One of the most common metrics we use when we take on a website project is the bounce rate. Many of our clients want their bounce rates lowered, and wonder “how low” they can go. It’s because when our clients often indicate that the bounce rate is too high, even if they are satisfied with the quantity and quality of their conversions.
So let’s go through what a “bounce” is, and then apply it to inbound marketing campaigns.
What is a bounce? What is a session?
To understand what a “bounce” is, you also have to know what a session is according to Google Analytics.
A session is a series of web interactions a user conducts on your website. This can include a web page view, filling out a web form, and/or buying a product. Sessions expire after 30 minutes of inactivity by default. But it is possible to have two sessions with one page view (ex – someone seeing your page, leaving for one hour, then seeing your page again).
Now, what’s a bounce? Bounces happen when a user leaves your site after only one interaction with your site — usually just a single page.
So if you have 100 sessions in a day and 60 bounces, that is a bounce rate of 60 percent.
How do I interpret a bounce rate within the context of my inbound marketing campaigns?
Now that we know what website bounces and sessions are, it’s time to apply them to your inbound marketing campaigns.
- The bounce rate you should focus on more closely are those of your landing pages – Every URL you have has a bounce rate. With inbound marketing campaigns, you should focus on the bounce rates of your landing pages, which have a different purpose than your home or career pages for example.
- High bounce rates on landing pages aren’t a bad thing in and of itself – Landing pages often have high bounce rates because you’re trying to get a visitor to make a split second decision. Is this person going to convert into a lead by filling out your form or not?
The industry average of a landing page’s bounce rate is 70-90 percent, considerably higher than other websites such as retail stores and content websites. So if your landing pages have bounce rates around 70 percent and you are still generating the leads you need, then you aren’t doing a bad job. In fact, you may be doing better than most of your competitors.
How do I keep my bounce rate lower to get the most out of my inbound marketing campaigns?
If you are getting the conversions that you need from your landing page, then your bounce rates aren’t necessarily holding you back.
That said, you should never rest on your laurels. You can still take measures to lower your bounce rates by implementing these measures on your landing pages. You should do these things with anything you do for that matter.
- Focus on the right keywords – Make sure that your landing pages attract the right visitors to your website. Don’t simply try to attract more visitors to your website if visitors aren’t likely to become customers. Doing the former will only raise your bounce rate.
- Keep your content clear and concise – When someone views your website, you have seconds to convince visitors to stay engaged, or they will leave. Make sure your copy is easy to understand and notice. Your website visitors must get the gist of what you want right away. Don’t make your content too short so visitors don’t understand — and don’t make it too long or it will bore them.
- Use visual cues to contrast your calls-to-action – Draw visitors’ attention to your calls-to-action with different size fonts, colors, and/or typefaces by using different headings and subheadings. These visual cues help guide them to the content they want.
- Get a responsive website – Most web traffic users access their content via mobile devices. However, less than 20 percent of top sites are truly responsive, or adaptive to the device reading the content. You may already have a mobile website, but the experience of reading a website on an iPhone 7 should not be the same as it is on an iPhone 7 Plus or an iPad.
- Ensure that your website loads quickly – If your website takes too long to load, visitors are less likely to view other pages on your site. In fact, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, 40 percent of your visitors will leave. Google PageSpeed Tools is one tool you can use to check your loading times and address issues that may be slowing your site down.
At GMG, we work with multiple clients on all online inbound marketing, including content, structure, and SEO. If you’re looking to improve your online presence with our marketing and PR services, feel free to contact us!