Web page bounce rate is an important metric to monitor and improve. A high bounce rate is a negative search engine ranking factor that reduces search traffic, which can diminish lead generation and sales. A high bounce rate is also indicative of a low conversion rate of the page.

Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave the same page they arrived at (via the search engine) without clicking a link within the page. Simply stated, the search engine visitor came, they saw, and they left. This can either mean the visitor was unimpressed and left, or she got everything she needed from the page.

When a visitor gets everything they wanted from a single page, it means they had a good user experience. However, enticing the person to click on a newsletter signup form, buy something, or simply to click to another web page is good for your bottom line. Even getting visitors to explore your site further increases the chances for a conversion of some type.

Here are two important ways of reducing your bounce rates:

Improve Page Loading Speed

Slow loading pages are not only bad for SEO but also bad for business. If people are clicking away before the web page loads, there’s no point in even having the page. Improving page loading speeds starts with your web hosting provider. If the problem is systemic and therefore, even mostly blank pages with little traffic are slow, you need to talk with your web hosting provider. Perhaps it’s a simple matter of upgrading your hosting package, or you may need a new hosting provider.

If there’s no problem with your hosting provider (or your web server), the problem lies with your web page. Its different elements may be using up too much bandwidth, or perhaps your content management system is using too many plugins. Identifying your specific problem is complex. However, you can do quick troubleshooting by using the many site speed testing and analysis tools available online. Gtmetrix is one such tool that will give you recommendations specific to a particular slow loading web page.

Define a Conversion Goal for Every Page

Sales and product pages that convert well, should have a low bounce rate. When someone clicks to buy something, they’re taken to another web page. Pages with a high bounce rate tend to have conversion problems, and require modification and conversion testing.

Other problem pages are made with no conversion goal in mind. Informational blog posts are an example of this. What sort of conversion goal should such a blog post have? Answer: to get the visitor to read related posts. Place links to these posts at the end and within the content.

Don’t rely on a plugin to decide these related posts. Choose them yourself to ensure there’s enough topic overlap to interest the reader. In addition, you could write a blog post series on specific topics. Each series would have multiple parts with a link at the bottom asking the reader to click to the next part.

Finally, engage your readers with well written content, well chosen images, and other content forms such as video and infographics. To learn more about search engine optimization or for assistance in this area, don’t hesitate to contact us.