What is bounce rate and how do you reduce it?

24 Oct 2022

Design & development

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What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit your site and don’t click through to another page on your website. These are called single-page sessions. Your bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by all sessions, which is helpful for seeing how users engage with your site.

A lower bounce rate is preferable, as this means users are interested in your site and therefore prompted to continue exploring it. If you have a high bounce rate, this means lots of users are leaving your website after viewing a single page – which isn’t what you want.

Why is my bounce rate so high?

A bounce rate that is over about 70% is considered high, and ideally you’d need to work to lower this. There can be many reasons for a high bounce rate:

  • Blank pages
  • Pages that are not mobile-friendly
  • Poor Google Analytics setup
  • Poor quality content
  • Poor usability
  • Pop-ups
  • Slow page speed
  • Technical errors
  • Unnecessary plugins
  • Unoptimised title tags and meta descriptions

How to reduce the bounce rate of your site

If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like it to be, there are some steps you can take to reduce the bounce rate of your website. Perfecting an SEO-friendly website takes a lot of trial and error, but these tips should get you on the right path:

1) Review loading speeds

The last thing users want when clicking a page is to wait for it to load. Modern internet users are used to fast results, so they tend to get a little impatient. If your loading speed is more than a couple of seconds, users may just leave your site in favour of a faster one.

As well as this, Google considers site speed as a ranking factor. Therefore, a slow loading speed will result in a less favourable position on the SERP.

2) Check the time-on-site metrics

Your bounce rate will be best understood within the context of your site as a whole. Therefore, try doing a cross-comparison of your bounce rate with time-on-site metrics. From this, you’ll be able to see whether the problem lies on certain pages or your whole site. A blog post with a high bounce rate and low time-on-site will need improvement. Good content will ideally prompt users to click through to the rest of your site, thus improving your bounce rate.

3) Use A/B testing

A/B testing is an effective way to determine which site pages work best for you. Start by designing two versions of the same page – they may differ on design and other features. Then, Page A will be shown to half of your site’s traffic, whilst Page B is shown to the other half. After testing this for a while, you will have gathered valuable information on which page has the lowest bounce rate.

4) Optimise your site for mobile devices

Mobile devices make up roughly half of all web traffic globally. So, if your site isn’t optimised for mobile devices, you’re likely to have a high bounce rate. As well as many other reasons, it’s important to make sure your website is mobile friendly to make sure users want to stick around. Past just being compatible with mobile devices, a fully optimised website will run smoothly and be engaging to mobile users.

5) Improve your page’s readability

Bland, boring pages that are full of black and white text aren’t engaging at all. Making clever use of colours, images, headings and blank space will make your page look much better. The more visually appealing and easy to read a page is, the more your bounce rate will decrease.

Although it’s important in some industries to create a professional and informational page, this can still be achieved without compromising on readability. Small changes, like relevant images and clear headings, go a long way in improving how well your page reads.

6) Include clear calls to action

A call to action (CTA) is what encourages users to take the action you want them to. This can be to contact you or to make a purchase – whatever’s most important for your business.

It’s not just including a CTA that’s important, but how you format it. The size, colour, copy, and placement of your CTA button all make a difference in providing a good user experience. The most vital step is ensuring that your CTA button is in a clearly visible place on the page, and is available to click with minimal effort.

7) Revisit your meta descriptions

One of the main reasons why a user might bounce from your site is if your content doesn’t live up to their expectations. Your meta description should advertise what’s on your page, but it’s important that this is accurate. If someone clicks onto your site after reading your meta description, but then you don’t provide the information they were promised, they’re very likely to leave your page. Ensure that your meta descriptions accurately describe what users can expect from your website to avoid any disappointment.

Monitoring your bounce rate is crucial for a well-performing website, among other things. Our teams are experts in tracking the performance of websites and making any necessary improvements. Get in touch to find out more.

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