How can you tell if there’s a problem with your website? I’m not talking technical stuff here, but a problem in how visitors perceive your site?
The answer is bounce rate.
Bounce rate is the Google Analytics stat that tells you how many people came to your website and left immediately.
Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics guru describes it as,
That may be a little harsh but that’s basically it.
Something on the landing page is causing people to flee rather than click onto another page, opt-in for your email newsletter or any action other than exiting.
Now remember, not everyone is arriving on your home page. They could be arriving on any of the pages you’ve created. They may have found it on Google search or it was shared on social media or from an ad you ran.
So notice what pages people are landing on then leaving immediately. Go to those pages and see what might be causing people to flee and try to fix it.
Fix Your Bounce Rate
One cause of a bounce rate is if the description of your page that shows up in a Google search doesn’t match the actual content. You can edit the meta description for that page so when people find it on Google then know exactly what to expect.
Another fix for a high bounce rate is telling people where to go next. It could be as simple as adding a sentence “if you liked this article you might want to also read …” with a link to another article on your website. You could also add your opt-in box at the end of the page.
If the information is out-of-date – or could appear that way – update it. This is particularly important for pages that are getting a lot of traffic. Instead of writing a new blog post and trying to get new traffic for it, add fresh content to the one that is already ranking highly in Google. Add a large “updated” image at the top so people know this is new material.
This is bounce rate in a nutshell, but you can watch this video by Avinash Kaushik to hear his take.
Finally, if you check your bounce rate and discover something surprising, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.