors arrive at your site, do they find it graphically eye-catching and easy-to-navigate? Pixilated images, dated graphics, annoying pop-ups and a disorganised layout can all detract from the end user experience, hitting your conversion rates hard. Creating friction like this stands in the way of conversion – not to mention it won't lead to happy customers either. Spend time on the design and layout of your website – it's more important than you might think.

Ensure your site is easy to navigate

Broken links, technical errors, slow load times, confusing navigation – these can all stand in the way of conversions, drastically increasing bounce rate. After all, we've all been in a situation where we've clicked off a site after waiting for content to load, or shouted in frustration as we get another '404 - page not found' screen when shopping online. This is where testing comes in. It's a good idea to ask colleagues or business contacts – even friends and family, to try completing tasks on your website and document any problems they encounter; even better if they have little to no knowledge or experience of your business and industry. Make sure that videos work – across all devices – and that it's easy for users to find what they are looking for.

Make sure your site meets user expectations

Ask yourself these two questions:

  • What ad or website did visitors come from?
  • What search terms did visitors use to get here?

Answering these questions will allow you to make assumptions as to what your website visitors are looking for – and that's important. Many users will arrive on your site after using a search engine – which is why it's so important to know exactly what they are searching for (their intent). This way you can ensure that your site matches their expectations. At the end of the day, if they're not looking to buy your products or use your services, it doesn't matter how good your homepage or landing pages are – you're going to experience high bounce rate.

Add a call to action

If your pages don't have a call-to-action, this can greatly affect bounce rate. Users need to be guided towards your goal and they shouldn't need to search or think too hard when they first land on your site. Your call-to-action should be in a prominent place on your landing page. It's also beneficial to include a 'search' function in a clear place on your homepage, in case users get lost. Matching the keywords you use in your adverts to your call-to-action wording makes it easier for users to spot what they're used to seeing. Read this article for more on call-to-actions: Four Tips For Developing Effective Call To Action Buttons 

Reduce the number of calls-to-action

You can have too much of a good thing, and you don't want to distract users – they can hit the back button at any time. The best way to guide a user to your call-to-action is to ensure that there isn't really any other choice. Lay out a clear path for them so that they are guided to your goal; whether that's signing up to a mailing list or getting in touch for a quote – and you're sure to see a reduction in bounce rate.

These tips will help you to reduce your bounce rate, but keeping an eye on the number of users that 'bounce' should be an ongoing task. Remember, reducing your bounce rate will boost your conversions!

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