Semalt Expert Explains How The Bounce Rate Affects Your Website's SEO
I'm sure many people want to improve their website's performance but they can't decide how to get started. One of the main reasons of this is: the web analytics tools provide us with the tons of data. With so many options, it can make the question of where to start an inextricable one. Confronted with this situation some owners are watching their website slowly fall apart. On the other hand, some contact an SEO agency to take care of their website to have a better conversion rate.
In this article, I will talk about the bounce rate, which is a metric that I attach great importance to, and that I think, contributes greatly to the conversion rates.
What is the bounce rate?
Bounce rate: a web analytics metric that gives you the extremely useful measurements about how your visitors experience on your site. It is the rate at which the visitors to your website leave your site without any interaction. This metric can easily provide you with an overview of the quality of the traffic to your website.
Lowering bounce rates can be an important factor in the increase of the conversions and sales. We can generalize that a high bounce rate indicates that the site login pages are not relevant to your visitors, even if there are. But having a low bounce rate for every page might not be a good thing. For example, completing a transaction on your order return page may not be the interaction of your dreams.
The following situations are included in the bounce:
- A user coming to your page and closing the browser.
- The user comes to your page and clicks the back button from the browser tab.
- The user coming to your page, typing a different domain name in the browser tab, and leaving your site.
- The user who comes to your page waits 30 minutes without any activity. (usually, one session takes 30 minutes).
- The user clicks on a link on your site that redirects to the outside and leaves your site. (activity tracking will prevent this situation).
- The user visits a different page on your website that does not have the Google Analytics code attached.
How to control the bounce rates?
You can check the bounce rate in your Google Analytics account's audience> overview report. The report gives you an average of your website's overall bounce rates. Before you start optimizing your website, you should look at the bounce rates in more details. (Pages, traffic sources, device data, load times, etc.).
How is Bounce Rate calculated?
These rates will vary according to the publication purposes of the websites. For example, the user looking for the contact information of a restaurant in Russia and the user looking for cheap flight tickets to Germany behave differently on the web page. Our Carlos brother finds it dangerous to have the bounce rates above 50%!
As a web SEO agency, we can say according to the professional experience over the years, that it is difficult to get a bounce rate below 20%. Anything above 35% is worrisome and anything above 50% is worrisome.
Sectorial bounce rate averages according to Kissmetrics data:
- Retail sites: 20-40%
- Landing Page: 70-90%
- Portals: 10-30%
- Service sites: 10-30%
- Content sites: 40-60%
If your bounce rates are below 20% or above 90%, you may be having a technical problem. It will be useful to check.
Evaluate bounce rates correctly
You may not be evaluating the bounce rates correctly on some pages that enter your site. It is normal to encounter high bounce rates on the single-page sites or landing pages where you do not redirect the users to the different pages. However, these rates may not show that the traffic to your site is irrelevant. You can track the activity in your Google Analytics account to make more efficient analysis on such pages. In this way, you will inform your Google Analytics account that there is no direct exit and that the users have made an event. Below we share some of the events that you can watch on these pages.
Follow social media prompts
The traffic you send from your website to your social media accounts may not be unrelated to you enough to be included in your bounce rates. If no events have been identified in your Google Analytics account, all outbound links, including redirects to your social media pages, are deemed to be leaving the site. If your visitors click on the external links on these pages, your bounce rate will increase. However, if you define these referrals as events to your Google Analytics account, a bounce will not be counted because your Analytics account will win an event transaction.
Track form interactions
If you have a form on your pages, you can find out whether the users are interacting with the form by defining an event. Not all the sessions that interact/try to engage with you will increase your bounce rates. You can also create a form filling funnel by following form field interactions. Thus, you will have the chance to optimize the form you created.
If you offer documents such as catalogs, prices, etc. that can be downloaded to the users on your pages, you can define your download buttons as events.
Phone numbers & email addresses
If your pages have the interactive phone numbers (click to call) or buttons that the users can use to send you an e-mail, you can also create an activity to track it.
Time on page
You can also define an event for the time the users spend on your page by defining an event. You can have the users who spend more than a certain time on your page automatically, send an event to your Analytics account. You can customize this time according to the consumption time of your pages.
By defining an event for the scrolling rates of your pages, you can find out how much of your page the users view. Not only will you be able to have an idea about how much of your page the users view, but you can also optimize your traffic sources and content accordingly.
Some key factors affecting the bounce rates
- The type of visitors: The type of traffic you drive to your website can greatly affect your bounce rates. For example, it is normal for the users visiting a blog site and those visiting an e-commerce site to behave differently.
- Traffic sources: The traffic sources of the users coming to your site will affect your average bounce rates. The users coming directly to your site and those coming from Facebook ads may not have the same bounce rate.
- Your pages with frequent impressions: For example, contact pages tend to have a higher bounce rate than service or product pages.
- Opening speed of your pages: It is normal for your pages with a slow opening speed to have above-average bounce rates.
- User experience: It is not surprising that pages that are difficult to use and difficult to navigate have high bounce rates.
What you can do to improve your bounce rates
Improve page opening speed
The opening time of your pages is one of the biggest factors affecting the bounce rates. 40% of the users cannot wait for a website to open in more than 3 seconds. The opening time of your pages is unquestionably great, not only to the bounce rates but also for your final ad goals. If you want to improve the opening speed of the pages, contact the experts at Semalt. Because our SEO engineers perform a complete optimization of the website, by promoting it on Google TOP, increasing the visitors' traffic, and your online sales. It is a profitable investment that will give you the impressive results.
Use of pop-ups
This is a very hot topic. Lots of the users hate pop-ups that come across in the unprecedented places. Who would like the windows that come out unexpectedly while watching something? The use of pop-ups is a fact that can make your visitors and the search engines unhappy, but when you used it appropriately, timely and wisely, it can give really successful results.
Although the pop-ups that appear directly in front of the users often affect the bounce rates negatively, it is possible to reduce the bounce rates by using the pop-ups. In a study case, I came across (I think it was Wordstream - I will be adding it when I come across the source again); it was observed that the pop-ups shown to the users who were about to leave the site reduced the bounce rate by 60%, and the time spent on the site increased by 50%.
CTA button and its optimization
More than 90% of the visitors reading your headline also read your CTA buttons. (Unbounce)
CTA buttons are very important for both your conversion rates and bounce rates. Especially if you get traffic from the paid channels, the weak CTA buttons that are not on the pages you direct the users to may cause you to lose the users. Every element is very important when optimizing your CTA buttons. Even the color of the button can create the surprising changes. You can perform A / B testing regularly to get the best performance.
You should ensure that the users can consume your content after coming to your site. Remember, there are many alternative sites. Factors such as constantly popping ads, too small or large fonts, or an absurd background color can make your content difficult to read.
Here are a few suggestions to make your content easier to read:
- Use the headlines and the subheadings.
- Enrich your content with the visuals or videos.
- Be careful; do not use too many bold characters.
- Don't use the keywords that cover half a page about your content. Why are you still using it though?
If you are giving a link from your website, you can make it open in a new window. Thus, you will save your users from the constant forward and backward pace. The external links opened in the same window may cause you to miss the users from your site. Sometimes you may not want to open every redirect in a new tab. For example, the links to your social media accounts, such as redirects from your corporate site to your e-commerce site. In such cases, you can prevent these redirects from increasing your bounce rates by creating the events for the links.
Comfortable navigation is essential
If the users cannot find what they are looking for, they will leave your website. This has always been the case. At the same time, your menu structure should be customized according to the devices. An extensive menu might work well for your desktop site, but the mobile users won't be as patient to find what they're looking for. On your mobile site, you should provide the users with a menu that is as simple and easy to use as possible.
Offer mobile custom design
They must be beating anyone who doesn't hear the word "Mobile First". The traffic from mobile to the websites has exceeded almost 50%. However, many businesses still stubbornly continue to offer the desktop versions of their websites to the mobile users. Obviously, it is not enough that the design of the website is mobile-sensitive. After all, our usage habits on desktop and mobile are completely different. The mobile designs need to be simpler, faster, and result-oriented.
Mobile site speed
One second delay in page load times can increase the bounce rates by 8%. (Web Performance Today).
It can reduce 1 second latency conversion rate in load times by an average of 7%. (Kinsta).
Analyze traffic sources
By running the source/tool report of your Google Analytics account, you can quickly learn about the bounce rate of your traffic sources. This report can be very valuable to you, especially if you drive traffic to your site in exchange for a payment.
For example, looking at the above report: the bounce rate of CPC ads in the 4th place is 84.20%. Well above the site average. These ads definitely need to be optimized!
We see the statistics of Facebook ads in 6th and 7th positions. One campaign is based on CPC and the other on CPM. We can easily say that the performance of CPC campaigns is better. (Assuming the conditions are the same).
Evaluate landing pages
Another way I don't know how to improve the bounce rates is to increase the performance of the pages where you greet the visitors. For this, you can run the landing page report in Google Analytics. I usually use the benchmark view in this report. (You can set it at the top right of the report) In the screenshot below, we can say that the bounce rates of pages 2, 3, and 4 are above average. It may be useful to take a look at the content, speed, and sources of the traffic of these pages. When you are evaluating this report, keep in mind that your different pages may have different rates. For example, the bounce rates on an e-commerce site's blog may vary according to the product pages.
Tip: You can use this page more efficiently by grouping the content for your pages of different types / purposes. You can look at the general window and then drill down.
As a result, there are a lot of reasons that will increase / decrease your bounce rates. Although there are some technical factors, the point to focus on is the experience of your website visitors. Many studies that increase this experience can reflect positively on your bounce rates.
We are at the end of this article and I hope that, so far, you have learned a lot about the bounce rate.
However, as you can see, the bounce rate is a very important factor that you need to take into account in order to get your site to the top of Google.
However, this work is very technical. So it would be much better to entrust it to an SEO agency as Semalt. Indeed, Semalt offers you a complete service: from the development, redesign, and promotion of your website to its maintenance. By working with the experts at Semalt, you can easily start your online business or succeed with the current.