“I remember as a beginner, I was delighted with any ball as long as it would bounce.” Helen Wills Moody

Cast your mind back to your childhood, and it would conjure up fond and exciting memories of bouncing a ball without a real strategy, but merely for the sheer delight and fun of it.

However, in the context of web metrics, it constitutes to something entirely different. Technical jargon sometimes has the best of us feeling overwhelmed. Don’t fret it can be a little tricky grasping how to calculate a bounce in Analytics. Help is at hand. The team at Hart Design have put together a blueprint to assist you in understanding what a bounce rate is and differentiate what is not and how to improve it.

What’s Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of single web sessions on your site. It relates to the number of visits in which a person leaves your website from the entrance page without viewing any others pages. They don’t access any other internal links nor click on the drop-down menu. In effect, they don’t require browsing any other pages due to finding what they want or not finding what they want, as such. So, no, your website bounce rate is different to your email bounce rate.

The bounce rate is often mistaken for the exit rate. There is a clear distinction between the two. Bounce rate is a metric that measures single hits, whereby people land on your web page and navigate away from your site without viewing any other pages.

It might be a wee bit tricky to wrap your head around what exit rates are. So, what precisely are exit rates? Exit rates comprise of the percentage of people who exit your website on a particular page. However, it might not be the only page they viewed on your site. The page from which they exited might be the last in a succession of visits (page views) on your website.

Differentiating between Bounce Rates and Exit Rates

To distinguish between bounce rates and exit rates, let’s look at an example:

If we measure the bounce rates and exit rates for a thank you page, a high bounce rate would be cause for concern. It indicates that people are entering the thank you page only and then leaving without engagement. It would be of even more concern if they did not fill out a form to hit it, which results in a lack of conversions.

In this instance, a high exit rate would not ring alarm bells. It signifies that this page is the last in succession of visits (page views). People who exited from that page were redirected to that page after filling out a form on your landing page, downloaded the offer of an e-book, video, etc., and left as they got what they wanted, the supply of a gift.

Bear in mind that we are creating a possible chain of events. The gift offers can vary based on page metrics.

How to Improve Bounce Rates

Let’s look at how we can improve bounce rates now that you have learned more about what a bounce rate is.

Overall, high bounce rates are crucial in determining how your entrance pages perform in comparison to visitor expectations. Your page might not be usable and unrelated to visitor expectations. Do not make changes to amp engagement until you have carefully followed the steps you need to take before redesigning your web page.

It is vital to note that bounce rates indicate that someone has hit your web page and exited without viewing other pages on your site. It does not always provide information on whether it met their expectations or not. You need to explore the page metrics and other aspects of your web presence to consider before optimising your page. Below is the framework of these steps:

1. Establish a mobile-friendly website

More traffic and searches online are initiated on mobile devices rather than desktops. Therefore, it is a priority that your website is mobile-friendly; that your site does not take forever to download. Not only should your site deliver an engaging experience it should be easy to navigate too. Mobile users are more likely to abandon your website if the content is difficult to read.

Videos foster interactivity, engagement and are valuable when explaining complex topics and presenting it in a way that it is easy to digest. Clients would prefer watching a video about a product rather reading about it. Creating videos that are brief and to the point, conveying the necessary elements are more conducive to mobile users. These refinements are specifically for video usage.

Look at the mobile experience for users as a whole when examining and putting these contingencies in place.

2. Review your bounce rate that emanates from different sources

On occasion, the sources driving traffic to a particular page might have a bearing on its bounce rate.

If for example, you have an exceptionally high bounce rate for visitors arriving from social media it might be worth looking at the message linked with the content you are conveying. It might be useful to have a more strategic approach to ensure that links direct you to related pages or posts. Irrespective of the source it has to relate to visitor expectations.

3. Avoid mistakes that could affect the user experience

Full-screen pop-ups and half-screen pop-ups are annoying and painful when you are trying to read and have to close pop-up windows before the content is fully visible. Google has also been clamping down on Pop-up ads in a bid to make the users’ experience of its search a positive one.

You want to entice your visitors to your page and have them remain long enough so as to nurture them to convert. According to the Nielsen’s study, ads that relate to the content the user is interested in won’t hurt. For example placing ads in between content is more permissible. Avoid those that will distract and disrupt the user experience and result in them abandoning your site.

4. Best Keywords

Keyword intent should relate to your content to make sure that organic visitors have access to what they want.

For example, when someone is searching for “rugby,” are they interested in learning more about rugby, do they want to watch rugby or participate in rugby? But if someone is using the query, What rugby clubs are there in Pakuranga?”, they most likely want to take part in rugby or watch rugby rather learning more about the game.

When you assess the keywords your page is ranking for; it is imperative that they are aligned with the actual content. Now you can align your web pages in groups of topic clusters. That way you can manage and entice organic traffic and provide a better user experience.

In conclusion, bounce rates are the hot topic in marketing – therefore, interesting and fascinating. When you explore bounce rates, be sure to look at it in its entirety. Bounce rates can help you determine how well your landing pages are performing, how long visitors remain on your site, where they arrive from and what devices they are using. You can glean insights from page metrics and optimise your landing pages to ensure a positive user experience and ensure higher conversion rates.

Last but not least, there is no one sure fire way of improving bounce rates, but understanding it and how they assist with the optimisation process leads to a significant website.