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Bounce Rate is defined as the percent of visitors that leave your site after visiting one single page.
Google Analytics (GA) – A tool used by Google to analyze the traffic to your website.
GIF – An invisible file that is sent to GA when someone enters your website either on a page or post.
Session – Every time a visitor visits your site and a GIF is sent to GA.
Entrances – The number of times visitors enter your site in a given period of time.
Landing Pages – Where the visitor begins their visit.
Homepage – Main page of your site and is where visitors enter if they click your URL.
How is the bounce rate calculated with GA?
When a visitor enters your site a GIF is sent to GA from their landing page. If the visitor leaves your site from the same landing page and doesn’t leave that landing page it is considered a bounce. Only one GIF from your website is sent to GA.
If you have 1,200 entrances to your website and you have 962 bounces your bounce rate would be: 962/1200 = 80.16 or a bounce rate of 80.16%. Meaning 80.16% of visitors left the landing page without going anywhere else on your site.
Bounce Rate is determined on each post, page, and the site as a whole.
Important Note – BOUNCE RATE IS NOT DETERMINED BY AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT ON YOUR SITE!!!
What does bounce rate mean for your Blog?
If your website is primarily a blog, it is normal to have a slightly higher bounce rate. This is because visitors may come just to read one post and then leave. In order to determine if that is the case, the bounce rate for each post will be high, but the bounce rate for your homepage will be low. Meaning, they come to the post (landing page), read it and leave, this is a bounce. However, when they are entering through your homepage they click through to a post or video and you have now sent 2 GIF’s to GA and it is not counted as a bounce, thus your bounce rate on your homepage will be lower. If this is the case, a high bounce rate is NOT bad for your site.
If your bounce rate is high on both landing pages and homepage then you may need to do some work to get your readers to take action on your site. There are a few reasons that your homepage is not producing click-throughs:
- It is not relevant to the visitor
- It is cluttered with ads or looks spammy
- Poor quality fonts, not appealing (bold, too small, too large, poor color)
- Mostly all text, very few images to attract attention
- No headings, subheadings, titles
- Poor grammar, spelling
- No clear call to action
A few interesting facts about bounce rates:
- Bounce rates are generally higher when coming from a social media site than an organic search.
- New visitors tend to bounce more than returning visitors
What can I do to help lower my bounce rate?
There are a few ways to convert your reader to click through and lower your bounce rates:
- Make sure your site is relevant. If your niche is travel, make sure your site posts about travel. The more content on travel, the more chances the visitor will read several articles.
- Make your homepage a satisfying place to land. Think of your branding, images, widgets, ads. Don’t look cluttered.
- Make your posts summaries on your homepage. Landing on your homepage (1 GIF) clicking continue to read (1 GIF) and not counted as a bounce.
- Make sure your font is pleasant to read. If it is bold, too large, too small, it will send a reader from your site.
- Make sure your website load time is fast. People don’t have time to waste on waiting for your site to load.
- Have auto-play videos. Each time the video auto-plays it will send a GIF to GA. If they land on your post (1 GIF) and the video plays (1 GIF) it counts as two GIF’s and is not a bounce.
- Have links to previous posts. Each time they click a link to a post on your site, it is another GIF.
- Have social share buttons – Each share sends a GIF
- Make sure you have a clear call to action on your homepage – Click here to get…
Bounce rates are important to keep track of and can help you build an appealing website for your readers. Find the connection with the posts/pages that have a low bounce rate and try to bring those qualities to all your post. By using the qualities in your posts to lure in new readers your website will grow in views and subscribers.
On a side note – If your bounce rate is too low you might have an issue with your tracking code. In addition, if you can change your tracking to time instead of GIF, but this requires coding.
What is your bounce rate? What is your plan to get visitors to click on more than the landing page?
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