Just as Aldous Huxley once said "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Analytics do not cease to exist because you ignore them. They should be an integral part of your website and marketing strategy.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that view one page of your website without clicking on other pages before they leave. In order to know if your bounce rate is too high. You need to understand the goals of your website.
If your goal is to get visitors to stay within your website then you would want your bounce rate to be low, meaning they are browsing multiple pages. If your goal is to have visitors redirected off your site, or to only visit one landing page before filling out a contact form then you will want your bounce rate to be high (this wouldn't be the norm for most sites).
According to Inc.com "a 50 percent bounce rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should be concerned. If you're in excess of 80 percent, you've got a major problem." The higher your bounce rate is the less likely your visitors are engaged.
Things that lead to high bounce rates:
- Landing pages that redirects visitors off of your site. Do you have affiliate marketing links or banners? Do you send visitors to different e-commerce sites you manage?
- Contact forms or call to actions on your main page that do not redirect to a confirmation page. If visitors can fill out a form from your home page and get what they need, then they will stop browsing.
- Do you have your phone number listed prominently? This might be a false-negative situation. If your customers are visiting to get your phone number, they may never go past your first page.
Things that lead to low bounce rates:
- Internal linking from one page to another. Think about an interactive services page that takes you to other pages within the website, this will lower your bounce rate.
- Making sure your Google Analytics code is installed on every page of your site. If the code hasn't been placed properly you could be seeing incorrect stats.
- Optimized keywords that are bringing the right visitors to your site.
- An engaging design. When someone has a good first impression, you'll entice them to keep exploring.
We generally focus on lowering bounce rates for our clients at iBec. This can be achieved by redesigning landing pages, optimizing pages to correlate with keywords that bring your ideal clients and testing site-wide changes to content.
If your goal is to have visitors only visit one page of your site, then bounce rates shouldn't be the only metric you use for determining performance. Next week we will discuss goal completion and funnel analysis in our tip of the week!