One of the key metrics you should be measuring and monitoring in Google Analytics is your website’s bounce rate. If you haven’t checked your website pages bounce rate recently you can do this by logging into your Google Analytics account, and navigating to the Behavious>Site Content section of your GA account.
A high bounce rate usually indicates that visitors are coming to your site, and leaving with the first visit.It could be that the link or referral that took the visitor to your site was served up content that they weren’t expecting to see (perhaps your link, advertisement or referral didn’t set the scene correctly for what was to follow) or that the content didn’t engage the visitor enough to make them want to stay. Google will penalize you in it’s search rankings for high bounce as it sees it as an indicator of irrelevant content so having a good strategy for reducing bounce will help your SEO too.
If you find that your bounce rate is high but users are staying on a page for a good length of time then this can indicate that your content is good but you didn’t give the visitor a reason to explore your site further through well placed links or through recommended other content.
If you’re running a WordPress based website you can find some great “recommended content” plugins in the plugin repository, and if you have a blog for your business on your website adding one of these plugins to steer readers to related posts can really help bring your bounce rate down.
Once caveat to mention here is that for certain pages on your website you might expect a high bounce rate. If you’re running a service where you’d expect people to find a page on your website that displays your phone number and your call to action on that page is “Call us now!” then it’s likely that the website visitor will only be visiting that single page, then calling you and leaving the website after they’ve made phone contact.
Ultimately the strategy for reducing your website’s bounce rate should be:
- Ensure any marketing messages on external sites and social media only link to related and expected content on your website
- Provide lots of actionable, relevant and engaging content on your website that answers a visitor’s question
- Set up your website to recommend similar content to the topic your visitor is engaging in
- Help your website visitor figure out what you want them to do with clear call to actions
- Make your menus easy to navigate and prominent on your page to aid user discovery
- Understand which pages on your site will have an expected high bounce rate and exclude them from your reporting
- Measure how different content engages and build up threads on your website by topics to help guide a visitors journey
Join in the web marketing discusson. Leave your comments on measuring and reducing bounce rate in the comments below.
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