What is Bounce Rate and How to Improve It

Louise Armstrong
by Louise Armstrong on April 3, 2012 in Website
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Most site owners have probably heard of the term “bounce rate”.  But what does it mean, and what is its significance?

Bounce rate is a measure of how many people land on your site only to leave without visiting any other pages.  These are the people who, for a variety of reasons, quickly make the judgment that your site is not going to provide what they need.

This could be an indication of the quality of your traffic, and it could also be saying something about the quality of your blog.  If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like it to be, here are a few simple tips to improve it:

1. Use Internal Links.
Internal links take visitors to other pages on your site.  The good thing about them is that they make it easy for readers to find other useful pages that are relevant to the topic they’re reading about. And, when you use anchor text with your links, you’re boosting the SEO power of your site.

Internal links help reduce bounce rates by making your site a user-friendly resource for the information people want and need.

2. Be Open to Comments
Visitors who are encouraged to engage are more likely to explore your site further.  Blog comments not only bring you backlinks—they also direct the commenter to other pages on your site.  Comments increase your visibility with search engines and give people a reason to stay.  This reduces your bounce rate.

3. Tell your Story
You know about the “About” page, right?  Well, not everyone has one, and not everyone who does has a good one.  To improve bounce rates, consider creating a compelling About page.  Instead of dry, boring facts, tell an inspirational story.  Let visitors get to know you and your team, the history of the company, what drives you. 

By telling a story you are drawing readers in.  Keep them interested and they’ll explore further.

4. Spruce Up your Design
Design and layout are important elements in your website’s success.  Clean up your pages, eliminate distracting banner ads and flash animation, and provide a sidebar that makes it easy for readers to click on past posts.

Simple fonts with light backgrounds are easy on the eyes, and attractive images make your pages stand out.  Remember, you want people to stay and click on other pages, so use headlines and calls to action that compel them to do so.

5. Offer Incentives
Nothing keeps people on a site like an attractive offer.  Incentives not only improve bounce rates—they help you build a targeted email list.  An offer, accessed through a call to action, takes people to another page on your site where they can fill out a form or trigger a download—and that means another page visit and one less bounce.

Your bounce rate tells you a lot about the success of your site.  Improve your bounce rate and you’ll start seeing more and better traffic, increased leads and sales and greater online visibility.

Louise Armstrong

Louise Armstrong

Louise is a Senior Digital Strategist at Bonafide. A pop-culture addict with a passion for all things digital. She's Scottish by birth, but don't ask if she likes haggis...