At Little Big Voice, Search Engine Marketing goes beyond better rankings on the major search engines. In fact, we spend a good deal of our time with our ears to the ground in wait of the developments and changes that happen online.
One of the main areas we like to focus on is the analysing of information. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we are geeks to the core but that ain’t a bad thing at all because it means we eat numbers for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and we’re not talking spaghetti either).
So, what’s a bounce rate?
Well it has nothing to do with trampolines or walking in to things by accident, but a term that is used by us Internet geeks in the SEO field to work out how relevant your actual site and its content is to visitors. At Little Big Voice we use Google Analytics to track our client’s bounce rates.
How do I work out if my bounce rate is good or bad?
This is a little trickier to work out because while there is no perfect or indeed imperfect bounce rate, on balance you’ll find that the higher the bounce rate the less effective your website is (probably).
Essentially you need to think of a bounce rate like this…
When a visitor comes to your site, do they leave on the page they entered without looking at the other pages or do they spend time on there and have a bit of a mooch around?
The more people who enter and leave at the same point produces your bounce rate figure but there are a lot of elements which affect this such as a website that has a lot of information on the main page, or indeed only has a main page (it does happen).
Don’t be as we can help you out!
What difference does a bounce rate make anyway?
Well if your website visitors are leaving your site too quickly then you need to consider it might be you (or your website). No offence intended of course!
Your content needs to be relevant to their search and interesting. Ever wondered why someone with a monotone voice inspires sleep, while someone who has intonation in their sentences, smiles and has a bit of energy keeps you interested? It’s no different with site content, so try to think about this when you’re looking at your site and what you’re saying to your visitors.
I am bouncin’ high – does that mean my site’s a failure?
Actually no not necessarily because a high bounce rate can be created by a number of factors!
Here are just some things that can affect the length of time someone spends on your website:
- Design – is your site laid out well?
- Amount of traffic – Do you have lots of visitors?
- Page load time – How long does your site take to load? Too long and you’ll get an increased bounce rate as people get bored waiting.
- Content – Is it interesting? If you’re not a talented writer then may want to consider getting a copy writer in to assist you. While you think what you’re saying is engaging – this sadly may not actually be the case.
- Navigation – Can your visitors find what they were searching for on your landing page.
These are just some of the things that can affect bounce rates for your website so they’re always worth reviewing if you’ve got lots of traffic but no one is staying long enough to have a cup of tea.
I’ve been bouncing and I still don’t know if the figures are good, bad or indifferent!
It’s difficult to be precise on a bounce rate that is acceptable for your website but as a general rule we feel that a bounce rate higher than 35% is a potential issue and therefore does need to be resolved.
Google advises that most websites have a bounce rate of between 40% and 60%. What this means is that if you’re closer to 40% then you’re doing okay and possible good in comparison to any competitors with a bounce rate of 60% or above.
However, if you have a bounce rate of 60% or higher and people are leaving your website quicker than you can say ‘Come back!’ then you need to do something more than twiddling your thumbs and wondering why!
Can I get any other information on my bounce?
Yes you can! Kiss Metrics has some great information on industry bounce rates – which may assist you in seeing how your own ‘bounce’ fairs but it also gives you a bit of help in ways you can improve your websites bounce rate too.
I’m no writer and my site doesn’t look all that great to be honest!
Don’t panic. The fact that you’re seeing what’s wrong is a good thing and means you can resolve it with a bit of work.
Try and liaise with your SEO provider and get some input on what you can do to improve your site on all levels.
They will be able to advise you on your content, improving your page layouts and of course will be able to give you lots of their experience and advice on how to improve your actual search engine marketing success as well.
A seasoned approach
Best look at setting your own ‘ideal’ bounce rate and then working out how you can achieve it. As the rate goes down you’ll know you’re doing better and if it goes up you know you’ve got more work to do.
For more information on Search Engine Marketing and of course bounce rates, you can always drop us a line for a bit of help.