Web Design Blog : Toolkit Websites

Web Design Blog

Higher Bounce Rates Shouldn't Worry Small Businesses

Lots of our customers are focusing on SEO at the moment to try and drive more traffic to their websites and generate some more business. Getting a good return on your investment in website is important. We've been encouraging our clients to install Google Analytics to monitor the traffic they're getting to their website.

When people have received their first monthly Analytics report, they often ask us what's the Bounce Rate?

Well. It's a measurement of how many people have visited your website and then left again without clicking on any of the links or interacting with it in anyway. It is often different for different pages on your website.

It can be very concerning to see a bounce rate of 70% or even 50%. That means 70% of the people who visited left again without seeing any of the other pages on your website.

However, do not fear! There's no set benchmark for bounce rates. They vary day by day, and depending on the type of website. If you had an e-commerce website, and a bounce rate of over 15% you would worry as that would show people not being enticed to buy from your website.

However, for most of our customers, a higher bounce of 50% rate is fine. With a brochure style website, the primary focus is to encourage people to contact you. Start asking the people who email or call you with enquiries how they found your contact details. If they say "Oh, I found it on the website" then you know that the high bounce rate isn't accurately reflecting the number of people who interact with you eventually. Your website is still generating new leads for your business.

Now some people think that bounce rate could affect your rankings in search engine results. With that in mind it's good to try and get your bounce rate as low as you can in the long term. Here's some tips to work out why you might have a high bounce rate:

  1. If your website takes too long to load up, people will leave before it finishes loading. Make sure you reduce the size if images on the webpage, and keep flash to a minimum.
  2. Make sure your website explains exactly what you do in clear and easy to read text. Website visitors have short attention spans, and will leave if it's taking to long to understand what you do.
  3. Sometimes other websites will be linking to content on your website that no longer exists, such as an old news article. This means that any visitor arriving via that old link will get a "Page Not Found" message and may not bother with the rest of the website. To combat this, get in touch with people who link to you and ask them to update their links. Not sure who links to you? Type "link:http://www.yourwebsite.com" in to Google and Yahoo.
  4. When searching for a business, visiors look for professional and well presented sites. First impressions count and a badly designed, out of date or generic site will cause visitors to look else where. If you're a Toolkit Websites customer and you feel your website needs a facelift, check out our redesign package.
  5. Optimise your website for more specific keyword phrases. If you rank highly for generic keywords like "insurance" and you offer mobile phone insurance, all the visitors who are looking for car, house and travel insurance will bounce away.