Bounce rates are a good indicator of the impact your site is having on your visitors. An acceptable bounce rate depends on the type of site you have i.e. information or e-commerce. Anything from 25 to 50% may be quite acceptable, over 50% would probably warrant some effort spent on the site layout, content or structure.
Bounce rate is basically a metric that the website analytics records when a visitor arrives on a page and exits the same page. This could be the result of two things, the visitor is getting the information they came for, or the site having no relevance or interest to them.
Some things to consider that may cause increased bounce rate:
- Unqualified traffic: If you are running online and offline campaigns to attract visitors to the site and you are not delivering on your promise they may feel duped. This may increase traffic and give some brand exposure but not give a positive experience or outcome.
- Slow loading pages: Big images and flashy banners take time to load. You only have a few seconds to create an impact before people leave for the next opportunity.
- Irrelevant landing page : Compelling and uncluttered pages will be more likely to draw visitors in to investigate further.
- Poor navigation: If your site is confusing to the visitor and the next step and purpose of the site not easily recognisable and actionable then you have blown the chance of keeping their attention.
- Confused or improper sales message: Like a retail store your website should have its merchandise and pathway to purchase clearly spelled in an easy to read, easy to understand format that gives the visitor confidence and permission to proceed. Lock your merchandise away and that’s where it will stay
Like any type of metrics the bounce rate is a benchmark that you can use to improve your website performance. Most visitors arrive at the front page and are then directed to various sections of the site. Your bounce rate effectiveness therefore is determined by the goal of the site. If the persons query is answered on the landing page then the higher bounce rate is fine, if the goal is to direct them to a contact or sales page then a high bounce rate is bad.
Many sites tend to have an information oversupply or are out-dated; too many have no real purpose from a user’s perspective because the owners give little real focus to its potential, especially at a time when more people are turning to the Internet for ideas, inspiration and making purchasing decisions.
Bounce rate is only a subjective performance measure. If you have a sudden increase in bounces it may be related to an external influence such as a media profile of your company. Check to see if you have had an increase in overall traffic and benchmark this along with time on site and other metrics to gauge whether your site is performing better or worse. Every time you make changes to landing pages ensure that you note the date to be able to review its impact later.