Among web analytic statistics, the bounce rate is one of the metrics often overlooked by many marketers. A bounce rate is the percentage of single page visitors to your website who leave your website quickly after arriving. Some advanced systems also use visit duration to calculate bounce rate which treats visitors as bounces if they stay on the site for less than 5 seconds.
Bounce rate can also be defined as a negative statistic. It measures how engaging your website is to your visitors and how it relates to them. It also measures how effective and ‘sticky’ your landing page is when it’s used with a campaign. Lack of relevancy is a major cause of bounces, and solving this can increase lead generation by an order of magnitude.
A high bounce rate usually indicates something wrong with your website’s landing pages. However, the problem can also be caused by where you acquire your traffic. Let’s look at a few things you can do to reduce bounce rates (lower is better).
Analyze the bounce rate for your traffic sources
Many inbound marketers use social media as part of their marketing campaigns. However, many of these referrers are of low-value. These visitors aren’t “looking” when they arrive at your website so they tend to leave immediately. You don’t have to worry too much about bounce rates from these traffic sources but you should know which referrers contribute to the higher bounce rates. If you are using social media advertising like Facebook ads, you should have specific landing pages to create demand and guide your visitors to whatever you’re advertising.
Not giving the banana to the monkey
This is a classic conversion problem. When people arrive at your website and can’t find what they want, they leave right away and go to your competitors’ website instead. You only have a few seconds to let the visitors know that they are at the right place so “give the banana to the monkey”. Make sure you have clear and obvious conversion points for your visitors. These conversion points should also tailor to the different interests of the visitors such as home buyers vs home sellers at a realtors website. While home buyers want to see what listings are available, the home sellers want to know why they should use the provided services to advertise their homes.
Match interests to the sales cycle
This is mainly related to organic search engine traffic. A website might rank highly on certain keywords but these keywords are often irrelevant. Similar to the previous point, when people don’t find what they are looking for, they leave. Many ‘content’ websites with high search visibility often receive high traffic for irrelevant search terms. You should understand the Search Buying Cycle and adjust your content to use keywords according to the different phases of the buying cycle. Also avoid offering unrelated content, like too much profile information on every client.
Improve landing pages
Pay-Per-Click campaigns often have high bounce rates. Simple landing pages with only one call to action are often the issue. Email marketing campaign can possibly cause high bounce rate too if the subject line is misleading or the links take visitors to an unrelated page. It might also be the offer that’s too aggressive (eg buy now) on the landing page. Consider having micro-conversions on the landing pages. A micro-conversion doesn’t turn the visits into sales but it turns visitors into leads so that you can nurture them into sales. This is particularly effective for B2B.
B2B websites typically have average bounce rates of 10-30%. If your bounce rate is higher than that, you should flag it and find out why. Having high bounce rates doesn’t mean the end of the world if you understand what’s causing it and take actions to improve it. It might take a few round of tests to nail it down but the effort you put in will turn your website into one that’s relevant for your visitors. They will engage if it fits their needs.
About Dayna Cosgrove
Danya is a creative professional specializing in web design and development, with experience in marketing, advertising, and graphic design.