What is bounce rate and why do you want it lower, rather than sitting at 100%? Well, if you master this the upside will be an increase in page views on your website, which is good.
According to the Google Analytics Support Knowledgebase, a bounce is defined as a single session on your web page. Bounce rate is calculated as, “the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page”. Think about every time you run a search on Google and your behavior:
- You search for a topic.
- You click on a link to a site.
- You view the page but you don’t find what you were looking for – or,
- The page takes too long to render and you decide to stop.
- You leave the site and return to Google’s results to continue your search
You have now contributed to that site having a higher bounce rate. 1 Session viewing 1 page is 100%.
If your website is a 2-page sign-up site then a bounce rate of 50% is understandable. If you have a couple hundred pages then it is not that great. For the most part, it either means that your content is not appealing to your intended audience, or it could also indicate some underlying issues with your website environment.
This month we worked on a website that had this behavior. After performing a complete site audit we attacked the high bounce rate from a content and technical optimization angle. The result after one week is that the bounce rate dropped from an average of 50% to just above 0%. It has also provided an increase of 1000 page views above their weekly average as per the Google Analytics screenshot below.
Content Optimization Work
We first started to audit the site content to fix the following issues:
- Remove the overuse of keywords per page.
- This is also known as “keyword stuffing” where people use the same keyword 20 times on a page.
- They believe that search engines will rank them higher because the keyword is present in every sentence.
- This step requires a lot of copy editing so that the page still provides as much information to the reader as needed.
- Add alt tags descriptions to all media content and hyperlinks
- Since search engine can’t “see” your images and know the reason you link to another site, you use alt tags to tell them what you are using and why.
- Improve the template to make use of H1 and H2 paragraph containing the keywords.
Technical Optimization Work
If you have not heard of the term Technical Optimization before, be sure to read our blog post about it.
After we completed the content optimization we started to rework the technical side of the site and performed the following tasks:
- We added the Open Graph and Structured Data protocols to the site to improve the way social networks and search engine reads the data.
- All images were optimized to fit into their holes
- People sometimes take hi-res images with a dimension of 4000 x 2250px and display it inside a 250 x 250px.
- The issue is that a hi-res image can be 1Mb+ in size as to where an optimized image can be 85kb in size.
- We recreated sitemaps and updated them on the prominent search engines.
All of this is done to make sure that instead of viewing just one page, your website visitors start viewing more pages. The more pages they view the more likely they are to engage with you, your service or products. Using the bounce rate as an indicator of your website health is a great way to monitor your content, marketing, and the technical performance of your site.
We hope this posting gave you some insight on ways to improve your website and its traffic. As always you are more than welcome to Contact us to enquire about our services and how we can assist you with your bounce rate.