How to Improve Your Bounce Rate

Yesterday’s post about the most important Google Analytics metrics for your business highlighted Bounce Rate as one of five metrics every website owner and marketer should understand. Not only should you understand it, you should track it regularly and make efforts to improve it.

Bounce rate is a vital measurement for any site and one that often gets overlooked. Improving your bounce rate means getting more visitors to stick around once they get to your site. It means giving them what they’re looking for and getting them to click through or take some action before leaving the site altogether. Sounds like a good thing, right?

Here’s three things you can do to improve your bounce rate:

  1. Create Better Content – Most times someone leaves your site right away if they don’t see what they expect. The content on the page that they land on is key. Is it helpful? Does it give them what they were looking for when they went to your site? Does it tell them who you are and why they should care? The goal of your content should be to orient the visitor. Make it clear who you are, why they got to the page they did, and what they should do next.
  2. Create Clearer Calls to Action – Ever land on a site and think, now what? Maybe the person meant to come to your site, and takes the time to read or view what you provided on the page. But what should they do next? It’s up to you to tell them. If they’re reading an article, suggest another one. If they’re viewing a product, offer a link to more details or a form to request more information. Provide easy and obvious ways for them to take the next step or contact you. Don’t make them guess, because they will just end up leaving.
  3. Improve Your Site Navigation – Most visitors to your site are looking for something specific. So your job, if you want to keep them from leaving, is to make it as easy as possible to find what they’re looking for. And you do that with your site navigation. First make the navigation stand out so it’s easy to find. Then make sure you have the appropriate categories or pages named in a way that makes it obvious to first time visitors where to go. And you can always add a big site search bar for those users who know exactly what they’re looking for and would rather just type it into a search tool.

If you do those three things, you should see a decrease in your site’s bounce rate. That means a greater percentage of the traffic to your site is spending more time on more pages. It means they are more likely to find what they’re looking for and take action.