Hey Friend! The fact that you're here means that you've discovered the importance of keeping your readers engaged when they land on your website - or perhaps you've just heard that it's super important to improve your average bounce rate... but you have no clue what that even means!
Either way, this post is going to help, so stick around and prepare to become a bounce machine! (Or something like that...)
Let's start from the very beginning...
(Oh, and don't go without your free gift (just scroll to the bottom to find out what it is...)
What is bounce rate?
Bounce rate is actually a super simple concept once you understand what it means. It's the percentage of people who visit your website and who then click away again after only viewing the page that they landed on.
Why is bounce rate important?
As we've just seen, your bounce rate is an indication of how engaged your website visitors are. If a high number are clicking away without visiting any of your other posts or pages, then that can be a sign that they're just not that into you...
When your bounce rate really matters
There are certain pages when your bounce rate is KEY. That is - any posts or pages which are specifically created to encourage your visitors to TAKE ACTION.
- It might be a landing page you've created to promote a lead magnet and collect email addresses
- Maybe it's a sales page you've created to sell your service and drive people to your shopping cart
- Or it could be your home page which is created to encourage your visitors to explore your site.
A high bounce rate on these types of pages is a clear sign that something isn't working and needs further investigation and tweaking.
...and when it doesn't
Of course, like most things in business, bounce rate isn't black and white. It is by no means the only factor that indicates user engagement, as it doesn't factor in the time your users spend on your posts and pages.
In fact, there are some instances when you really don't need to worry if your average bounce rate is a bit high...
For example, a high bounce rate on your blog posts can just be an indication that your users have found everything they're looking for in that one post.
If your visitors are finding your site via an image search then the chances are, they'll view your image and then click away.
How to calculate bounce rate
The good news is, YOU don't need to calculate your bounce rate. Trusty old Google Analytics will do that for you.
I mean if you really want to know the actual calculation to find your bounce rate, it's this:
(Total number of single page sessions ÷ Total number of sessions) x 100 = Bounce Rate
But seriously, just check Google Analytics (and if you haven't hooked your site up to Google Analytics yet, let this be the kick in the bum you need to make you do it!), it's super easy to check.
How to check your overall bounce rate
This one's easy! It's right there on your Audience Overview when you first log in.
How to check your bounce rate by channel
It can be helpful to break your results down by channel. This helps you to understand which channels are driving highly engaged visitors to your site - and which aren't.
To find this report, head to the Channels Report, which is situated under the Audience tab of your Google Analytics menu.
How to check your bounce rate by page
It's also useful to see how specific pages and posts are performing. You can learn from those with a low bounce rate; what is it that is causing users to engage more?
And you can identify and improve those pages which are performing poorly.
To find this report, head to the Behaviour menu and go to All Pages.
What is a good bounce rate?
As my lovely Mum would say, 'How long is a piece of string'?
You see, as I explained above, in some cases bounce rates will naturally be high - and that's fine, whereas in others, you would expect them to be lower.
So instead of giving you one, magic number to aim for, I'm going to share some benchmarks. according to Clicktale:
Why is my bounce rate so high?
I don't know!
Seriously though, there are tons of factors that could lead to a high average bounce rate. In order to discover what's at the root of yours, you'll need to do some investigation.
There are 3 areas that could be the cause:
If the people visiting your website aren't actually interested in your niche or subject matter, then chances are they're not going to stick around.
Your User Experience
If your visitors aren't enjoying themselves for whatever reason, they'll click somewhere else faster than you can say 'mind my bounce rate!'
Your Customer Journey
Are you actually giving your customers a next step to take? If not, then that bounce rate is going to sky rocket...
5 Ways to improve your average bounce rate
1) Target the Right People
First things first, the quality of your traffic is going to play a BIG part in your average bounce rate. If you're driving people to your site who are not your ideal clients, then your bounce rate will inevitably be higher, because they have no reason to stick around.
Make sure that your traffic generating activities are specifically aimed at your target market.
2) Increase Your Page Speed
There's nothing like slow page loading times to get people clicking away from your website. We're an impatient lot - especially in this digital age where everything takes just milliseconds!
Test your own page speeds and make sure your loading times aren't driving visitors away.
3) Improve Readability
How do you feel when you click on to a site and you're confronted with something like this:
Now, ignoring the fact that it's in Latin, this is still a pretty yukky looking piece of writing isn't it? I mean, it looks completely dry and overwhelming!
You'd have to be REALLY into whatever the subject was to plough through that lot, amIright?
If you want people to hang around then make sure your content is readable. Break it up, using short paragraphs, bullet points, headings, sub-headings and images to add interest.
For more on making your content more readable, take a look at my post, 10 Ways to Write Better Copy.
4) Include Internal Links
If you want people to visit more pages of your site, then you need to give them a place to go!
As you write, think of related content that you can link to. This is a great habit to get into, btw - it not only improves your average bounce rate, but also gives your SEO a boost and adds value for your readers by giving them additional info if they want it.
5) Always Use a Call to Action
Finally, don't forget that people aren't mind readers.
Do you want them to check out your related post about Queen Victoria? Tell them!
Do you want them to sign up for your content upgrade? Tell them!
Do you want them to find out more about you by visiting your About page (see what I did there? )? TELL THEM!
Speaking of which...if you want to improve my bounce rate (and make me VERY happy!) then don't go without grabbing your free gift below!
Learn how to write blog posts that will keep people engaged!
This checklist gives you a step by step guide to planning, creating and promoting your posts for more traffic and engagement.