Bounce rate is the numeric term for the number of visitors that find your site by whatever means; search, paid advertising, inbound link, or anything else. When these visitors land on your page they click straight out again without taking any action. Action being defined as taking a call-to-action, clicking on a further link, going to a different page or filling out a form. If that visitor leaves immediately they become classified as a bounce and this will show up in your bounce rate stats.
So for example if 100 visitors reach your website and 75 leave straight away without taking any action then your bounce rate will be 75%.
Why is Bounce Rate Important?
Bounce rate is important because if you have a high bounce rate then it suggests that people are not finding what they are looking for when they arrive at your site. For example, if you click on a link for blue tennis rackets and you land on a page that is advertising green baseball bats, then the information provided was not what you were looking for. There is a lack of congruency and so you leave the page immediately.
This is important to the website owner and just as important to search engines. If the search engines are giving your website high organic rankings for blue Tennis Rackets and people are bouncing at an incredibly high level then the search engines will look at that high bounce rate and say “well actually we are sending a lot of traffic here and in fact no-one is finding this useful so we will downgrade that site and move something else up in its place.”
The search engines’ goal is to provide the searcher with the best possible results for their query. If your page is not providing the search engine customers with that service then they will find someone that will. Ouch!
What can be done to reduce Bounce Rates?
These are some techniques inbound marketers can use to reduce bounce rates on their lead generating websites:
- Make it real. Make sure your content delivers exactly what it says, period. If your content is discussing the merits of blue squash rackets then that is what you should be advertising in links, on paid search and organically.
- Make it crisp. People have very little patience and when they want to find out the answer to a question or learn more about a product or service they want to know NOW! If your site is loading up large image or video files this could cause users (especially mobile users) to turn and run.
- Give it an appealing look. Have a design and a theme that instils trust in your visitors. No one wants to a page that is an eye chart or a throwback to website-as-a-brochure page of the nineties.
- Don’t Over-do the Ads. There is nothing more off putting than landing on a page loaded with ads. As soon as I hit one I bounce straight away and so do many people. If you do have ads make sure they are relevant and there is more helpful content than ads on your pages.
- Make it social. Visitors like to see that they are not alone and that other people have found the information useful. Make it easy for others to leave comments and connect.
Understanding bounce rate and how to reduce it is vital for successful lead generation. If today you have 1000 people visiting your site but only 50 are staying and engaging with your content and considering taking action by filling out your form or subscribing to your blog, then imagine the possibilities of having four hundred or even six hundred engaging! That is why bounce rates are very important and taking action to assess and do something about bounce rate will be a real advantage to your business and lead generating activities.
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