In terms of SEO, various indicators or KPIs are to be considered to determine the quality of a site and improve its visibility. Among them include the “bounce rate”. It is often underestimated and yet it allows us to self-adjust in order to be better indexed by search engines.
When an Internet user arrives on a page of your site and leaves immediately after without having consulted other pages, we speak of bounce. The bounce rate then indicates the percentage of visitors who have done so. To get it, divide the number of visitors who bounced by the total number of visitors.
High bounce rate is not good for your SEO. It is also advisable to keep an eye on it to be able to act quickly from a certain stage. What should be done to reduce it?
Table of Contents
- Why should you watch the bounce rate?
- What is the average that should be kept?
- What can cause a bad bounce rate?
- How To Reduce Bounce Rate?
Why should you watch the bounce rate?
As a reminder, the bounce rate is a performance criterion that must be taken seriously. It takes into account the Internet user behavior towards links that you insert on your pages and published content.
A user who, after having clicked on an organic result, returns after a few seconds to the SERP page clearly indicates that the page consulted did not give him satisfaction. The opposite, as for him, supposes that he found the desired answers there and that perhaps, he clicked on the other links for more information.
In the first case, the site indicates a high bounce rate while that of the second will be lower. In the logic of Google, it is the latter which will be better ranked since it seems to offer more relevant content.
Let’s not forget that in recent years, the search engine has ensured that the user experience (UX) is satisfactory. It is also constantly improving its algorithms so that they only display relevant and always fresh results. If the bounce rate doesn’t square with that, your chances of appearing on the first page of SERPs are minimal.
This is why it should be monitored and actions taken to reduce it when it tends to climb again and again. Of course, it is not the only criterion of relevance to be taken into account, but it is one of the most important. For information, Google takes into account more than 200 criteria of relevance to classify the sites indexed in the SERPs.
What is the average that should be kept?
There is no standard average for the bounce rate since its quality is assessed on a case-by-case basis. However, it is considered that it should be between 30% and 50%. Below 30% and above 50%, a site survey must be carried out quickly to explain the figures recorded. And we keep in mind that the nature of the site also plays a role in the number of rebounds recorded.
In general, the average and normal bounce rate for:
- A service site should be between 10% and 30%;
- A content site must be between 40% and 60%;
- A merchant site must be between 20% and 40%;
- A lead generator should be between 30% and 50%;
- A simple home page should be between 70% and 90%;
- A gate must be between 10% and 30%;
For each result obtained, it is always relevant to analyze the duration of visits to Google Analytics in order to establish more detailed settings. Among these averages, we can see that a home page must have a high bounce rate. If this is not the case, that would mean that it is not relevant enough to encourage Internet users to click on the various links displayed.
What can cause a bad bounce rate?
The main reason of bad bounce rate is that people find the page useless. It doesn’t just refer to the substance of the content. A dismal, old-fashioned page that takes several seconds to display, filled with pop-ups and other advertisements, an unreliable page… can also cause this.
To determine the real cause, bounce analysis is essential. It is only once the causes have been determined that you will be able to provide relevant and effective solutions. If, for example, the too long display duration is the cause of the high bounce rate, it will be advisable to orient your site towards mobile indexing.
If the content of the articles is the one that poses a problem, it may be interesting to review the articles, even if it means rewriting them in their entirety and updating them. Refreshing a site that is much too old would also encourage visitors to wander more on the different pages of the site.
Whenever you calculate your bounce rate, always try to understand where that number is coming from, no matter how good it looks to you. This analysis will help you determine if there are improvements and adjustments to be made or not. It will also allow you to better identify visitors even if in the end, several other criteria must be taken into account to really know them.
How To Reduce Bounce Rate?
Reducing the bounce rate improves the organic seo of a site. But what should we work on? Here are some ideas to reduce bounce rate…
This is obviously the first area to work as a priority, because satisfied users are equivalent to loyal users. To give them satisfaction, several actions can be taken such as:
- Improve page loading speed:
A page that takes too long to display scares Internet users away and this increases the bounce rate. To avoid this, make sure that all your pages display, on average, in 3 seconds, even if some contain videos or a lot of images. To achieve this goal, you can reduce the size and weight of images and videos without compromising their quality, activate server-side resource caching, improve certain technical points in terms of the site’s architecture, etc.
- Offer videos and beautiful images:
Video is the most popular content format on the Internet today. The more you publish, the more Internet users will flock, provided they are referenced, of quality and relevant. We must also pay attention to their length, because being always in a hurry, today’s Internet user only has a few minutes to devote to content, however interesting it may be. In other words, focus on short, but relevant videos.
As for the images, they must be clear, crisp, non-pixelated and of mobile friendly dimensions. Reducing their size is essential so as not to weigh down the site.
- Set up a course that makes you want to:
The Internet user wishes to buy an item on your e-commerce site, but he does not see the “Buy” or “Place order” button anywhere. He finally finds the button, but then follows a long journey until the final validation. Obviously, there will be many basket abandonments and the bounce rate abnormally high.
This same scenario can play out on other sites, depending on the action you expect from your readers. To avoid this, we reduce the obstacles to a minimum, we clearly place the call-to-action buttons and in the right place and we always make sure to keep the user on his site as long as possible. You have to give them good reasons to stay and the course has a lot to do with it.
- Properly dose advertising windows:
Popups allow you to increase the membership rate and focus on a specific point, but beware, too many pop-up ads scare readers away. You are therefore not told to withdraw them completely, but to adopt a correct dose according to the results. If you’ve noticed that popups dramatically increase your membership rate and don’t boost your bounce rate, then you can keep them, but stay tuned anyway.
If, on the other hand, you noticed that since the appearance of these windows, the bounce tends to increase, it is better to remove or reduce them. You can also favor the small window that is displayed at the bottom of the screen than the large window that will be displayed on the entire screen. Try to find the right compromise.
- Establish a specific menu:
It is important to structure your site with a specific menu. This is something you need to spend time on so that it makes it easier for your readers to navigate. You can start by proposing a first structure and then analyze what are the most used elements. You can check the bounce rate for each menu page to see which to keep and which to remove. Remember that the menu should direct the reader to your site. Not only does it dissuade him from leaving quickly, but it also increases the duration of the session.
- Use “white space”:
This is an empty space to display on the pages of his site. According to observations, it allows readers to rest their eyes for a few seconds before continuing to navigate. It also helps them to better focus on the essentials, namely the CTA button or the content. The majority of webmasters are not yet fully aware of its importance and yet Google itself offers us a good demonstration when we land on its home page https://www.google.com. On this page, we only find the search bar in the center and the logo of the company while all around, we have a white space.
Another very important point to keep Internet users concerns the content. We also know that content is the main levers for retaining Internet users. If at this time you still did not understand it, maybe you should think about a career change. We still give you a quick summary of what relevant, high-quality content should look like:
- Favor long tail keywords: they are more precise, less competitive and generate qualified traffic.
- Publish relevant landing pages: include the keywords really expected by your target and add a CTA button at the right time.
- Avoid spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and typos: why do we still bother to repeat it? Because some pages still contain it so read it again and use online proofreaders.
- Use clearly legible characters and fonts: don’t force your readers to squint to read your content.
- Optimize the readability of content: focus on short paragraphs, use bulleted lists, structure your content with Hn tags, include images …
- Enrich the content: the information must be relevant, up-to-date and respond to Internet users’ searches. Basically, offer practical and useful content.
The internal mesh
When we develop a netlinking strategy, we tend to give more importance to external links, specifically backlinks. However, internal links are just as important, as they make it easier for Internet users to navigate your site. Thanks to them, they can go from page to page which reduces the bounce rate and increases the duration of the session.
Be careful, however, the goal is not to insert links at random, but to establish consistency and relevance. Here are a few tips:
- Adopt a solid structure to link content with the same theme
- Choose anchors that are relevant, evocative and appeal to readers
- In the event of a 404 error page, customize the error message that is displayed then offer internal links to redirect Internet users to a page that works. The links must point to a page whose content is related to that which should have been displayed.
- Apart from the links embedded in the content, suggest other articles to read at the bottom of the page or on the sides. As much as possible, make sure that these relate to the content being viewed. You can still offer content on other topics that you really want your readers to see. This allows them to discover other topics, likely to interest them, but you still need to know perfectly the history of the Internet user in question.
The ergonomics and intuitiveness of the site
More than half of Internet users today use their smartphones to do research and connect to social networks. They are called mobile users. Since they represent more than half of Internet users, it is logical that we pay attention to their satisfaction. There, we come back a bit to the user experience. In addition to the points already mentioned above, we must also ensure to offer them:
- Mobile friendly sites: ensure that the entire page is displayed entirely on the small screen of smartphones and tablets. We therefore pay attention to ergonomics and in the process, we must:
- Nice design which makes you want to continue reading or consulting the site. Learn about current trends and come up with a design that is consistent with your theme. We avoid, for example, the totally black background while on the site, we talk about the organization of marriage or baptism.
- More suitable visuals: scientific studies have indeed admitted that our brain is more receptive to visuals than to texts. Therefore, use good visuals whenever possible to grab the attention of internet users. They must, of course, be accompanied by texts and therefore be consistent with the textual content. Images, videos, pictograms, diagrams, infographics… the choice is wide.
- Colors and fonts adapted to your targets: if your site talks about magic, clairvoyance… your personas will appreciate dark and mysterious colors. On the other hand, if he deals with motherhood and newborns, they will appreciate soft colors and light fonts.
Call-to-action or CTA buttons encourage your readers to take the action you want them to take. It can be an act of purchase, a subscription, a download… It is an effective way to move them forward in the journey you have created for them. So instead of going back and increasing the bounce rate, they just keep going to increase the conversion rate.
Placing CTA buttons everywhere is not enough, however. These should display eye-catching incentive text, should be placed in the right place, and should have a design that is eye-catching and invites to click on. Speaking of design, they should be big enough to be easily seen and their color should be different from the background of the page.