3 Top Factors That Affect Bounce Rate on Your Website

June 6, 2017

Most business owners or marketers that track their website’s success have probably heard of a term called ‘bounce rate’.

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who clicked away from your website (back to search or to another website) right after they first landed on your website. When you have a high bounce rate and customers ‘click and go’, search engines begin to look at your content’s quality as questionable and your rankings can suffer.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the top three factors that affect bounce rate on your website…

1. Slow Page Load Time

Sites that load slowly will often experience high bounce rates as visitors becomes impatient and exit before the site is fully loaded. If your content isn’t almost immediately accessible, they are likely to click away.

This is particularly true on mobile devices.

Site speed can be improved in a number of ways:

  • Deferring blocking calls to JavaScript
  • Optimizing and compressing images
  • Compressing and combining HTML and CSS
  • Using a server with adequate resources and sold state drives
  • Caching of content
  • Use of a CDN
  • And more…

2. Keywords or Advertisements are Not Relevant

Getting mixed messages is confusing and nobody likes a bait and switch. That’s why ensuring that your outward messaging needs to be reflected on your website and landing pages.

Advertisements and landing pages need to be aligned or your visitors will be far more likely to bounce. Keeping your messaging and imagery consistent will allow you to maintain that congruency.

Similarly, your website’s titles and meta descriptions that get presented on Google need to be consistent with the content of the pages on your website. Using keywords in your titles and metas that aren’t relevant to your business to help you get more organic traffic will ultimately just leave you with a higher bounce rate as visitors realize your business is not what they were searching for.

3. Your Website Isn’t Responsive

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at providing an optimal experience for your website visitors by providing a website design that is easy to read, navigate, and designed to work across a wide range of devices (desktops, tablets, smart phones, etc.)

As mentioned previously in this post, usability on mobile devices is essential. If your site is not responsive and doesn’t render well on mobile devices, your bounce rate will be much higher.

Not only is a responsive design important from a user experience (UX) standpoint, but it is now also a part of Google’s search algorithm. Google made the announcement that it would start incorporating mobile-friendliness into their search results back in April 2015.

Enhancing Your Website to Improve Time on Site

To a novice, Bounce Rate may appear very black and white. Someone comes to the site, and they leave.

But there is another term that marketers use called “adjusted bounce rate”.

For example, if you write a blog post and someone lands on it from a Google search, and spends 10 minutes reading your post and then exits. This could be considered a “bounce” because they never left the page they entered on.

However, that person was actually very engaged with your content, so would you really want to consider that as a bounce?

Adjusted bounce rate sets a time frame. So, if a visitor spends 5 minutes or more on site, it is not counted as a bounce. The time frame could be 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or whatever is desired.

In order to enhance the time spent on your website, there are a few things you can do including:

  • Provide valuable, quality content
  • Use bold and attractive imagery
  • Consider adding video or story telling graphics
  • Add action text links and calls to action (CTA)
  • Try A/B testing copy or images
  • Ensure you have responsive design

If you have a high bounce rate or you’re looking to enhance your website’s performance, contact Sales & Marketing Technologies for a free consultation where we can evaluate your current website and online performance.

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