There are a number of metrics and measurements which can help determine the efficiency of a website. Depending on the purpose of your site, your goals, your industry and a number of other factors, the importance of one metric over another can be hard to determine. However, one measurement that is very helpful in determining the overall effectiveness and appeal of your website is the bounce rate, and you should work to keep these as low as reasonably possible.
What Are Bounce Rates?
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, bounce rates can help determine how well a site is performing in relation to the traffic on the site. This number is used to tell whether a person is viewing multiple pages on your website, or if they are simply bouncing after viewing just one page.
While the success of a business cannot be measured with only one metric, keeping your bounce rates low ensures that visitors are staying on your website and viewing more content after clicking the initial link that got them there. More time spent on your site and more content viewed is likely to mean more interest, higher conversion and better sales. So what steps can you take to reduce the bounce rates on your website?
Make a Good First Impression
Just as first impressions are crucial when meeting someone in the real world, the first impression of a website can determine the quality of the site in the eyes of the viewer. And just as there is only a small timeframe to make a personal first impression, people often make a decision about a website even more quickly.
Load times are key for the first impression of your website. We live in a high-speed, on-demand world, and visitors will become frustrated and likely leave if your pages take more than a few seconds to load. Depending on the content and type of site, good load times are generally around two seconds, but no page on your site should take more than five seconds to load.
Clean and Simple Looks
The looks and layout of your site can go along way to keeping visitors coming and sticking around. When customizing the overall layout of your site, put yourself in the shoes of the person who will visit it. Put CTAs in appropriate, not annoying places, and make the information easily accessible for your visitors.
Your custom landing page design should be clean, simple and appropriate for your audience. Busy, over-complicated designs and distractions will detract from the message of your site and drive visitors away. Remove any unnecessary images or objects and try to keep it simple. This should go without saying in the modern world, but your website should be completely mobile-friendly as well.
In order to effectively reduce the bounce rates on your site, you need to regularly monitor them. However, bounce rates do not determine everything, and you should ensure that you are analyzing them accurately in relation to other site metrics. High bounce rates do not always mean that your site is doing poorly, if conversion and other relevant metrics remain high.
Use Google Analytics and other tools to monitor your bounce rates related to other performance indicators to determine where yours should be. You should also research typical bounce rates for sites like yours and compare your statistics to competing websites. Understand that you will never get the bounce rates to zero, but finding the right number for you and keeping them low should go a long way to help the overall effectiveness of your site.