You’ve done the work. You’ve built your website. You’ve designed and created and optimized to the best of your ability and then launched your baby out into the world. But a few months later, you take a look at your analytics and your numbers just aren’t there. If your bounce rate is high and you either don’t understand what that means or you can’t isolate and solve the problem, then take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. We’ll do this together.
I’ve been creating web content and focusing on SEO for over 10 years now and these issues aren’t new to me. Take some comfort in knowing you aren’t the only one this happens to! Also, there are plenty of things you can do to change this. Let’s start with the basics.
What Is a Bounce Rate?
According to Optimizely, “Bounce rate is the percentage of site visits that are single-page sessions, with the visitor leaving without viewing a second page. It is typically used as a measurement of a website’s overall engagement.”
How Is It Calculated?
The bounce rate is calculated by taking the number of one-page visits and dividing it by the number of total visitors. Let’s use a small example. If you have 100 visitors to your website monthly, and 50 of them view your homepage and then leave without clicking elsewhere, your bounce rate would be 50%.
That might not be a bad number considering what you’re doing (for example, if you’re a blogger and your readers spend a lot of time on your homepage), but let’s dive into what you can do to decrease that number if you’re not satisfied. Here’s how you can better your bounce rate:
Focus On Engaged Visitors, Not Just New Visitors
It’s great if you’ve got a high number of new visitors to your site, but what you should also be considering is how long they’re staying on your site. Say you’re trying to sell something on your website. The more people, the merrier! But if you have a lot of folks who aren’t finding what they’re looking for, that isn’t netting you much profit. A good question to ask yourself here is how to best provide the information people need to make a purchase. It’s a good idea to have your contact information visible, to have a clear call to action (e-mail us today for a free quote!) and to make your most important pages easy to navigate.
Marry Your Content With Your Marketing
Google can tell if your website is providing quality content for its visitors. If your marketing techniques are focused on just “getting the click” and not mirroring what your website has to offer, then you’re going to have disappointed viewers who won’t venture past the first page.
Bait-and-switch tactics are not going to fly with Google. Are your marketing ads related to your website? Google itself says, “…examine whether the content correlates well with the marketing you use to drive users to those pages, and whether those pages offer users easy paths to the next steps you want them to take.”
Focus on a Fast User Experience
Patience isn’t a virtue here. For me personally, if I click on a website and it takes a while to load, I’m gone. I typically assume that the website has too many unnecessary ads, which slows the entire download process. What can you do to reduce download time for your site? There are a lot of things to do that might be unique to your situation here, but you could start by reducing the size of your photos or (cue side-eye) giving up a few ads so your viewers will be able to see your content quicker. Site load time is especially important for mobile viewers. With mobile-first indexing now in play, your site needs to be both mobile-friendly AND fast to rank well in SERPS. You can test your site’s mobile load speed here.
Another no-go for me is if a website is unengaging or out of date. In all honesty, if a website looks like it was designed in the 20th century, I don’t trust it. If the design is outdated, the content, advice, and products/solutions are likely outdated as well. First and foremost, you want your viewers to feel as though you are a trustworthy source. Hire a professional photographer to snap some shots for you and make sure what you’re offering is easy to read, has nice looking text, a professional font, and has clear calls to action.
Provide Quality Content and SEO
Having a good content strategy is key to any successful website (and not to toot our own horn, but EVG specializes in this). Your first step should be to identify what information on your website is the most popular or helpful and then to capitalize on it. After that, create meaningful, simple sentences with plenty of descriptive headers and photos (with Alt Text!) so your readers can understand and engage in what you’re telling them. A final thought that I can’t stress enough – please make sure your content is well written. This might mean outsourcing this job to an expert. As one of our own writers said, “Good content is worth its weight in gold, particularly when your company’s main purpose in creating content is generating valuable leads that convert.”
I know studying analytics and trying to create your most successful website can be overwhelming. As with any major undertaking, it’s nice to have someone in your corner. At EVG, we are happy to help you understand your analytics data and can partner with you to decrease your bounce rate, increase your traffic, incorporate quality SEO into your content and so much more. Give us a shout today!
Caralee Culpepper – Content Creator