Let’s dive, err bounce on in! A bounce rate is: the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. So, basically this number represents the percentage of people who leave your homepage and don’t click on to other things.
And your goal should be to have as low a bounce rate as possible. After all, you want people to stay on your site and not just leave after a few seconds. (The only exception to this rule is if you have your book links to your vendor on the homepage, which is tough for our wide authors. BUT if you have an Amazon link on your homepage and everyone leaves to click on that, then I wouldn’t be so worried. But for MANY, this is not the case).
So how do you even find your bounce rate?
If you use Google Analytics, you can see your bounce rate when you log into your Google Analytics Dashboard. Here is an example of what your dashboard might look like, with the red arrow pointing toward your bounce rate:
For my website design clients, I install MonsterInsights which is a WordPress plug-in that captures your Google Analytics data and shares it with you right on your WordPress dashboard. So here we can see the bounce rate for Meet Cute Creative in the past 30 days:
And what is a good bounce rate vs a bad bounce rate?
A bounce rate in the range of 26 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. Anything over 70 percent is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, events, etc.
How to get a lower bounce rate:
You can see in the example above that Meet Cute Creative’s bounce rate is very low. That is likely because I have a very specific demographic visiting my website (romance authors) who are interested in my services so they are here to explore, learn about services offered, pricing, etc. They will be clicking around. If I were to market my business to leads looking for website designs for their automative repair or insurance agencies, my bounce rate would be astronomical because they would see my niche-targeted website and leave.
Looking for actionable items to help lower your bounce rate? Here are my top 5:
1. Have clear and actionable CTA’s, or Call to Actions
Make it clear what you want your website visitor to do so they know where to naturally go next. Now is not the time to play coy. Use words like “Buy Now”, “Read More” and “Click here” to direct your visitors to where you want them to go.
2. Make your content easy to find
Don’t hide things or make them more difficult to find. Keep your menu bar clean and always at top. I love a sticky menu- one that follows you as you scroll to keep your visitor engaged and never having to click out of your site because they don’t have anywhere else to go.
3. Keep the important content up top
I know it might be tempting to add some news items or rewards to the top of your homepage. Try to push these items down and keep your important content (ie: books!) up top so you encourage your visitors to find their information, and ultimately get to your book links!
4. Attract the right visitors
As tempting as it can be to post your website everywhere and anywhere, by not discriminating and niching down to your core audience, you could be inviting those who have zero interest in your niche and clicking away, increasing your bounce rate.
5. Set eternal links to open in new tabs
If you have links to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or even your Facebook pages and social media always send them to an external tab or window. That way, the window will still load AND your website will still be active so your visitor can comfortably keep browsing without having to click back.
Analytics like these are always good to track so you can be mindful of ensuring the right type of traffic is getting to your website. Even checking this information quarterly (though ideally, monthly) you can increase the effectiveness of your website, expand your reach and find new readers.