No matter what type of website you run, you probably have some analytic tools that help you track your website’s traffic. One feature you may have noticed is called the bounce rate. Unlike other metrics like total page views and traffic sources, which may or may not provide essential information depending on the type of site you run, the bounce rate is valuable information for any type of website. It essentially tells you how sticky your website is – in other words, how much your visitors are staying and engaging. It is a strong indicator of the quality of your content.
Bounce Rate Defined
No industry standard exists to technically qualify what a “bounce” is, but most web analytic services use comparable gauges. Usually, if a visitor to your website looks at one page and then clicks away, or if his session times out, that visit registers as a bounce. If a visitor lands on a page and navigates to other pages within your site, then that visit is not a bounce. Your bounce rate is an overall percentage of how many visitors are bouncing.
Ideal Bounce Rates
While bounce rate can be a valuable gauge for any type of website, the same numbers don’t apply to all websites. In general, you want your bounce rate to be low. Overall, a decent rate is about 50 percent, but don’t measure your website’s success solely by that number. For example, if you have a blog, you should expect your bounce rate to be higher-about 70 percent. This is because blog readers usually only need to look at the most recent post and then click away. That’s not necessarily bad. As another example, if you have an online store, aim for your bounce rate to be 40 percent or lower. You want visitors to look around and click on a lot of internal links.
In other words, the ideal bounce rate for your website depends on what kind of behavior you expect out of your visitors. A good way to tell if your website is doing well is to research expected bounce rates for your type of website. If you’re a food blogger, find out what other good food bloggers’ bounce rates are. If you administer a city government page, research the bounce rates for websites of other comparably sized cities.
How to Reduce Your Website’s Bounce Rate
If you suspect that your website’s bounce rate is higher than it should be, follow these tips to help visitors want to stick around.
- Post quality content that is relevant and engaging to your target audience. It should be structured for the web and written with flawless spelling and grammar. If you need help, hire a professional writer with expertise in search engine optimization. With good content, you will boost your website’s visibility on search engines and captivate your visitors.
- Provide a lot of internal links. Visitors are less likely to bounce if they find easily accessible ways to navigate through your website. Links should easy to find.
- Use smart page design. Simpler is usually better. Don’t clutter your pages with a lot of flashy advertising or graphics-visitors will be drawn away from your content and will lose interest. Don’t use fonts or colors that are difficult to read. And remember that not all of your visitors will have access to high-speed Internet. When possible, post content that can be downloaded quickly.