A common question we’re asked by businesses seeking our help with their analytics’ data is how to reduce a website’s bounce rate.
For the unfamiliar, the bounce rate represents the volume of users who land on a page in your site and decide to leave without going to a second page or triggering a custom event you’ve built in. They are deemed by the analytics to have ‘bounced’ away and this figure is usually shown as a percentage.
Yes improving the user experience is important…
There are many advice pieces across the web which talk about how to lower bounce rates. They generally focus on improving the user experience of the page with remedies such as:
- Reducing the load time of the page
- Ensuring the page looks great and functions well across all different devices
- Keeping information concise
- Minimising the volume of popups
- Creating signposting to more valuable, relevant information within the site
- Demonstrating that the site is current and active
These are all very sensible and important to address, however, there’s an earlier consideration if you want to improve your page’s and site’s bounce rate in the long term. It involves wising up to the different user profiles who visit it and how they’ve arrived at the page.
…but first you need to understand the different journeys that lead to that page
A starting point then is to consider the different journeys users take to get to your page. To do this you need to identify the popular routes. They could be via a specific Google Ad, other advertising, a referral site, promotion etc. and they could take people to different areas of your site, like a product page or the home page. With this understanding you will be able to assess what expectations and interests those different users have. Information about these journeys lies in your site’s analytics and, if you need help finding and understanding them, just get in touch.
Armed with these insights, there are significant benefits to be had by segmenting the users by these journeys or interests. For one, it can guide you on the content, calls to actions and features which would be more relevant to those groups’ specific information needs and interests. You may feel you need to direct certain user journeys to a separate landing page because of their unique interest and information needs; or adjust content on a specific page to “promote” a next action. For example, if you have a lot of traffic to specific product pages be sure they promote other useful and relevant areas of your site.
Making the page more focused and relevant
This will then enable you to better support the different visitor/ buyer journeys, and encourage them to delve deeper into your site’s pages. As an example, a home page bounce rate we recently analysed was made up from the following visitor groups…
- Visitors and potential customers
- Existing customers
- The organisation’s staff
Obviously, these different groups all had very different information needs and so the organisation we supported reworked its home page and other sections of the site to better accommodate them. This greatly helped them to lower their bounce rate by a considerable percentage.
It is always good practice to assess what lies behind your site’s bounce rate before you launch into user experience changes. Make sure you fully understand the different user groups who contribute to that figure. Invest time to evaluate their user/buyer journey so the changes you implement really do make a positive difference.
If you need help improving the tracking and effectiveness of your home page contact the Fusion Analytics team on e: firstname.lastname@example.org or t: 0203 287 5 387