How to improve Bounce Rate

Conversion rate and CTR rate are very common metrics many marketers track on a daily basis. While these metrics are good indicators of the user engagement with your advertising messages, tracking the bounce rate will unleash great information about your site’s landing page effectiveness.

If you currently track your website’s traffic and conversions, most probably you have access to the bounce rate.  For those that haven’t heard of the bounce rate before, it is a metric that dictates the visitor’s engagement with your web pages. A bounce is triggered when a visitors leaves your site without navigating deeper to other pages. So, if a visitor enters your site from any particular source and leaves, a bounce will be triggered. The bounce rate can be calculated by dividing the total number of visits viewing one page by total entries to a page.

Now that you know what a bounce is, let’s dive deeper into what causes high bounce rates and how to fix them. Bounce rate varies depending on the traffic source and there are many ways to improve it:

1) Landing page Optimization and A/b Testing:
Many of us have heard a lot of landing page optimization, especially when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Landing page optimization won’t only help you increase your organic rankings, but it will also improve the bounce rate (if done correctly). What makes landing page makeovers a great approach is the ability to understand your customer’s behavior and present solutions that will make their shopping experience more efficient.

It’s not fair to talk about landing pages without talking about A/B testing. Testing different page variations, whether it was ad copy, images or layouts, is vital when it comes to optimization. It used to be very challenging to perform an A/B test due to the complexity and the technical issues marketers had to go through. Thankfully, many companies offer out-of-the-box solutions that let you test your landing pages to improve the user’s response. Google site optimizer is a great example of a free and effective tool that can be used for testing. There is no excuse for any company not to test their banners and landing pages.

2) User Segmentation:
The main reason behind user segmentation is to guide your visitors throughout multiple and focused landing experiences. Instead of having one landing page that fits every user, multiple pages is a smarter solution to provide a focused, less noisy shopping experience. Since distraction is one of the main causes of high bounce rate, splitting the traffic will make it easier for online shoppers to digest the information you are trying to present.

If you are like most online retailers, there is a big chance that you aren’t taking advantage of user segmentation. What most companies tend to do is segmenting their products (usually by type). While this could be a great way to organize your pages, it doesn’t help customers learn about your products and assist them in making the right buying decisions.

3) Perform Traffic Audit:
Have you taken a closer look at your traffic sources lately? Whether you use Google Analytics or any other tracking tool, monitoring traffic sources is a great way to check your site’s landing page performance per channel. The first thing you will notice once you look at this is that the bounce rate varies depending on the source. Generally speaking, organic traffic has a higher bounce rate than PPC traffic. The reason behind this fluctuation is due to the traffic relevancy and quality.

Since you don’t have a lot of control over the pages you rank for organically, sometimes your visitors might be directed to the home page instead of a more targeted one. Not providing what the user wants or expects will definitely increase the number of bounces. On the other hand, this scenario is less likely to happen in PPC campaigns (if structured correctly) because you have the power to direct the user to any page you see fit.

There is no limit to what you can do to lower the bounce rate. This can be accomplished by performing A/B testing, user segmentation and traffic analysis. The bounce rate varies from one industry to another. The more attention you give to your visitors, the lower your site’s bounce rate will be. Stop focusing on pleasing the search engines and shift your goals towards improving your visitors shopping experience.

Try moving your content up to the top of the page. Try changing your font colors so they are easier to read, try placing big pictures at the top of the page. Ideally make each change one at a time, and let them run for a week to see if you can help lower the bounce rate.

What are you doing to lower your site’s bounce rate? If you have an above average bounce rate, it’s time to take some actions to fix that and your visitors will thank you for it.

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