Bounce rate is one of those numbers which always shows up in your site stats… and you can’t help but wonder what you should do. Is your bounce rate bad or good? What should you do about it? In this installment of our ongoing series, David discusses the bounce rate, how to decipher the causes of the bounce rate, and then what to do to improve it.
Hello there! Welcome to this episode of Coffee Break Blogging. This is no. 56 and in this one we are going to talk about your blog’s bounce rate and how to reduce that bounce rate.
Bounce rate is one of those numbers which always shows up in your site stats… and you can’t help but wonder what you should do. Is your bounce rate bad or good? What should you do about it? In this installment of our ongoing series, we discuss the bounce rate, how to decipher the causes of the bounce rate, and then what to do to improve it. 😉
Now, first of all, we should probably define what “bounce rate” is if you are not already familiar with it.
The Bounce Rate
… is one of those metrics that will show up in your Analytics; whether it is Google Analytics or something else, they pretty much will all tell you what the bounce rate is. It is basically a measure of what percentage of the overall visitors who come to your site and immediately turn around and run the other direction. So in a more technical term, it is basically the number of people who come; they visit one page of your site and then they leave. So that is the bounce rate.
Obviously in our ideal world, our bounce rate would be 0%. Zero percentage meaning that every single person who comes to our site begins to engage with it and that means they are clicking on other things. Now obviously 0% is pretty much unattainable. Every site out there is going to have a bounce rate and people are going to leave as soon as they get there. The name of the game here is to reduce that bounce rate as much as we can.
But What Is The Average?
Here’s the thing; every Analytics piece of software out there seems like it calculates the bounce rate a little bit differently so sometimes you could go into one piece of statistic s software and it will say one thing and you go into another one and it will say something else. But I want to go based off of Google Analytics because it is the most popular one out there.
Now, what I would say is that if your bounce rate is under 60% you are probably okay. That can seem a little bit weird. I could be like, “Well, 6 out of 10 people come to my site and they immediately run and go?” Well, the thing is, like I said you will never get this bounce rate down to zero. First of all from a marketing standpoint, it is when somebody arrives at your site and it just wasn’t the right fit for them you want them to run away and leave because they are just not your target market.
Sometimes, you are just not going to click “home” with every single person. If somebody arrives on your homepage and there is something that does not resonate with them, they might turn around and go. There’s really nothing you can do to get it down to zero so you are going to have it. And the thing is, what I have found with most blogs is that most blogs tend to average between about maybe 50-60% up to 80-85, somewhere. And 80% can be a little high! I would say that if your blog’s bounce rate is 80%, you do want to see how you can reduce this.
Reducing The Bounce
Run A Report
So let’s talk a little bit more about this. First of all, you want to have an Analytics Package that will tell you this information, first and foremost. And then what you want to do is you want to go on there and run a report. And you want to look at the post or the pages on your site that are getting the most traffic. And then, you want to find out what the bounce rate is on those specific pages because here is the thing; if we are going to go on there; reduce bounce rate, it is on a page by page basis. Your site will have a global bounce rate but also every single page will be a little bit different. And if we are go back and try to optimize that bounce rate to get it down, we need to focus on where we have the highest leverage. And the highest leverage is going to be on those articles that are getting the most traffic. That is where we get the most bangs for our buck.
The thing is, also, when it comes on determining what is going on with your bounce rate so that we can get it down, we need to take into account some things. First of all, you need to take into account the traffic source. Where is your traffic coming from? And are people bouncing at a greater or lesser degree depending on where they came from? Now, this could be an interesting thing to tell you because it could tell you a little bit about the nature of the traffic but it could also tell you that whoever linked to you may not be talking to the right set of people for you. So in some cases in this case, it might not be something that you are really going to be able to fix. I mean, if somebody linked to you with keywords that are not even remotely related to the blog post well, that is kind of very screwed up. What are you going to do? You can tell them to remove the link if you wanted to, but at the end of the day, those people are going to most likely bounce off because they are going to come and they’re going to be like, “This is not what I expected” and they are going to leave.
But also you will sometimes find that you can run reports on this Analytics is that the bounce rate will be higher based on where they came from like, Facebook traffic might bounce differently than somebody who comes from Twitter or most likely somebody who comes from your email list is going to not bounce nearly as much as somebody who comes in totally cold off of social media in general. So you need to take that into account.
Now much related to this is going to be the keyword. It is going to be a lot more difficult sometimes to tell what keywords led to your blog post because Google as free as they used to be in terms of telling you about that information. But if you have some way of finding out what that is, then you need to look at the keywords that are bringing people into the blog post and see what you can do to make sure that that blog post very obviously answers the question and the who were typing in that keyword and looking for that thing. Because obviously, if they come to the blog post and say “Well, yeah this is obviously what I’m looking for” they are probably not going to bounce.
The other thing is Mobile. Now mobile is really a big deal these days and there is that whole idea of mobile responsiveness. That just refers to your site’s ability to adjust to small screens. And I’m not talking about taking exactly what you see on your desktop and just shrinking it. It literally the site will adjust and the menu will clasp on itself on stuff like this so that it is easy to navigate with mobile. Now, if you look at mobile traffic in your Analytics and you see that they are bouncing at a high rate, that is a pretty good indicator that your site is not mobile responsive or that the responsiveness that you think is there is flawed and it is not easy to navigate for them as you think it is. So that will be an indicator that you will definitely look for; go in there and filter by mobile traffic and be like “Okay, is my mobile traffic bouncing really high?” and if it is, then you want to go in there and tweak the mobile experience.
Another thing you can do to reduce bounce rate is whenever you link out to another site, make sure that you open up that link in a brand new window and not use the same window because basically you just not sent that person away from your site and that is a bounce. So make sure that any internal links to your own stuff if within the same window but if you link out to somebody else’s site you open it up in the new window that way it does not count as a bounce.
You also want to add more internal links. If you are not linking to your own archives within your content then definitely, do it because the whole name of the game with bounce rate is you want to get them to make that second click. You want to get them to go somewhere on your site; not somebody else’s. So, add more links. Add more things for them to click on so that they have got something that attracts their interest.
You could also put those money posts that we talked about on Episode 53. On Episode 53 we talked about Money Posts and how to put those in your sidebar. One of the things that you can do when you deselect those things is put things there that are most likely to attract the majority of people who come to your site and are enticing because then people will see those things in your sidebar and be like, “Oh, okay I’m going to click on that” so that again, that would earn the second click to reduce your bounce rate.
And then lastly, another thing that you could do is make your navigation more enticing. If you go back to Episode 54 where we talked about how to define your blog categories; and to align those categories around the benefits that your target market is looking for, then if you put those things up on your top navigation and somebody clicks on them or somebody is going to be more willing to click on them because the things that they see is more aligned to what they want then you are going to earn that second click.
Get As Close As You Can
All these things go down into reducing your bounce rate. Now, reducing bounce rate; I mean… do you want to spend a lot of time on this? Sure. It is one of those metrics you want to get down but you do need to take it with a grain of salt. It is not one of those things where just across the board if you have over a certain numbers automatically good and blows it, bad; blow it as good or anything like that. You have to look at what the make-up of the data. Like I said, mobile traffic is a-bouncing, what are the keywords are bringing them in; what type of people are getting there. The whole name of the game is; if you want that second click, you need to get as close as you can to attracting the right kind of people and giving them exactly what they want. If you do that, you can get your bounce rate down. Okay?
If you want to take this a little bit further and we talk a little bit more about bounce rate inside the Action Plan that I have been talking about here in the last few episodes of Coffee Break Blogging, and that is called The Perfect Blog Blueprint. It is the latest action plan that I have inside The Vault over at the Blog Marketing Academy… kind of takes you to a step by step tour of all the different design elements and content structure elements on your blog and how to tweak each and every one of them for proper conversion. So that is The Perfect Blog Blueprint; you can get more information about that at blogmarketingacademy.com/blog-blueprint.
I’ll see you in a few days with Episode 57. We will be talking a little bit about Color On Your Blog and how to determine the right colors to use. Interesting topic; it’s like a little bit about the psychology of colors… that would be Episode 57!
And I will see you then! 😉
Click Here To Subscribe To The Podcast: