Are you measuring your bounce rates? These are the visitors who are landing on your site and are leaving without making a second click. Bouncers to your website should be considered a negative statistic: the site failed to engage them enough to entice even a second pageview.
How much did you invest to get them there? Did you get your money’s worth out of that visitor?
Usability expert, Jakob Neilsen, recently indicated that one of the biggest findings from his latest user research was a huge increase in “deep dips”. He describes this as more traffic arriving deep within a website rather than entering through the website’s homepage. He found that for many sites, this increase in “deep-dips” has resulted in much higher bounce rates.
When working with our optimization clients, I frequently hear them report their average site-wide bounce rate is. This overall bounce rate is rarely telling us anything at all. If the number is fairly high (above 40%), they assume that they just aren’t answering people’s questions. How do they know where their problems exist? Are all of the pages bouncing people off of the site equally?
Don’t pay too much attention to this average bounce rate. Bring it a step further. Find out what your top bounce rate pages are and try to analyze why visitors are bouncing off of them.
Look at all of your top traffic driving points (search, ads, emails, etc) that are sending visitors to these top bounce rate pages. Is there a disconnect between the motivation the visitor had when beginning their journey and what they found on the page they landed on? Did they not get what they expected? Are you not offering links on this landing page to move the visitor forward in his buying process to answer some of his other questions?
When we see this happen we tell clients that they have a break persuasive momentum and the principles of scent. Either a page has the content our visitor is looking for or links to the page the visitor is looking for. Usability expert Jared Spool calls this the “move forward till found” rule.
Neilsen says that “Web Analytics is a dangerous game. If you measure the wrong thing, your metrics won’t just be weak — they’ll be directly misleading and might cause you to pursue an erroneous strategy that reduces your design’s business value.”
He suggests that you analyze your bounce rates for different sources of visitors. The point from which the visitor was sent to your site will indicate the level of interest they have for finding what you have to offer. Web analytics is great at reporting what happened, but you need a process to help you figure out why.
At FutureNow, we’ve been educating clients and readers that sources of traffic demonstrate a certain level of intent. If visitors are coming from a source that indicates that they have very low interest and almost “accidentally” land on your site, you should not be concerned about higher bounce rates.
But, if visitors click on a link, search for a keyword, or click on an ad that is specific to what you have to offer, this could indicate that they are middle or late stage in their buying process and are interested in your offering. If you have high bounce rates from these traffic sources, you should be more concerned and analyze why this may be happening, and do some conversion optimization to help reduce this bounce rate.
If you’d like help reducing your bounce rates, let’s talk about how we can do it together.