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What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors that enter the website and bounce back straight away without browsing any more pages on the website. This, effectively, means that the visitor saw nothing of your website except the entry page (or probably even less). A high bounce rate means that something is wrong with the entry page of the website.
A high bounce rate signifies that visitors are leaving your website the moment they land on it. Hence, they must be finding it very uninteresting. However, this highly depends upon the type of websites! Websites like a thesaurus directory or a dictionary, by virtue, have a very high bounce rate because users come to the website looking for exactly what they want via search engines and leave instantaneously. Similar kinds of assertions hold for news websites and event directories. Such websites may have a 70% bounce rate and still be successful. On the other hand if a website about comic strips has 30% bounce rate then is seems to be doing very bad! Because this means that the comic on the entry page fails to create enough interest in the user to browse for more. Similar assertions hold for gossip websites and photography websites.
Averagely the Bounce Rate for any website is 50% which clearly means that the half of the people who landed on your website have quit and did not come back.
Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate
Bounce rate is usually confused with exit rate. People (and a few web developers) believe that both are the same thing. But this is untrue. There are a few very contrasting differences. Bounce rate signifies an exit preceded by the entry that is, after browsing only one page; whereas exit rate usually represents the exit from a website after browsing one or more pages. Bounce rate is usually an unintended exit from the website. Exit rate, usually, is intended. For example, if a person visits a website and finds it uninteresting, he would choose to close straight-away. This counts as a bounce. But if the user was intentionally redirected to a third-party website (let us say your facebook page), or if he exited after completion of a particular task (let us say after reading the complete blog post); this counts in the exit rate. Technically speaking, exit rate is a super set of bounce rate.
How does Bounce Rate affect your website’s performance?
In recent time Google Search is greatly relying on their Google Analytics Tool for checking any website’s performance. Therefore, more the bounce rate your website has, more are the chances of it getting affected in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Higher Bounce Rate indicates poor quality design and content, which can be the prime reason of your visitors leaving your page instantly.
Therefore it is crucial to reduce the Bounce Rate in order to get good ranking in Google.
So, How would you do it?
Suggested below are some of the ideas that can help you reduce your website’s bounce rate and help it to rank better.
How can you reduce bounce rate?
1. Good Website Design lowers Bounce Rate – When a visitor lands on your website, you have 5 seconds to make an impression. In those few initial seconds he decides whether to browse the website further or to quit. Therefore it is clear from the above statement that the Design of the Homepage of your website is extremely vital in making the right impression. Make sure your website has clear navigation, proper call to action and easy to read content. The homepage must not be long and it should load quickly. Users hate to wait for a page to load and tend to navigate away even before it has fully loaded.
2. Responsive Web Design is a must – With an increasing number of people using smart phones and tablets nowadays to browse the web, it is wise to invest in making your website responsive. This will help make your website adapt to any screen size and look perfectly viewable when seen from any device. A major portion of bounce rate is contributed by cellular and tabular devices.
3. Make the purpose of your website clear – As soon as a visitor comes to your website, he should be made to understand what your website is about and how he can benefit from it. Most of the visitors have less time when they visit your website, and therefore if they immediately do not find out what they have come looking for, they will easily quit.
4. No Auto play – No matter how great your video is, let the user decide when he needs to turn it on. It can be awfully distractive to the visitor if the noise from your video blasts out all of a sudden and without expectation. Such situations can be annoying in office environments or other quiet places. Therefore, although adding a video can lead to good conversions, yet you need to keep in mind about not making it too lengthy by including communications that might not be so important and not annoy the visitor by keeping it in auto play mode.
5. Focus consistently on creating good and relevant content – Design your page around content. Your design must have the “content is king” approach. The Content should be fresh and appeal to your readers. It must at the same time address to your visitor’s need. The website therefore must focus on rendering information rather than generating hits. Content placement on the homepage should be spread all over the page and very readable. Filling the entry of a user with text, or images, or pop-ups is the best way to force him away. Avoid third party content on the homepage as it tends to slow it down and hence disappoint the user.
6. Ads and Pop-ups – Do not fill the homepage with ads as this makes the website look unprofessional and fake. Pop-ups on the other hand can at times tend to increase conversions. Good timing plays an important role in this. Whereas it can get more people subscribing, it can at some time infuriate the visitor as well. Remember that a visitor has expectations from a website and you need to deliver upon that. Pop-ups can be however experimented and can be popped up after some delay, thus giving the visitor ample time to view the website.
7. Do not mislead – The general look and feel of the website must coincide with what got the user to your site. Using false meta data, misleading anchor-words, etc can help you get users once but they’ll leave instantly and won’t come back.
It must be noted that bounce rate is not an absolute yardstick to measure on a website’s performance. To gain best insights into your website’s performance team up with a good web design company who can interpret these numerals for you.