You think you’ve finally hit that magic formula for your business website; the pages are crisp and clean looking, the important things pop out, and you’ve checked it out on your mobile device to make sure it scales well. Since you know analytics are super important and will let you know if your audience thinks your site is as great as you do, you anxiously pull up the screen with your heart nearly pounding out of your chest. It’s working! Your number of visitors is way up! And then it happens- your heart stops as you see high bounce rates.
High Bounce Rates are a Tool, Not a Death Sentence
Stick with us here; we haven’t lost our minds. Google defines bounce rates as, “…the percentage of sessions where people leave your landing page without any interaction.” Without thinking of any reasons for why this is happening, a bounce rate of 75-percent can definitely be heart-stopping. Let’s take a closer look though and examine some of the main reasons for high bounce rates:
- Most of your traffic is from mobile users who typically abandon sites anywhere from 5-15 percent more often than desktop users.
- You haven’t added the tracking codes required to collect the data on all of your pages, so your stats are incomplete.
- Your keywords are bringing in traffic, but your content isn’t relevant enough or it’s missing the mark for engagement.
- Landing pages aren’t effective enough to generate conversions.
- You need the help of a professional website designer to revamp your site.
OR, wait for it – your landing pages are doing exactly what you intended! Look at the goal that’s been set for each landing page. If your landing page encourages your visitors to call your 800 number for more information and your phone is ringing, your landing page is a success, yet it will trigger a bounce because your visitors don’t have to go elsewhere on your site- they called you as instructed.
Another scenario is if you’re using a form to collect lead generation data and it can be filled out without leaving the landing page. If you’re collecting information, then again, your page is a success. To keep your bounce rates more accurate and to encourage your visitors further along in the buyer’s journey, however, we recommend directing them to a thank you page. Not only will your visitors be one step closer to conversion, but you’ll also have a little less detective work to do when trying to determine why your bounce rates are high.
When High Bounce Rates Mean Work
The first five reasons we gave above do mean you have more work to do for your website to be successful. This is where your bounce rates become a tool. Building a successful website takes a lot of time, skill, and patience. You’re doing something right if your site is generating more visitors, so now use your bounce rates to investigate the causes. Go through each of the five points with an objective eye, or better yet, have someone you can count on to give you honest critique go through them with you. Most of them are relatively easy fixes and with a little adjusting, you’ll see your bounce rates fall.
They can be discouraging after working so hard to design the perfect website, but don’t let high bounce rates stop your heart. Best case scenario, your site is doing what you set out to do. Worst case, you have some great tools to determine where you need to spend a little more time.