You know how serious I am, because I underline, asterixed and bolded the word ‘need’!
If you’re reading this and you have a very high bounce rate or you don’t understand what it’s all about, don’t freak out!
For the whole month of November, we’re going to look at how we can improve the number of signups/conversions on our websites. We’ll begin by getting to know bounce rates piece by piece; what they are, how to know your rate, and how to effectively reduce them forever!
Ready? Let’s begin!
What is the Google Analytics bounce rate?
Google Analytics is a free performance reporting software tool that you can install on your website and a bounce rate is one of the most important measurements that Google Analytics generates for you. The bounce rate shows the percentage of people who leave your website before looking at any other pages.
In other words, if your bounce rate is 50%, it means half of the people who land on your website are leaving it immediately!
As you can imagine, when it goes over a certain percentage, it can indicate a real major issue on your website and is a clear indication of website conversion failure.
Situation: Let’s say a customer (let’s call him ‘Dave’) was searching through Google for some cool deals on eyeglasses. He stumbles on an odd-looking website promising to offer affordable stylish glasses, but – on closer inspection – Dave saw that they were only overpriced replicas. Dave didn’t bother to click on any of the items or visit another page. He closed his tab and went searching for other sites.
Result: Dave’s action will negatively affect the website’s bounce rate.
There are plenty of other reasons why users ‘bounce’. However, here are the most common reasons:
- They did not find the information they needed on your site.
- The page took too long to load
- The search results they were looking for weren’t at the top of your site
- Your site was hard to navigate
- The page they landed on did not promise what was advertise in the banner/advert/link/etc.
Why is it important to keep a low bounce rate?
As mentioned earlier, a high Google Analytics bounce rate is a clear indication of website conversion failure.
It is generally accepted that some people will ‘bounce’, but a bounce rate of over 30%* means that most of your site visitors do not see any valuable content on your site. They arrive and then leave without purchasing anything from you.
* 30% is considered acceptable, but whatever! I don’t believe in accepting low standards and neither should you! You should still read this doc and get that bounce rate as low as possible!
Help! I don’t know what my bounce rate is!
If you have no idea what the bounce rate is for your business, Google Analytics is your best friend!
Just in case you don’t know, Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources. It also measures conversions and sales as well as being the most widely used website statistics service.
Installing this tool is quick and easy! And, once you have, it can provide you with a great deal of web and sales data, such as the number of active users on your site, their location, age, etc. So, install away by following this step-by-step guide.
Another key thing it shows you is the bounce rate! Not only for the site, but for specific pages, too; helping you identify the leaky faucets in your web plumbing, so you can patch them up and ensure you give yourself the best chance of converting as many prospective sales into real transactions.
My bounce rate is too high. How can it be reduced?
Let’s get cracking on getting your bounce rate as low as possible! Here are my best tips on getting that bounce rate down to reinvigorate your web sales:
1) Write for your audience.
No one knows your audience better than YOU. When you create your website or write your content, keep in mind who you are doing it for, so – when they visit your site – they’ll get hooked and never want to leave!
You’ll be amazed how many people advertise their site to a specific audience and then dump them on a page that isn’t optimised for that audience. Don’t get lazy! Create a unique page for them if necessary.
With the help of Google Analytics, you now have access to the data that tells you who visits your site and who leaves it. Use that knowledge to your advantage.
2) Ask what they want.
If you really want your audience to stay and check your site out, the easiest way is to ask them what they want to see!
Why go through all the trouble of guessing when you can get the answer directly from them? Use surveys, emails, blog comment boards and even your own social media sites to identify what your fans love and use that data to create highly relevant content.
Here are some ways you can create user-generated content to reduce your Google Analytics bounce rate:
- Post a question on your Social Media Accounts. You can either make them choose from different options or you can let them answer whatever their hearts desire.
- Send a dedicated email. Emails are so powerful, especially when the goal is to listen. Send them a dedicated email for suggestions, comments and complaints. From there, create content that would answer all their questions.
- Blog about it! Rarely do you see blogs asking for more blog topics, right? They’re rare, but they work! Sometimes, what our reader needs is an avenue to share their own experiences and expertise.
3) Create a customer friendly website.
Nothing beats a website that is comfortable for your visitors to use.
Remember, even if you have the most interesting content, if your website looks like a mess, doesn’t function properly or is a complete nightmare to navigate around, your bounce rate will naturally be higher.
To fix your website’s problems, follow these reminders:
- Make sure you have a nice, attractive, and modern looking website that fills them with confidence. Need help with this? Get in touch for a quote. 😉
- Have a Call To Action appear quickly to ensure they follow through on the reason they are visiting your site.
- Highlight the key Benefits of what you’re offering, so they get the answer they are searching for.
- Highlight the key Features, too, whilst you’re at it!
- Have a logical roadmap for your customers to follow. Make sure they know what the next step is.
- Include a Search Bar and Clear Navigation options so that customers can find what they need, even if the page does not show it.
If you’d like an in-depth discussion about this, you can read more on our blog about high converting web features.
4) Be creative with your Calls to Action.
When you want to reduce your bounce rate, remember that your ultimate goal is to make your audience click through to the next step. You can do this effectively with the use of “Call to Action” (CTA) texts / buttons.
What is a CTA, you ask? In simple terms, a CTAs is a phrase or a button designed to invite your readers to make a particular action. Some of the best examples are:
- “Buy Now, Get 1 Free (Limited Time)!”
- “Read more by clicking here… ”
- “Download your FREE trial now.”
- “Send me a quick hello >>”
- “Contact Me Right Now…”
In a nutshell, if your potential customers land on your website with a full wallet ready to unload, it won’t do you an ounce of good if the next steps aren’t glaringly obvious to him or her.
And even if it is obvious, ask yourself whether it could be MORE obvious. You don’t want that customer to leave!
5) Have a alternate mobile friendly website.
Using OurMobilePlanet.com as a case study, a research collaboration between Google, Ipsos MediaCT, the Mobile Marketing Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau showed that 90% of smartphone owners in Australia used internet on their phones daily and 52% of them visited the website of a business after a local search.
And if your website isn’t mobile friendly… boy… trust me when I say that your bounce rate WILL suffer. It’s why we give free mobile sites to all Web123 clients.
To lower your bounce rate, you must be up to date with the latest technology and that includes getting yourself a mobile-friendly website.
You might wonder, “what’s so unmobile-friendly with my website”?
We’ll it’s good that you asked! Websites are usually designed to fit the dimensions of our computers. If your website does not have an alternate mobile site ready to receive your mobile customers, it would look messed up on the smaller screens of smartphones or tablets. Your visitors would leave the moment they arrived!
And when that happens, your bounce rate increases and your chance of getting a sale is gone!
Begone, Bounce rates!
Don’t overlook your bounce rates like so many other small business owners! The dangers of ignoring it are grim because it tells you WHERE there is a problem on your website.
You should aim to change and tweak your bounce rate wherever you can. If it looks a little high, investigate and ask yourself what YOU can do to reduce it. Trust me, the rewards are MASSIVE in the long run.
And if you haven’t installed Google Analytics yet… DO IT NOW!
Seriously it will take you 10 minutes (if that).
Bounce rates can increase easily, but by keeping your visitors interested and giving them more reasons to “click”, you’re sure to have your bounce rate below the red line for good! 🙂
What is your Google Analytics bounce rate? Have you installed Google Anlaytics on your site? Which of the steps above will you act on first to reduce your rate? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Please leave a comment below.