10 Tips to reduce Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate:  is one of the critical metrics used to measure user engagement. 

Formula

Bounce Rate: (No of Single Page Visits)/ (Total Number of Visits) OR

Visits lasting < 10 seconds

For example out of 100 visitors to page A, if 60 visitors just visited page A before leaving your site then the bounce rate is 60% . Bounce rate also measures the quality of traffic. That is one reason why Bounce rate is often measured by the time the visitor spends on your page.

If it is less than 10 seconds (Most experts say it should be less than 5 seconds but often page load time varies between 1-3 seconds and to read the title or first few lines would take another 3 seconds. So it would range from 5-10 seconds before a visitor decides to leave the site) Bounce rate is often confused with Exit rate 

Exit Rate: is the measure of visitors exiting from the page after single or multiple page visits to your website. For example out of 100 visitors, 15 exits your website from page A, then the exit rate of page A is 15%.

Bounce Rate: Single Page visits (or visits lasting less than 10 seconds)

Exit Rate: Rate of visitors leaving your website from a page.

How do visitors bounce from your website?

a) Clicking on an external link

b) Clicking the back button in the browser

c) Closing the window or tab

d) Web session timing out ( normally Analytics software like Google Analytics have set the session time out period as 30 minutes)

e) Entering a new URL in the same tab/window.

Action Steps

1. Install an Analytics software like Google Analytics (Free) for your website

2. Define your target Bounce Rate range between 30 and 50%. 

3. Don’t blindly follow target Bounce Rate ranges. Get information about bounce rates in your industry. For example if you are writing a blog and 30-40% visitors to your blog are returning visitors then the bounce rate is likely to vary between 60-80%. 

4. If you have an e-commerce website then 60-80% bounce rate is a warning sign and you have to think about optimizing your landing pages

5. Optimize your landing page/article for relevant keyword in your industry. Is your page attracting visitors, who are using broad term searches.

Example: When someone searches for a broad term like “iPod”, they are more likely to browse through multiple websites before refining their search terms. Unless your website caters to this niche and your navigation gives an indication that you have articles with specific key phrases, they are more likely to bounce from your site. Focus on long tail key phrases or provide related article links (with long tail key phrases like “iPod nano”) in your broad term rich pages. 

6. Optimize your title, URL and meta-description for key phrases.

7. Focus on building a brand and improving your authority on a subject. Suppose your site name is GadgetWorld and If you have written many articles on iPod and you have consistently satisfied the user with related articles on “iPod nano”,  “latest iPod nano prices” etc. then returning users will start using site specific searches like “GadgetWorld iPod 2011”. 

8. If the bounce rate on a page is high (60-80%) but the time the visitors spend is more than 3 minutes then either your copy/article is not interesting , you have not provided related articles below each page or your navigational elements are hard to use. Change each factors separately and monitor the bounce rate.

9. Use internal links between pages to reduce Bounce rate. But don’t link excessively.

10. Encourage users to comment on your posts with clear call to action.

Now I encourage you to comment on what I have written :)