Monday, December 09, 2019

ActiveConversion Blog Share: Is a high bounce rate killing your website?

Among web analytic statistics, the bounce rate is one of the metrics most often overlooked by marketers. A bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visitors to your website who leave your website quickly after arriving. Some advanced systems also use visit duration to calculate bounce rate which treats visitors as bounces if they stay on the site for less than 5 seconds.

Bounce rate can also be defined as a negative statistic. It measures how engaging your website is to your visitors and how well it relates to them. It also measures how effective and ‘sticky’ your landing page is when it’s used with a campaign. Lack of relevancy is a major cause of bounces; however, the problem can also be caused by where you acquire your traffic or the design of your landing page. Let’s look at a few things you can do to reduce bounce rates (remember: the lower, the better).

Analyze your bounce rate

Before you start improving your bounce rate, it’s important to understand how your website is currently performing. To do this, you’ll need to take a look at Google Analytics or if you have a marketing software, like ActiveConversion, that should also list your bounce rate. If you don’t have Google Analytics or marketing software, your first step will be to install a tool onto your site and start tracking website visitor data. You can create a Google Analytics account for free at https://analytics.google.com/.

Once you know your bounce rate, you can compare your website to your industry’s standard bounce rate. A bounce rate is never going to come close to 0%, so there’s no point aiming for that. For business/industrial websites, the average bounce rate in 2018 was 58.68% (based on data from Google Analytics Benchmark Reports). Above, you can find the average bounce rate for business/industrial websites by traffic source.

Many marketers use social media as part of their marketing campaigns. However, many of these referrers are of low-value. These visitors aren’t “looking” when they arrive at your website, so they tend to leave immediately. You don’t have to worry too much about bounce rates from these traffic sources, but you should still be aware of the rate.

High bounce rates from other sources may be a bigger problem, particularly if the source is a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign. If you’re paying for a website visitor, you definitely don’t want them bouncing off your website as soon as they arrive.

Discover which sources are causing you the most significant bounce rate problems and then you can form a plan to solve the issue.

Give the banana to the monkey

Not “giving the banana to the monkey” is a classic conversion problem. When people arrive at your website and can’t find what they want, most will not take the time to hunt around. Instead, they’ll leave and visit the next listing that appears in their Google search.

You only have a few seconds to let the visitors know that they are in the right place, so “give the banana to the monkey.”

If you’re using a PPC campaign, you should have targeted landing pages that your ad will direct visitors to. This landing page should directly correlate to the content of the ad. If your ad references a specific product or service, then that better be featured front and centre on your landing page.

For people coming to your main home page (not a landing page), it’s also important that they’re able to find what they’re looking for quickly. Have your contact information or a “contact us” button clearly displayed on the page, have a headline that gives an easy to understand overview of what you do, and have clear menu options that link to pages with additional information on topics of interest.

Improve your landing pages

Pay-per-click search and display campaigns generally have some of the worst bounce rates.  Often times, this can be mitigated with a well-designed landing page that follows some simple best practices.

  • Have landing pages. First and foremost, actually use landing pages. Don’t just send them to your home page. Your homepage may be great for a direct visitor, but if you’re using targeted ads, you need landing pages.
  • Match the landing page to the ad. If visitors are reaching your page from an ad, then make sure your landing page is relevant to what was said in the ad. If you mentioned a free trial in a social media post, link to a landing page with a form to sign up for the trial.
  • Include a short form with a clear call-to-action. Forms are a great way to turn anonymous visitors into tangible leads, particularly if you don’t have marketing software identifying visitors to your website. Use your landing page to encourage visitors to download some content, get a free trial, or sign up for a newsletter in exchange for some basic information.
  • Keep it simple. This relates to both the landing page overall and the form on the landing page. Limit your form to basic information, nobody wants to give away their life story for a white paper. When designing the landing page, make sure you keep it focused on one subject and one call-to-action. If you include too much information or too many links, the visitor will feel overloaded and bounce off the page.
  • Make sure visitors can access additional information if they want it. Not everyone will want what you’re offering on the page. Some may want pricing details, some may want to explore your other products, and so on. Keep your navigation bar at the top of your landing page so visitors can easily navigate to other pages if they need to.
  • Include your contact details.The best thing that can happen in sales is a lead coming directly to you. But, unless your contact details are easy to find on the page, they’re not going to reach out to you. Have a “contact us” button or a phone number and email listed at the top of your landing page.
  • Use video to illustrate your point. A study by  eyeviewdigital.com shows that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. If you have a relevant (well done) video, then include it. If not just make sure you have great images and compelling content.

Overall, just try and remember that you need to capture the lead’s interest within the first few seconds; so really ask yourself if your landing page is going to do that.

Target your ads & keywords to the right people

One reason people bounce off your website quickly is that they’re not actually in your target market. They may have been looking for something else and stumbled across your website in the process.  Say for example, that you sell industrial flow control valves and you bid on the word “valves” in GoogleAds. Chances are that you will get a lot of unqualified traffic that quickly bounces off your site because they were looking for a different kind of valve.

A well-targeted keyword will bring well-targeted traffic.  There may be fewer people that search for that word, but at least the people that do will be qualified.

Lower your bounce rate

By using landing pages, well-targeted ads and keywords, and giving leads what they’re looking for as soon as they hit your website, you’re certain to see at least some improvement in your bounce rate.  Good luck!

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