How to reduce bounce rate of your website

You have built a great website and impressed your readers by its contents. You soon find your website getting attention and generating traffic. You want your site visitors to spend time checking other pages in your website. But, alas! you find people flocking to your website but not staying enough to materialize in any way. Scratching your head, you ponder over what went wrong. Well, you have a very high bounce rate.

What is Bounce rate?

We are talking about baseball or cricket here. The Bounce Rate is the number of visitors who leave the website after visiting a single page, which is usually the landing page. The landing page is the single point entry to your website that is usually linked to advertisements that are displayed once clicked. In fact, bounce rate is applicable to every page in the website. Each page has its own bounce rate, and the higher your bounce rate, the lower your percentage of engaged users. The bounce rate is a qualitative metric for your website and the higher bounce rate is an indicator that the landing pages are less relevant to the site visitors.

bounce rate

How do I find the Bounce Rate of my website?

You can determine the Bounce rate from the Google Analytics of your website. The formula used by

Google Analytics to calculate the bounce rate is:

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Bounce rate of a web page = Total number visits that viewed only one page / Total visits to page

Bounce rate of a website = Total number of bounces across all the pages / Total number of entrances

across all the pages

NOTE: Bounce = Number of single page visits

Entrance = Number of time visitors entered your site through the page

If you multiply the result of the above calculation by 100 you get the Bounce rate%. A bounce rate of 60 indicates that out of 100 visitors viewing your page, 60 left the website without browsing any further. Lower the bounce rate better is the visitor engagement. Well, you don’t have to do all the Math. Google Analytics offers you all the numbers in a tabular format.

What is the ideal bounce rate?

While there is no specific benchmark on what the ideal bounce rate should be, many consider a bounce rate of less than 20% to be good, while anything above 35% is a matter of concern and if the bounce rate is above 50% there is a serious problem.

What are the factors that cause higher Bounce rate?

A high bounce rate is essentially a big problem and calls for thorough analysis to find out the factors that are contributing to bounces. While the reasons could be many, we list out the most common factors contributing to high number of bounces.

1. Visually unappealing web page:

If a web page, especially the landing page does not visually appeal to the visitor, the chances of he or she lingering around is minimal.

2. The website design is poor and hampers navigation:

Poor website layout, malfunctioning hyperlinks and buttons can ruin the user experience on the website and cause bounces.

3. The website does not meet the visitor’s expectation:

If the ads pointing to your website specify a different message that your website does not meet, visitors will scoot immediately.

4. You are directing the wrong traffic to your website:

Your promotional ads may be generating traffic, but it is of no use if they are directing the wrong category of users.

5. The website is heavy and laden with pop-ups:

If your website takes too much time to load and generates too many pop-ups visitors will get irritated and leave.

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6. There is no call to action:

This is again part of a poor design wherein the right visitor reaches the right page, but he or she does not known what to do next.

7. Your website is not mobile friendly:

This is a major Achilles heel when you have a great website with wonderful content, but it is not optimized for mobile viewing.

How do I reduce the bounce rate?

Well, now that we’ve already listed out the probable causes of the bounces, all you have to do is check if your website is falling in any or all of the criteria. If so, you can easily fix them. Even so, we will list out a few methods that can be employed to reduce the bounce rate of your website:-

1. Make your website visually attractive:

Presentation plays a vital role in kindling the interest of the visitor. Use the right colors, font and pictures that are relevant and appealing.

2. Design the website professionally:

Use professional tools to ensure that the layout, design and overall look of the website is up to the mark. Fix any broken links or buttons. Check if your website is too slow to load. Also see if it is easy to navigate to and from other pages in the website. Get your website review by others and use the feedback to make improvements.

3. Stop the sources that are generating bounces:

Use Google Analytics to determine the keywords and sources of traffic to your website, and the ones that are causing the bounces.

4. Use a survey:

Visitors leaving the website after viewing a single page can be asked to take up a survey on why they are not continuing. That should give you enough information on modifying the contents of the website or the ad.

5. Optimize for mobile content:

Most websites developing software have a feature to preview the website in browser view as well as mobile view. With the right optimization, your website can equally pleasant to view and navigate on a desktop or mobile browser.

6. Deploy a call to action:

Incorporate a call to action for your landing page. Add contents in a sequential manner that will guide your visitor through the pages.

7. Place Ads judiciously:

Of course ads are required. However, you need to ensure that the ads are in the right places, and in no way an obstruction to a visitor viewing your website. These simple but effective steps should help you reduce the bounce rate of your website significantly leaving you with more engaged visitors.

Amit Acharya
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