What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate is the number of visitors who land on a single page on your site and then leave without visiting another page.
Bounce rate is measured as a percentage of total visitors and the lower the better.
How can I determine bounce rate?
You need to add some type of monitoring software to your site, a popular one being Goolge Analytics.
Google Analytics requires you to add a chunk of code to each page on your site which sends data back to Google.
One of the things Google Analytics measures as standard is bounce rate.
How do I reduce bounce rate?
Don’t get too hung up on bounce rates as your bounce rate is heavily dependent on both your industry and your site architecture.
Blogging sites generally have a high bounce rate as visitors will usually read a post or check out the homepage and then move on – hence the higher rate.
Websites for hotels tend to have a low bounce rate – something in the 30% range, since people searching for hotels know specifically what they’re looking for when they click on the result. Furthermore, when you’re perusing a hotel’s site, you want to check out more than one page, you want to look at the rooms, check out the amenities and find out rates.
Look at your site from a user perspective. If you landed on the home page would you want to continue further into the site?
Things to consider:
Does my design make visitors want to stay on my site? It is a common fact that people will decide in the first 5 seconds whether or not to stay on a website or move on.
Do some homework on your competitor’s websites to see how you could improve yours.
Is content on your website up to date and relevant? Outdated or irrelevant content can really put visitors off. You homepage should provide a brief summary of who you are and what you do.
Is navigation easy to see and on each page? Visitors may not hit your website on the home page so they need to be able to see where they are in relation to your site structure but also how they get to other parts of your site. Navigation should be in a prominent position and on every page.
Do you have links on your home page that take visitors away from your site? All links on your home page should link to other pages on your site, the last thing you want to do is forward prospective clients away from your site. Any links on your home page should stand out, make them bold or a different colour so it prompts people to click on them.
Do you have links to social media sites on your home page? This is encouraging people to leave your site for Facebook, Twitter etc where they can become distracted and forget why they visited your site in the first place.
Call to action
Do you have a clear call to action? Visitors to a website sometimes need a little encouragement to visit other pages. A call to action is something that prompts the visitor to take action whether that is clicking on a link, phoning you or filing in a form.
Calls to action should be in a prominent position on your homepage and be bright and colourful to attract your visitor’s attention.
Webdesignden offers a number of SEO services including creation of Google Analytics account, integration of analytics code and advice on some of the points raised in this article.