Measuring Website Performance – Bounce Rate
But first, what does it mean?
Bounce rate is a data based on the percentage of visitors who only visited one page of your website. It is basically like bouncing in and out of your page, so comes the name.
Bounce rate not only offers an insight to customers who are not willing to view multiple pages of your website (or those who are), but also revealing the dissatisfaction of customers to your website (or those who are satisfied).
You might find the statements above are negatively stated. This intentional negativity is just to reflect the characteristic of bounce rate. This figure is not “the higher, the better.” Instead, the lower the bounce rate, the more customers visited more than one page of your website, signalling customer interaction.
Is there a benchmark for bounce rate?
Bounce rate across different business types have different benchmarks to follow. Quoting from Brafton, the average bounce rate is 58.18% in general. But the figure for B2B business (61.04%) is often higher than for B2C businesses (54.24%). This could be a result of the approachability of B2C businesses to the average web browsing population.
Different industries have different average rates as well. News, for example, has a whopping 65.35%, notably the visitors viewed the headline on their feed, click, read then left the page back to their feed. On the other hand, autos & vehicles have one of the lowest at just 46.34%, as most of the visitors are actively looking for a vehicle when they visited the website.
From the examples above, it cannot be clearer that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” benchmark to follow. Websites with only one page, especially, have a much higher bounce rate as well from the lack of webpages of the website.
So, is there no benchmarks to follow? Not necessarily. Because of the data it collects, Google Analytics can offer an average bounce rate for the industry it believes your website is in. And you can dial down to different sections with the Content Drilldown Report.
While not being a threshold that the bounce rate must be lower than, these average rates provide an industry wide average for comparing the relative performance of your website. And, particularly for small-to-medium-sized businesses, remember that the bounce rate is most likely to record many of the other big players with much better customer interaction leveraging from their brand awareness. So, your website might not be horrible even with a bounce rate higher than the industry average.
Why should you value bounce rate?
The more unwilling for a customer to stay at your website, it not only signals negative customer perception to your website but also reflects the results in search engines.
There are various factors that could increase the bounce rate of your website. The loading speed of the website is one of the major factors as websites that takes more than 1 second to load can already turn customers away in this age of fast and overloading information. Larger files, like embedding a video, can add visual attractiveness to your website. Especially with the Australian internet speed, if the customer left before the video finished loading, the video is basically useless.
The design of the landing page, the content of the website and the user experience of the website are three other factors that can turn the visitors away. Nothing can withstand the torture of time. For the fast-changing landscape of internet communication, websites are much more prone to such judgement. Backdating the website of Apple, the technology giant altered its website almost every year to reflect the latest change to the company, while updating the aesthetics at the same time.
Faster loading and more appealing websites not only increase website visitor retention, but the resulting bounce rate is also impactful to the search engine performance of your website.
With the trillions of websites online currently, it is impossible for search engine companies to read through every website manually and assign them for a recommendation. The statistical data from your website, therefore, acts as the objective method for the search engines to understand the perception of the visitors to your website and decide whether to recommend your website to other users as well.
In such way, bounce rate presents to reflect whether visitors are willing to stay longer at the website and interact with it to obtain more information for search engines to determine the trustworthiness and quality of the website for the latter decision on the recommendation. The influence will also extend to other search engine related issues, such as search engine marketing.
Because of the nature of the measurement of bounce rate, lower bounce rate often comes with a better conversion with the better customer brand resonance.
How to lower bounce rate?
From the various factors that impact the bounce rate, there are also numerous ways to lower it. Examples like Call-To-Action (CTA) and internal links are two ways to encourage visiting another page on your website and enhancing the bounce rate.
Avoiding pop-up ads is another crucial method. Named by the inventor Ethan Zuckerman as the “internet’s original sin”, pop-ups are one of the most annoying features on a website that induce negativity in the visitors.
Whilst the above recommendations are simpler to implement, they fail to address bigger issues including inaccurate online representation of the company and unappealing website aesthetics in the contemporary internet landscape. While many companies offer SEO service or website design & development services, there are few companies who can offer a holistic solution as WeBOOST does.