by Valerie Train
/bouns rāt/ noun
According to Google Analytics, a bounce rate is the percentage of a single-page session. That’s when the visitor leaves your site without navigating to a different page. But don’t panic, a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing; bounce rates occur for a few different reasons.
A “high” bounce rate might not be as bad as it seems. On average, most websites will experience bounce rates between 26%-70%. If your bounce rate is 26% to 40% you’re doing an excellent job! However, if your rate is 70% or higher, something is probably broken.
But if nothing is broken and you’re sure of it…
If your page takes more than 4 seconds to load, people are going to leave. Pay the extra money for a good hosting platform, don’t use oversized images, and make sure you use fonts that are web safe.
Although it might be hard to resist, do not bombard your visitors with subscribe buttons, surveys, or any type of pop-up ads when they come to your landing page. Visitors will quickly become overwhelmed and leave your site. Bombarding a visitor with pop-ups is like when people at mall kiosks try to “ask you a question”. You know you’re just being sold to and you lose interest immediately. Safety and credibility are extremely important to visitors, and pop-ups will communicate the opposite.
Unless it’s April Fool’s Day, don’t trick your audience. If a visitor enters your site expecting your content to be about one thing, and it isn’t, they’re going to bounce right back to where they came from. Carefully choose your words and do not under any circumstances use a click bait title!
As mentioned earlier, safety and credibility are top priorities to visitors. Don’t get too personal or ask too many questions. Treat this single-page session like a first date – make sure the visitor feels both comfortable and interested before asking for their credit card information or social security number.
It’s 2017, and believe it or not, not everybody is sitting at their desktop computers full time. In fact, 45% of landing page traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site is not equipped to handle this, visitors will likely leave because the content either isn’t easy to read, or is not accessible.
Looks really do matter. A poorly designed site can distract visitors, or in severe cases, hurt their eyes. If your page isn’t aesthetically pleasing your visitors won’t want to look at it for very long. Bad design, illegible fonts, and a poor layout are all recipes for a high bounce rate. Have a graphic designer or someone with an artistic eye give it a once over before the site goes live.