Bounce Rates

Everything you need to know about your site’s bounce rate

Don’t let people say “peace” to your web page.

Don’t let people say “peace” to your web page.

Your website traffic isn’t quite where you hoped it would be. You were way off last month’s email sign-up target. Your conversion rates are looking a little lackluster. And your blogroll of posts just isn’t getting read. Sound familiar?

When numbers aren’t being met most people jump straight to loading more money into PPC or churning out an extra email campaign a week. But have you ever tried putting the spotlight on your bounce rate? 

Get this metric right and you’ll set yourself up for the ultimate business journey: more traffic > more conversions > more money. Get it wrong though, and you may as well just point your visitors to your competitor’s site.


What does bounce rate mean?

The term bounce rate refers to the number of people who enter your site - either from Google, a social media ad, email campaign or otherwise, and exit before exploring any of your website’s other content. 

For example, someone types “real estate advice Greensboro” into Google. They land on a blog about house-hunting tips. After they’ve finished reading it, they hit the back button or close out of the browser without clicking through to any others pages. They’ve ‘bounced’ right back out.

Now you know what it is, to help you keep your bounce rate low and conversions high, we’ll be looking at:

  • How it’s calculated

  • How to find it

  • Analyzing your data

  • What a high and low bounce rate means

  • How to improve your numbers

  • Tracking your progress

So, let’s get started.

How is bounce rate calculated? 

The formula’s simple: the number of one-page visits on your site divided by the total number of visitors.

For Example: Yesterday, 2,000 people landed on your website’s homepage. Of those visitors, 700 left without interacting with any other of your site’s pages. Your homepage’s bounce rate would be 35%.

How to find your bounce rate

You can quickly and easily access the bounce rate of any or all of your site’s page on Google Analytics. Here’s how:

  1. Sign-in to your account and select the site you want to look at.

  2. From the homepage, you’ll see your site-wide bounce rate straight away:

3. To delve deeper and see your bounce rate for individual pages, head to the menu down the left of the screen and go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages / Content Drilldown / Landing Pages. Once you’ve done that, you should see a screen a bit like this: 

Google-Analytics-site-pages.png

Within here you can start to get specific and fiddle with things like the date range, acquisition type, URLs, device, browser, location, gender, age, and more.

For a really detailed look at all the ways you can slice up your data, check out this in-depth guide.

bounce_t20_x6KY7l.jpg

Diving into the stats

Numbers are only the start of what you need to know — once you’ve located your bounce rate data, you need to root around to discover some trends and see what is and isn’t working for you. When you’re investigating your page numbers, ask yourself things like:

  • Does the time of day impact bounce rates?

  • Do certain sections of the site receive higher bounce rates than others?

  • Does social media traffic receive higher bounce rates than organic?

  • Are there any on-page patterns across low-performing pages?

After you’ve armed yourself with this type of intel you’ll be ready to start putting plans in place to boost your numbers - but we’ll talk about that in more detail a little later on.

What does a high or low bounce rate mean?

What constitutes a ‘good’ bounce rate varies from industry-to-industry and site-to-site. Here’s a rough guideline of what’s accepted as the norm though:

Type of website: Benchmark average bounce rate %

  • Content websites: 40 - 60%

  • Lead Generation: 30 - 50%

  • Blogs: 70 - 98%

  • Retail Sites: 20 - 40%

  • Service Sites: 10 - 30%

  • Landing Pages: 70 - 90%

 

And here are some figures by industry:

Bounce-rate-by-industry.png
 

High bounce rates

Generally speaking, high bounce rates aren’t great. Think about it, if you were consumed by something you’d seen or read on someone’s site, you’d probably poke your nose around a few more pages, right? Well, that should be the aim of every single page of your site, and a high bounce rate could be a sign you’re not delivering. 

If you’re not sure where to start looking, here are a few things that could be contributing to your numbers:

  1. Slow page load times - according to research, a two-second delay can equate to a 100%+ increase in bounce rate.

  2. You’ve provided the visitor with everything they could possibly want and need on that one page alone. To see if this is likely to be true, check out the ‘Average time on page’ stats.

    If visitors have spent a decent amount of time on the page (say a couple of minutes) then they probably did spend the time needed to digest everything and get what they need. If it’s low though, say 10 - 15 seconds, they probably didn’t get past the first paragraph.

  3. Luring people in with misleading title tags and/or meta descriptions and not giving them what they’re actually looking for.

  4. Technical errors. If a visitor lands on a 404 page, for example, there’s not much encouraging them to stick around.

  5. If the content on your page(s) is weak people will bounce straight back out and look for a stronger alternative - which is why quality is so important.

  6. Poor user experiences (UX) can also be a deterrent. Whether you’re bombarding visitors with adverts, pop-up surveys, and/or subscription options, or your navigation set-up isn’t intuitive, both will make it harder to keep people on your site.

Low bounce rates

While low bounce rates on the whole are a good indicator your page(s) are performing well, if it’s suspiciously low (say 10%) it could be a sign there’s a technical error - usually, duplicate analytic codes are the cause.

What are duplicate analytic codes? 

Basically, this just means you have two sets of the same code on your site which results in two page view requests. The effect is Google Analytics then thinks two separate actions took place, disqualifying it from being called a bounce. 

Of course, you should celebrate successes and take credit where credit’s due, but just remember, if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.


How to improve your bounce rate

If you’ve identified a site-wide or specific-page problem with your bounce rate, here are 10 tips to give it a nudge in the right direction.

  1.  Make your content more readable by looking at things like your font, paragraphs, and quantity of text.

  2. Don’t bombard people with interstitials. They’re irritating.

  3. Make your next desired action glaringly obvious. If visitors can’t see your call-to-action, they’re unlikely to click it.

  4. Take a look at your design and branding. If your site looks naff, people might assume your brand’s naff.

  5. Target the right keywords and write compelling - and accurate - meta descriptions. If you’re enticing the wrong type of organic traffic to your site, it’ll instantly impact your bounce rate.

  6. Revisit your email, social, referral etc. databases, and make sure you’re attracting the right visitors. You can have the best website in the world, but if you’re not reaching your target market it won’t work.

  7. Take whatever steps are required to reduce your page load speed; people don’t have time to sit around and wait.

  8. Make sure every single element of your website oozes quality. If it’s not adding value, get rid of it.

  9. Set any external links to open in new windows to minimize the risk of visitors not returning to your content.

  10. Invest in a mobile-friendly site. Desktop versions can be a pain in the ass to navigate around on mobile, and that’s a one-way ticket to losing visitors. 

  11. Introduce relevant landing pages that target high volume keywords. According to a study by HubSpot, companies with 40+ landing pages earn 12x more leads than those with five or less.

Track your progress 

Last but by no means least, don’t forget to track and analyze any changes you make. This will help you further hone in on what does and doesn’t work – then you can harness what you learn to improve other pages of your site.

 To keep your analysis orderly, it might be worth setting up a spreadsheet and recording things like:

  • The URL of the page(s) you’re working on

  • Bounce rates before any on or off-page modifications

  • The date any changes were made

  • What changes were made

  • The bounce rate after your tweaks - just make sure you leave yourself a meaningful amount of time to get a true picture of whether or not it’s helped

 Try not to get too caught up on industry averages either. When determining what success means for you, keep on top of peaks and troughs and focus on your trends over time.


Hue & Tone Creative: Marketing for Greensboro and Beyond

Need some support with your site’s bounce rate? We’ve got you covered from every angle. Get in touch with the team at (336) 365-8559 or hannah@hueandtonecreative.com to see how our design, content, and campaign services could help. 

Getting Analytical in the New Year

Getting Analytical in the New Year  |  Hue & Tone Creative

A business’s ultimate success has grown increasingly reliant on its web presence; particularly its website. According to an April 2017 survey taken by Statista, 40 percent of internet users in the US stated that they purchased items online, several times per month. Retail e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to nearly double between 2016 and 2020. More people than ever are performing research online before journeying to a brick and mortar store to complete a purchase. With so many transactions occurring online, how can you be certain your website is performing up to par?

Most small business owners can at least determine how much traffic their website solicits. But this can be as beneficial as knowing how many people attended a party without actually talking to anyone. There’s so much more information available. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get analytical in 2018.

 

Conversion

This statistic tells you how successfully your website is completing your intended goal. For example, if you’re Pizza Hut and your website’s primary purpose is for a visitor to complete a purchase, then your conversion statistic will indicate the percentage of visitor’s doing just that. Maybe you’re a real estate company, and your conversion goal is to have web users complete a contact form; this statistic will give you those percentages.

 

Source Report

Again, most people are familiar with Traffic Acquisition Reports, which measure the amount of traffic your website is getting during any given period of time. But remember, we’re after much more; like, how did they find you in the first place? There’s an analytic for that. A Source Report can tell you if someone arrived at your site by way of a search engine like Yahoo, or a referring site like Pinterest which includes links that route users to a pin’s original site or page. It can even determine how many people typed your url directly into the address bar.

 

Medium Report

There is also a Medium Report which indicates whether the result was the product of organic search or unpaid search, a paid search result, or via a referring website. All of this information could help influence marketing decisions going forward and guide a strategy for capitalizing on the sources and mediums already generating much of your traffic.

 

Bounce Rates

This statistic can inform several website elements, because it tracks what happens once a visitor enters your online presence. Do users journey to another page within your site or do they leave it all together? If your bounce percentage is high, you can determine where visitors are landing, which may prompt insight into why they’re leaving. Essentially, this analytic provides valuable insight into what visitors like about your site and what they don’t. Moreover, it empowers you to customize and alter your website accordingly.

 

Pageviews

This statistic is self-explanatory. It measures how many views a specific page receives. If visitors are returning to the same page again and again, hypothetically, you can formulate content that may garner similar interest. It could also point to other contributing factors like design schemes that users prefer. Using this information to formulate a strategic response can ultimately assist in improving your overall conversion rate.

 

The world wide web will continue to change and grow to meet human demand and businesses must evolve to keep pace. With the new year, usher in a new marketing strategy with the help of web analytics. It will be the best resolution you’ve ever made.


web marketing consultants  |  Greensboro, NC

Need help getting your website set up? Want a second set of eyes looking over your analytics? Hue & Tone Creative will take the stress out of marketing your business online. Check out our design portfolio to see clients we've helped in the past, and then give us a call to get your web presence ready for the new year.