According to Google, bounce rate is a website metric indicative of the percentage of sessions in which people leave your site after interacting with the entrance page. Most often, when you own a website, you want visitors to somehow “convert” either by clicking through to buy something, fill out a form or read more. If your website has a high bounce rate, this could mean one of three things:
- Either your website has design and/or usability issues
- Or you are attracting the wrong kind of traffic
- Or you attracting exactly the right kind of traffic and users are finding the information they need on the entrance page itself and ergo have no reason to click through to the other pages of your website
In truth, a number of factors can contribute to a high bounce rate. These include:
1. Your website has only one page
If your website only has one page, analytics software such as Google Analytics do not register multiple page views unless the page is reloaded several times. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for single-page sites to acquire high bounce rates.
2. Your web tracking code setup is not working
For a multiple-page site, a high bounce rate could be indicative that the Google Analytics tracking code on your website has not been implemented correctly. To make sure you are collecting data, you will need to review the set up.
3. Site design
If all your website pages bear the tracking code and your site’s bounce rate is still high, the problem could lie in the design of your website. A few things to consider include:
- Redesigning your landing pages
- Optimizing the pages so they attract the right kind of visitors
- Changing your target keywords around to better reflect page content
- And optimizing your website with a fresh and unending stream of quality content
4. User behavior
Last but not the least, sometimes a high bounce rate has nothing to do with your website and everything to do with user behavior. For example, if a user bookmarks a page of your website and returns to it several times over the next couple of weeks, each session is considered a bounce.
How to improve your bounce rate
Because both the design of your website and its Google Analytics set up can have an impact on your bounce rate, improving this website metric is contingent upon making certain very specific changes that will be as individual as your business itself. The key to success is to analyze specific data and consequently adjust factors that are contributing to your bounce rate. To name a few:
1. Attract the right kinds of visitors
To reduce a website’s bounce rate, a valuable approach is to optimize the pages so they correlate better with search terms. The process starts with choosing the right keywords to target and maintaining top rankings up the SERPs for those keywords. Also consider creating multiple landing pages, each with unique content created around a branded term and aimed at different types of visitors.