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We’re assuming that because you’re here, you are interested in learning more about keeping your website visitors on your website. That’s great, because we want to do the same. Why? Because, well, we like you, and we want your business. We’re sure you feel the same way.

First, let’s talk about what a bounce actually means. A bounce rate equals the total number of bounces on a page/post/website (in a given period of time), divided by the total number of entrances on the page/post/website (in the same time period).

A high bounce rate can mean a number of things, but it’s usually a clear indicator of one of the following two things:

  1. Acquisition of the wrong kind of traffic – perhaps from incorrect keywords or paid traffic
  2. Acquisition of the right kind of traffic – they’re finding what they want, and leave

Why It’s Important to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

For marketers, retailers, and businesses looking to convert website visitors into paying customers, a high bounce rate could break your business. If your main goal is to attract and convert website visitors into highly qualified leads, a high bounce rate is a clear indication that you’re not targeting the right kind of users – the paying kind. By reducing your bounce rate, you’re not only retaining potential leads, but you could be retaining existing customers, too.

Average Bounce Rates by Industry*

Before we go any further, we should first understand that not all websites and industries are equal in terms of bounce rate. Below is a list of industry standards for benchmarking purposes:

  • Retail websites: 20-40%
  • Simple landing pages: 70-90%
  • Service websites (FAQ’s): 10-30%
  • Content websites: 40-60%
  • Lead generation (services): 30-50%

*According to Kissmetrics

5 Possible Reasons for a High Bounce Rate

1. Mobile Responsiveness

If your website isn’t yet optimized for mobile users, and most of your incoming traffic is from mobile devices, then you should strongly consider upgrading to a responsive website. By not staying current with the technology, you could be losing high quality leads for your business. Additionally, Google is now penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly, resulting in lower organic traffic.

2. Disrupted or Poor User Experience

If your website is full of pop-ups, ads and other types of distractions, you could be driving traffic away. Consider reducing the number of distractions, only focusing on the most important call-to-actions.

3. Speed

If slow load times are a factor on your website, users might give up on viewing your content, bouncing before they even get there. Not only that, but slow speeds could negatively impact your search rankings and obliterate your conversion rates. Don’t let speed slow down your business.

4. Lack of Relevant or Related Content

Content is key to keeping your website visitors on your page and converting into paying customers. If your content is weak, irrelevant or unrelated to what the user is looking for, then they will most definitely bounce. Consider reviewing your top content with the lowest bounce rate and evaluate the possible reasons users may be staying longer. You might uncover some valuable market research for your business.

5. Open External Links in New Windows

Don’t be giving your website traffic away. A common mistake when creating content or linking to external sources (i.e. social media networks) is linking within the same window or tab. Always be sure to create external links, opening in new windows.

How to Decrease Your Bounce Rate and Increase Conversions

There are a number of ways to decrease your bounce rate, but some you might want to consider include:

  • Implement mobile optimized content and landing pages
  • Attract the right kinds of visitors with more accurate reporting and targeting
  • Provide clear, relevant and enticing call-to-actions on-page
  • Enhance the user-experience with bold headlines, bulleted lists, clear images and easy navigation
  • Optimize your website for faster load times
  • Provide valuable content that will encourage users to read more
  • Cross-link relevant articles, products, or offers

How to View Your Bounce Rate

Viewing your bounce rate is easy (and free) with Google Analytics. Simply navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. There, you can sort your pages and posts by bounce rate, pageviews and even average time on page. If you would like to see a simple list of your top 10 pages and posts, you can download this dashboard to your Google Analytics account.

For more dashboards and reports for bounce rates, check out the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.