Google Analytics: How to Improve the Bounce Rate on Your Website
Keeping track of a website’s bounce rate is growing increasingly important as visitors are no longer only entering a website through its homepage. Visitors are finding websites through specific searches that often lead them directly to a business’s product pages, blog, or articles – completely bypassing the homepage. This means that you cannot place all of your focus on the homepage to connect to your visitors.
Google Analytics Bounce Rate Calculation
According to Google, the bounce rate “is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.” Therefore, if you see that your site has an 80% bounce rate, this translates to 80% of those that landed on your website left without viewing any additional pages.
Benchmarking Against a Standard Bounce Rate
While it is helpful to benchmark your website’s bounce rate against other sites, some industries are prone to having a higher bounce rate than others – therefore, there is no standard for a website to aim towards. However, compare the website’s pages against each other to see which ones are underperforming.
When looking at the bounce rate, keep in mind to aim for low percentage rates. Low rates mean that the website is engaging new visitors and convincing them to browse the site. While having a low bounce rate does not guarantee an increase in sales, the longer visitors remain on the site, the more likely they will become paying customers.
Locate Your Bounce Rate in Google Analytics
The bounce rate in Google Analytics can be found by taking the following steps. Please note that you must have an account with Google Analytics beforehand.
- Log into Google Analytics for your website.
- Click on the “Visitors” heading in the left sidebar.
- Select the “Visitors Trending” link.
- Click on the “Bounce Rate” link.
Tips to Reduce a Website’s Bounce Rate
There are many reasons why a site experiences a high bounce rate. For instance, the design maybe not be pleasing, navigation is difficult to understand, content is outdated (or appears so), visitors do not see what they were searching for, or the loading time was slow. By using the different stats in Google Analytics, you can narrow down what the issues are.
Determine which pages visitors are entering your website through and tweak the ones that show a high bounce rate. This can be done in Google Analytics by clicking on the “Content” header in the left sidebar, and then the “Top Landing Pages” link. You will then see a list of pages with the number of visitors that entered, the number of bounces, and the bounce rate. Visit each of those pages to investigate where the problem may be.
Test the Navigation
Verify that your navigation links or menu is easy to find and works in Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Check to see the time visitors spend on the page. If a page has a high bounce rate, plus visitors spend much time on the page then the problem may be that they are not sure how to make a purchase or find related information. Try including a selection of “related articles” or “related products” on the bottom of the pages to encourage visitors to investigate what else you have to offer.
Improve the Design
Having a weak website design is a common reason for visitors to bounce. Websites which are simple, easy to navigate, clean, and updated are more successful in attracting and retaining new visitors. Make sure the site’s design is up-to-date, does not include gimmicky or flashy animations, and the information is displayed. Review your website as if you were looking at it for the first time and critically examine the layout, images, and text. In addition, visit the websites of top competitors to compare designs and get ideas for strengthening the website.
Highlight Important Links
Especially when visitors land on a product page of an e-commerce site they have never been to before, they will be looking for specific links before making the purchase. Ensure your website includes a “Customer Service” or “Help” link, as well as links for the business’s shipping and return policies. Make sure that visitors do not have to search for these links by having them displayed in either the header or footer of your pages, as this is the most common location for these links.
Reducing the Bounce Rate
While some websites are prone to a high bounce rate, such as blogs or e-commerce stores with only a few flagship products, reducing the bounce rate can play a role in increasing sales. The longer a website can hold a potential customer on the website, the more likely the visitor will make a purchase. Therefore, find out which pages have the highest bounce rate and then investigate to see if there is a problem with navigation, design, or not displaying important links.
About the author: Diane H. Wong is a content writer and family coach. Besides, she is a research paper writer at DoMyWriting so she prefers to spend her spare time working out family issues solutions. In this case, she has an opportunity to share her experience with others and keep up with advancing technologies.