This post is by Bantam Live with the topic of Small Business Tips Series on Mashable.Bantam is a web-based collaboration workspace and they release a news about 8 ways to reduce site bounce rate…….
Bounce and exit rates are often confused, but have different definitions and purposes. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that hit a page and don’t visit any others within the same site. It should be used to measure the effectiveness of landing pages and is connected to SEO and paid advertising campaigns. In some cases, a page may be designed to give the consumer the information they need and nothing else. In this instance, bounce rate may not be a relevant metric.
Exit rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of visitors that leave a site from a given page. It should be used to monitor specific pages in a process, such as a “shipping options” page that appears during the checkout process. A high bounce rate means you are making a bad first impression; a high exit rate means you have a leak in the process.
A blog that offers all of its content on one page will have a high bounce rate. Generally speaking, blogs are reported to average an 80% bounce rate, and this paired with other metrics like time on site and number of comments could be more helpful. The best standard is to measure an individual page’s bounce rate over time
Make Data-Informed Decisions :
Good web design is critical, but quick iteration and optimization can only be accomplished with data-informed decisions. This will empower your designers to experiment more.Make sure the reporting is both easy to use and understand. Some of the top analytics packages have complicated user interfaces. In the end, the goal is to have usable and informative data.
Prioritize & Optimize :
Look at your highest volume entry and landing pages to compare good pages to bad pages. You can also use additional tools like Crazy Egg heatmaps to see the relationship between referrer and clicks. Once you find the worst offenders, test multiple variables and landing page approaches.If your traffic is less than 1,000 views per week, use A/B split testing for significantly different page design approaches. Use multi-variate testing with tools like Website Optimizer, Google’s free website testing and optimization tool, for situations where you have a lot of traffic and multiple factors and variations you want to test.
Utilize Profiling and Segmentation :
You can monitor the bounce rates for geography/language, browser/operating system and traffic source to identify issues. Recently at my company, we noticed a high bounce rate for Firefox, relative to Internet Explorer on a page and found out there was a browser rendering issue.
Maintain Keyword Integrity :
Make sure the keywords you are using in your metadata have low bounce rates and that you are reinforcing the term in the copy and content you are showing to site visitors. Your own brand or site name should have the lowest bounce rate for a keyword.In your search marketing efforts, if the bounce rate is high for keywords you are buying, you need to either improve the landing page to reinforce the topic or bid on keywords that are more relevant to your content.
Improve Loading Times :
The loading time of your webpage is not only an important factor in SEO, but also in having a visitor to stay on your site. Deactivate unnecessary plugins and optimize your images and code to speed up the loading time of your site. Your visitors will be more likely to view additional pages if your load times are faster.
Be Careful with External Links :
One of the consumer benefits of web publishing is that content providers often embed hyperlinks to reference external pages with more information. However, this can create an exit point for a user. You should be judicious in the use of external links or at least consider placing them toward the bottom of a page.
Don’t Get Tricky :
There are lot of other tricks you can use to lower your bounce rate, like embedding polls, contests, and other attention-grabbing clickable content. However, if the sole purpose of these tactics is just to lower your bounce rate, you may lose sight of what a real consumer is looking for.The temptation to use keyword and SEO-heavy headlines is strong, but if they misrepresent the content of an article or post, you may lose out on repeat visitors, even if your bounce rates are reduced temporarily. Although it is important to make a good first impression, a site’s mission to either sell, entertain or inform should always be primary.
Account for Social Media :
As more sites are discovered and consumed through social networks, the impact of these platforms on bounce rates is becoming more important. With social, there are limitations like Twitter’s character count, for example to properly qualify and represent the landing page content. Use relevant hashtags to qualify your content, along with other metadata, like location, that can add more information without pushing the character count of your message. On the other end of the spectrum, sharing links on Facebook can be a rich experience, with images, user-input and friend-tagging. Utilize these platform-specific features to enrich the reader’s experience.