What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that visit your website and navigate away after viewing one web page. Essentially, if 100 people visit your content page and 20 of them exit without seeing other pages, then your bounce rate would be 80 percent.
When your bounce rate is 100 percent, it can seem scary! It sounds like people hate your content because they don't want to see any other pages on your site, and sometimes, that's true. This is why you should definitely investigate Google analytics to see which pages are bouncing people out quickly!
However, it's not always a bad thing.
What?! Especially as an affiliate marketer, your goal is to send people away from your website, to the seller's website so you can get a commission. That means if someone lands on your product review and goes directly to buy it from Amazon, then a high bounce rate is good. It means they read your review, liked your content, and bought what you recommended. End of story!
In other words, it isn't always an indication that you’re not satisfying users.
Answer: 100% bounce rate means that every single person on this page is leaving without viewing any other content on your website
A high bounce rate isn't always a bad thing, but a 100% bounce rate is usually an indication of a problem, especially if it's a high traffic page for you. One hundred percent of all people are not going to make the same decision!
Firstly, check to to see if this is site-wide, or limited to some pages. A site-wide 100% bounce rate is likely a technical issue. Perhaps you recently changed domain names and all your links didn't update properly, causing all your internal links to cause 404 errors. In a worst case scenario, your website might be infected with malware.
Assuming you narrowed your bounce rate issue to just a few pages, then you can analyze each individual page. Is it a squeeze page with outbound links? Removing menus and side bars would leaving fewer internal links, causing bounce rate to skyrocket. If the page in question was always a squeeze page, then the bounce rate would be high, but relatively stable. If you see a rapid change in page exits, then think back to what updates you made recently.
Things like popups, interstitials, or intrusive advertising elements can cause people to leave your site suddenly. Did you change your advertising or email collection strategy recently? That could be the cause!
Beyond these basic troubleshooting tactics, try installing Google Tag Manager to track where clicks are coming from and what links are getting clicked on the page. It's a pain to install and teset, but worth it if you really want to track granular metrics on your site.
How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
If you dig in and realize that your maxed out bounce rate was an isolated issue, you can still make an effort to reduce your overall bounce rate side-wide. A low bounce rate can be a positive metric since people are browsing your website longer, sharing your content more, and they are more likely to remember your brand. Here are six things you can do to decrease your bounce rate.
1. Beef Up Your Content Consistently
Think of your website like an electronics store for a moment. When you walk in, the time you spend at the store depends on their inventory.
Content is your stock on the web. Part of the reason people spend less time on a website is that it’s lacking substantial/useful content. This is where a commitment to keeping your site fresh comes in.
Making sure you’ve got the right content, means stocking up on information that solves your target audience’s problems. Great content is actionable, whether that be sharing, commenting, clicking, signing up, or buying.
This would include adding new content, updating old content, and auditing for outdated information.
You’re helping your SEO standings by establishing trust when you consistently add fresh content to your site. Search engines like Google or Bing pay closer attention to websites that are active and hold them in higher regard. They won't rank web pages from websites that are outdated if they don't have to!
2. Improve User Experience (UX)
This refers to the overall experience of a person that interacts with your website. Search engines take UX seriously because they want their users to come back and so should you. Anything that hinders or disrupts UX can increase your bounce rate.
For example, most people dislike irrelevant or seemingly aggressive popups. This is not to suggest that popups don’t work because they do — when implemented correctly. Websites with aggressive or irrelevant popups often have a higher bounce rate because they irritate visitors.
Map out your ideal visitor’s journey and make improvements according. Use a tool like Hotjar to track user behavior on your web pages so that you can improve UX. Improving the experience of your customers or prospects is a sure-fire way to increase conversions, sales, and decrease bounce rate.
UX doesn't have to be moving pictures and nice colors though. Simple things like moving your content above the fold can create a more positive user experience so visitors can start reading the moment they land on your page, rather than scrolling through logos, stock photos, and ads.
Have you ever been on a recipe website that puts the recipe on the bottom of the page? Yeah, it sucks.
Other simple UX improvements could be organizing your menu to be more simple, making sure your content is readable on mobile, and having internal links open in the same tab.
3. Target The Right People, Then Speak To THEM
Proper keyword research will help you attract the right kinds of visitors to your site. Ensure you’re targeting based on keyword intent. Essentially, why would someone search for that thing you're writing about? What do they want or what is the outcome they’re seeking? Focus on the visitor, not the sale.
One mistake I used to make was to try to “trick” people into getting on my page. I'd write an article with a title like “lose weight eating avocados”, then within the first paragraph I'd say something like “You don't really want to lose weight eating avocados, do you?”.
According to basic on-page SEO rules, I'm meeting the criteria for ranking, and I might in fact rank for that keyword! However, I missed the point of what the reader is looking for. They actually do want to lose weight eating avocados, and I'm probably not going to convince them otherwise.
You’re bound to have higher bounce rates if you keep sending the wrong audience to your pages.
4. Speed Up That Site!
The time it takes for your website to fully render or load can have a significant impact on your bounce rate. Many people will leave a website that doesn’t load in 2 seconds or less. A bit unreasonable, don’t you think? Nonetheless, that’s how it is.
You can use GTmetrix or another similar tool to test the speed of your website, which will show you how your site’s doing and where improvements are necessary.
5. Add Social Proof
People are regularly looking for reasons to say ‘yes’. They trust what others say about you compared to what you tell them about yourself. Give them proof that your claims are true and they’ll stick around long enough to interact with your content.
Put your best foot forward such as displaying positive reviews, social media share counts, valid ratings, endorsements, and more; basically, anything that can convey authority, competence, and a sense of trust is an option.
A person might not even like your content that much, but with 20,000 shares on Instagram, well, now they have to see what this thing is all about!
6. Add Site Search
This technically falls under the user experience realm. Moreover, too many site owners neglect to add search functionality to their websites.
Search is an extremely useful tool, especially for repeat visitors. For folks that have learned to trust my product reviews here, they'll come back directly to my website and search for product names before they even go to Google to search (I can see this in my Analytics reports)
You Can’t Please Everyone
You won’t be able to convince everyone to stay on your website and it doesn’t matter if you’re a “SEO Jedi”, “Affiliate Marketing Ninja”, or both. Implementing all or some of the tips we’ve discussed in this article will help you lower your bounce rate, but some people are just gonna bounce no matter what. Keep your business model or nature in mind. I make a six figure income and my bounce rate for all my webistes is consistently in the 80% range, meaning eighty percent of all visitors to my website leave after viewing one page and they probably never come back.
Imagine what I could do if I brought that rate down just a couple percentage points!