High Bounce Rate and How to fix it?
One of the few site performance indicators that you want to keep low, rather than high is your Bounce Rate. Your bounce rate is a good touchstone to measure the quality of your website traffic, since it shows how many of your site visitors leave right away, without exploring your pages and engaging with your content (they “bounce” away).
Why you should care about it? Because it directly affects your business performance and conversions. If you put a lot of effort into bringing people to your site, but they exit the moment they’ve entered, without having the chance to see your beautiful portfolio, fun articles and attractive packages – Huston, you have a problem.
But before you start panicking, let’s find out how you’re doing.
What’s Your Bounce Rate?
If you’re reading this post, you surely care about your site performance, and are tracking all your traffic and key indicators in Google Analytics, right? Head over to your GA account, and under Acquisition >> Overview, you will find general information about your Bounce Rate for traffic coming from different sources. For more in-depth information on each page, go to the Behavior tab >> Site Content >> All Pages. Check out different periods of time, for better insights.
What’s a good bounce rate?
How much money is enough? How many vacation days are enough? There’s always room for more, right? Similar with bounce rates. There is no golden number. A good bounce rate is one which is lower than what you had last week. On average, a bounce rate between 40-60% is considered to be ok. If we speak specifically about photography websites, we noticed an average of around 60-70%, while working with our clients on their SEO.
If you’re getting a bounce rate below 5%, don’t rush into doing your Carlton Dance yet. Because this low result isn’t due to your guru blogging and SEO strategy skills (I’m not saying you don’t have them, okay?). Most likely you’ve added your Google Analytics code twice on your page, or misplaced it (it should be in your header, not in the footer) and it’s messing up all your stats.
You can check whether you have a duplicate Google Analytics code by opening your site in your browser, Chrome for example.
1. Go to the View tab >> Developer >> View Source Code (or simply press ⌘ + Option + U). This will open up a new window with lots of code which forms your site.
2. Go to your Google Analytics account, copy your tracking code.
3. On your source code page, do a search for your tracking code through ⌘+F.
4. If you find it more than once, that’s the problem. To fix this, we suggest following the instructions here or asking help from a developer.
You could also use the Google Tag Manager extension with chrome. It will give you any indications of issues with the analytics code on your site. Simply install it, then click enable, record, and then refresh your page. Voila it will give you the details if the code is added correctly on your site.
9 ways to lower your Bounce Rate
Finally, let’s get to action and learn about ways to decrease your bounce rate. Why? I could say SEO, but I’d rather say to help your Conversion Rate. If users don’t even get to navigate through your galleries, read about your philosophy and see your pricing packages or contact page – how on Earth are you planning to book them? You get the point.
Keeping your site visitors curious and interested increases your chances of being contacted and starting a conversation with them. The rest is history, or better said your sales skills, but that’s a whole different topic.
So, here are 9 ways you can improve your bounce rate:
1. Site Loading Speed – one of the most common reasons why users bounce away from your website is because it’s a torture when it comes to waiting till it properly loads. Add poor internet connection to that – and they’re gone. So check your site speed and fix it is it’s too slow. This article explains how.
2. Clean, Readable Design – Let’s assume it took only 1-2 seconds to access your website. What does the user see? Does it look nice? Is it pleasant to the eye and easy to read? If there’s too many colors, text, call to actions or annoying pop-ups – say “adios” to your site visitors. Design plays a major role when a user decides whether they are interested to explore further, or not. With Flothemes, we’ve put much thought into each detail, CTA (call to action), color, text, etc. We are in full control of where the user will look first, then second, then third. It’s not magic, it’s a well crafted visual maze, designed to guide.
3. Linkage – Always link your users to other related posts within your articles. Give them more relevant, great content to read and enjoy. Also, always, always remember to open any external links each new link in a new window/tab. A common mistake, especially with external links. Why would you send your readers away from your website? If you offer them more useful content, open it in a new tab for them, but have them stay, finish your article first, before proceeding to the next one.
4. Enforce Engagement – Encourage your website readers to comment and interact with your blog posts. Ask them questions or for their opinion, reply to those who did leave a message. Why? Because when ever a user leaves a comment under your blog post, the page refreshes while adding the comment. Hence your user just visited their second page, and decreased your bounce rate.
5. Newsletter – if you’re a fan of newsletters and love to interact and share content with your fans, add a newsletter subscription form. This helps build an email list which will bring more traffic to your site when ever you send out a new email + when users subscribe, they are usually redirected to a Opt in confirmation or Thank You page. For newsletter software, you can take a look at Mailchimp for example.
6. 404 Page – Errors happen, posts get deleted or archived, and there’s always a slight chance that your users will end up on a 404 error page. If it’s ugly and not thought through – the user leaves. If you’ve created a fun, interactive and/or beautiful one, that includes some useful links and recommendations, the probability is high that your user will stay and browse more. Here are some useful tips and plugin on how to build your 404 page.
7. Your About Page – After your Home and Portfolio, this is the most visited page, as folks are curious to find out more about the author. Make sure you have one, and that it looks good and connects with your targeted clients. After all, those are the ones you want to attract.
8. Call to Action – these help guide your users on your website. It can be a button or a more subtle hyperlink, as long as you’re recommending your site visitors, what to do/see on your site next. What’s new, what’s hot? Tell them to see your traveling schedule, special offers, presets, or send you a message.
9. Click Bait & Keywords – use relevant keywords. if you are ranking high for Bali Destination Weddings but there’s no single image or piece of content on your website supporting that – most likely your user will rush out immediately, feeling disappointed and lied to. Be careful and don’t use click bait words and titles.
That’s all for Bounce rates folks. Hope you’ve found these useful. Let us know your thoughts, questions and things you’d love us to cover in the comments below, and stay tuned for the next useful piece of SEO content. Also, join the SEO for Photographers Facebook group for more insights, recommendations and help with SEO.