I have been thinking about doing something with my bounce rate for a while. It’s just way too high. If you’re wondering what it is, it’s web statistics, and it’s a way to measure success (at least according to me).
When I talk about bounce rate, I like to start with an example. For instance, if one of your visitors only visits one page on your website, the bounce rate for this particular visitor is 100%. If your bounce rate is 50%, it means that half of your visitors are watching more than one page. And the other half are only watching one page and then leave your website.
Wikipedia describes it a lot better than me:
It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and “bounce” (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site. The formula used to calculate bounce rate is: Bounce rate = total number of visits viewing only one page / total number of visits
Why is it a measure for success?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it’s the only measure for success, because it’s not. What I am saying is that most people want a low bounce rate, because a low bounce rate means that visitors are watching more than one page when they visit your website. We all want our visitors to visit as many of our pages as possible, don’t we?
High bounce rate is not all bad
There are many discussions about why a high bounce rate is not bad. For instance, if you are selling something, your goal might be to get people to buy as fast as possible. You are not looking for people to visit many pages on your website. You just want them to click the order button. And the same goes for subscribing to a newsletter. If that’s all you want them to do, a high bounce rate might actually be good.
What I am saying is that you need to look at the specific page or website and your goals, before you start analyzing the bounce rate.
To me, on the blog you are reading right now, low bounce rate represents high quality content. Don’t you agree?
How to find the bounce rate
I am using Google Analytics for all my web statistics. I highly recommend it, as it’s completely free, easy to use and very powerful. I even use Google Analytics to get statistics for all my marketing campaigns.
When I log in to my account, I click on content in the left menu, and then I click on Top content.
I believe that I don’t have to explain how to find the bounce rate in the table. It’s in the fifth column, and the title of the column is bounce rate. Here’s an even better and more detailed way to find the bounce rate.
Ways to lower your bounce rate
There are many reasons why your bounce rate is fairly high. One of the most important reasons is your content. If the content is not relevant for the visitor, she will most likely leave. The same happens if your content suck. So, improving your content will certainly help. A better design will also be helpful.
You should also improve the sidebar of your blog. Make the content relevant for your readers.
One of the things I have not been doing well enough, is adding relevant links to all my content. And that’s what I am suggesting today.
Let me tell you what I am doing
I am doing this, starting today. So, I don’t have any results to share with you, at least not yet.
I filter the bounce rate to see only the articles with more than 90% bounces (people only reading this one article and leaving). Then I add only the most visited articles with more than 90% bounce rate.
Here are my top 5 list of most visited articles for March 15 (one day) with a higher bounce rate than 90%.
After I have found the articles with bounce rate above 90% and more than 10 visits a day, I start to edit them. The only thing I do, is that I add a recommended reading tip.
For instance, this is what I just did for an article that has more than 300 page views a day.
I have used the exact same method for the 10 most visited articles with the highest bounce rate. Since I did this right before I wrote this post, I don’t have any numbers to show you. But I believe that this method works.
What do you think?
And, have you done anything to lower your bounce rate?