Many times, a website suffers from a high bounce rate. It is normal that your site shows up in a search and the user doesn’t deem the content useful enough and thus leave. This results in a bounce. But things are slightly more complicated than that.
How does Google define ‘bounce rate’?
Bounce rate is defined by Google as “sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page”. An interaction refers to any of these:
- Pageview hits
- Ecommerce transaction hits
- Ecommerce transaction item hits
- User defined hits
- Social plugin hits
But if your website is about providing single page information, so your users may already have obtained the information they wanted by reading through the page and then exited. In this case, a high bounce rate does not mean they did not find the site useless.
How to decrease high bounce rates?
But if your site is not a single page information site, such as an e-commerce site, or a campaign site, then you need to reduce your bounce rate.
1. Adjust the time limit of your bounce rate
Following the instructions here, you can decrease the time a visitor spends on your page before it is considered a bounce. If your pages normally contain short contents, then this is really the way to go. You can estimate this by looking at the Average Time on Page data under Behaviour.
2. Increase number of internal links
Make sure you have vital internal links throughout your content to make the user stay. One way of achieving this is have the related articles links directly under the content itself, so the users would linger further on your site. Another way is to end the article with suggestions on related reading or similar content on your site. It is a way to reaching out to the user on his or her content needs.
UX is a major source of high bounce rates
Often overlooked is the question of good user experience. People think once they have a great looking site, the UX is naturally good. Wrong. A pretty website does not necessarily mean the user can easily find it a pleasurable experience surfing on your website.
Are there breadcrumbs to give a visual hierarchy for the user on where he is located?
Are there tags to showcase to the user what type of articles are available on your site?
Is it responsive and is the mobile version easy to navigate?
Are the social plugins easily accessible?
Is the call to action button well located so that it is visible and clearly actionable to your user?
Do you test your UX periodically? If not, you should. A better UX will help the user to stay on your website and seriously improve your high bounce rate.
Any questions about this? Feel free to comment below or send me an email.
If not, please look at other of my Eureka Moments. If you are interested in how UX and user journey affects “user payment”, here’s another read.
Eureka Moments are not so much moments of sudden realisation or enlightenment like Archimedes. They are moments while I am in my commute when I get to reflect on things that someone mentioned to me, things that I am confronted with, things that I or others have sought a solution for. They are more ‘oh I get it’ rather than ‘I have discovered it’.