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Bounce Rates as Indicators for On-Site Optimization Lacks

By Traian

Having a high bounce rate actually says that you have poor quality landing pages, which bring no relevancy to your visitors; therefore you may have a large number of impressions and still have a low conversion rate, not to mention the unsatisfying ROI.

Bounce rate

We shall take Google Analytics’ definition of bounce rates and then stress the obvious conclusions once again: the percentage of single page visits. If a visitor lands on one of your website’s pages and immediately leaves, your bounce rate will signal this behavior.

Having a high bounce rate actually says that you have poor quality landing pages, which bring no relevancy to your visitors; therefore you may have a large number of impressions and still have a low conversion rate, not to mention the unsatisfying ROI.

As if we needed to say it again, yes, this is a bad thing! Only that you can take advantage by it, if you are smart enough to identify the on-site optimization lacks that are indicated by the high bounce.

Before you freak out, keep in mind that this indicator is, in fact, an attribute of any website and, when maintained within certain values, it cannot be considered as abnormal. Take a look at the following examples of what is considered a regular bounce rate for certain businesses or types of content:

  • 10% – 30% for service sites and portals
  • 30% – 50% for lead generation or services oriented on sales
  • 20% – 40% for retail sites
  • 40% – 60% for content websites
  • 70% – 90% for landing pages with a simple structure focused on a single call to action

Put yourself in the visitor’s shoes and ask what will make you leave a website? You could do it either when you don’t like what you see (and boy, people make up their minds so fast when you lack the right web design) or when you’re trying to reach content that your computer or device cannot handle.

Unless you actually have a one page website (in which case your bounce rate is normal to sky rocket as traffic increases) or you have a sub-domain on which  you redirect part of your visitors (again, it will increase your bounce rate), you must carefully look into what causes your visitors leave the websitein such a short time.

Potential causes are detailed below:

  • Annoying pop-up ads – whatever you decide to advertise, make it subtle
  • Music that starts out of nowhere and the visitor can’t discover from where to pause it
  • Bugging streaming videos or welcoming characters on the corner of the screen
  • Unpleasant design – either too simple or too flashy
  • Long load time – computers with a poor configuration will barely load your page and make people give up easy
  • Uninspired call to action formulations – visitors lose interest when your invitations look forced, unnatural or only oriented on your profit instead of their benefits
  • Website listing for wrong keywords ­– due to inappropriate search engine optimization you can make your site to be displayed for search queries that are not representative and disappoint your visitors

Just by reading all these you can make yourself an idea on what to do in order to reduce this concerning percentage. Professional search engine optimization is vital for your conversion rate to go up. The right words will make an accurate ad to your website and those that are actually interested in what you offer will be pleased once entering the platform and leave it a lot later.

As for everything else, the idea would be to:

  • focus on functionality above all
  • give up on everything that is not essential for your business – leave the flower power symbols for a different context
  • create a flexible and intuitive architecture so that anyone can understand what you provide from a first glance
  • Choose the right colors and make a decent contrast in between background and text – to allow people read content easily
  • set external links to open in a new windows so that not to kick your visitor out from the first click
  • make the search function and the submission form visible
  • do whatever it takes to improve your load page rate

These are the basics, which can be implemented even by someone with little knowledge in the field. However, even the process alone of bounce rate analyze can be more thorough as it can refer to:

  • overall website bounce rate
  • bounce rate on traffic resources
  • bounce rate by the most common keywords contained in search queries
  • bounce rate of pay-per-click advertising campaigns associated to your website

If you feel you could use professional help, do not hesitate. Fixing these can do to your website a lot better than making people stop running once they land.


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