What is bounce rate and how do you reduce it?

If you own a website and use Google analytics, you must have seen bounce rate couple of times.  This is a big factor one should look into if you want to retain your visitors and make your website be on Google’s first page.  Bounce rate is basically the percentage of visitor who just visits one of your web pages and leaves without looking at anything else.  This is important because you want to know why these people are coming to your website and why they’re leaving.  If you have bounce rate from 26 to 40%, you have an excellent bounce rate.  41 to 55% is average while 56-70 is above average.  If you have anything over 70, then you need to look at what you are doing wrong.

Google loves this even more because low bounce rate tells Google that the visitor landed on the webpage he or she was searching for.  Google wants people to find the right content and be happy with it (by visiting other pages of your website).  Google search is in this business for the users and not the website owners, which is why they rank all the websites based on bounce rate.

So now that you know a little about what bounce rate is, let’s talk about how we can reduce it.  All we got to do is attract the right people and keep them.  One of the main factor that causes bounce rate is speed (why do you think people rather watch the lyrics version VS an actual music video on YouTube?  Speed is your friend).  If your website is either slow or down, this will cause your bounce rate to go up.  I wrote an article about how to increase your speed here, so you can check it out (http://1else0.com/index.php/2016/11/25/increase-your-website-speed-now/ ‎).  Make sure you check your website daily to see if it’s down or running slow for particular reason, so that you don’t lose any visitors and increase your bounce rate.

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Next factor is the content of your website.  No matter how beautiful and fast your website is, if the content is bad, your website is bad.  Do your research on your competitors by seeing (if you own an ecommerce) what pictures they have, what descriptions they wrote, if there’s any HD videos, and much more.  Do your research and make your contents better than all your competitors!  If you own a blog/news website, write better quality materials than them! If your contents are a small niche, then make sure there aren’t any new competitions.  Make sure the visitors get what they want, this may be an online business, but it works the same way as a real business.  If you own a WordPress website, download search meter and see what people are searching for as well.

Offering related contents is the next step you should take to reduce bounce rate.  The user might be looking for something similar to the original search result, so make sure to offer related contents.  A great example would be how Amazon offers related goods at the bottom of the original products you’ve clicked on.  I use WordPress plugin for 1else0 that offers related posts at the bottom of the post.  There are other websites that put something completely unrelated but an attractive ad, which will make the visitors click on it (don’t do this, it’ll work in the beginning, but not in the long run.  Also, go easy with the ads).

This one might be the most important of all when it comes to affecting bounce rate.  Make sure that your website is mobile friendly.  People are now spending more time on phones than they do on computers, so giving a good mobile friendly website is very important.

Next factor to focus on are ads.  If you have pop ups or too much ads, get rid of them.  Visitors come to your website for the content and not the ads.  You need to go easy on the ads.  There may be professional who can convert ads into long term readers, but it’s very difficult to pull off.

There are a lot more things you can do to lower your bounce rate, but I think I’ve covered the basics.  This is a topic that one should definitely do a further research on if his or her website gets a lot of visitors.  I wish you luck in your endeavors.

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