One of the metrics that store owners regularly monitor is the bounce rate. It doesn’t directly affect the ranking of the site. But it can be a signal that visitors are unsatisfied with the content, design, page load speed, etc.
Therefore, you should properly analyze the bounce rate and draw appropriate conclusions. You can take some steps and improve it by optimizing your Magento site’s speed, navigation and removing annoying pop-ups.
In this article, I will explain what a bounce rate is and how to increase the duration of user sessions on the site.
Bounce Rate Overview
Before giving practical recommendations, I’d like to explain the bounce rate in a few words.
What is the bounce rate on Google Analytics? The bounce rate demonstrates how many people left the site after viewing the first page compared to the total number of visitors.
For example, 295 people out of 1000 left the site in the first seconds, having visited only one page. That’s a 29% bounce rate.
Bear in mind that a high bounce rate isn’t synonymous with a bad site. What causes a high bounce rate? There could be other reasons why users leave.
- Some of the visitors found the necessary answers on the first page.
- Some people accidentally entered the site and left after a few seconds.
- Your store didn’t appeal to your visitors.
If the problem is in some imperfections of your site, you need to fix them immediately. Below I’ll share three ways of how to reduce bounce rate that you might find handy.
How to Lower Bounce Rate (3 Steps)
1. Attract Targeted Traffic to Avoid Misconception
The first way how to decrease the bounce rate is to give targeted traffic due attention. Targeted traffic represents people who came to your site for a purpose. For example, they want to buy a product or service. These visitors are called quality traffic. Because there’s a reason why people came to you.
They are ready to spend money on something specific or are looking for a product but can’t decide yet. Such potential customers are also important because there is a chance to convert them into buyers.
Another example, if you are writing about art, then your target audience is musicians, artists, and designers.
There are five most effective methods of attracting targeted traffic:
- Cross-platform advertising. Make sure that after visiting your site, the user sees ads on other platforms. For example, on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This way, your brand can pop up just in time when the customer decides to make a purchase.
- Targeted advertising. Social media allows you to segment your audience according to country, city, district, and many other criteria. It’s easier to tailor to their specific needs this way and bring the most valuable traffic.
- Engage your audience through social media publications. Content attracting targeted traffic plays a significant role here.
- Contextual advertising. Store owners buy ad placements in the first positions in a separate block, which is the first to be seen in the search results. Thus, buyers see the online store before their eyes. A subtype of contextual advertising is PPC or search advertising. The advertising section is located prior to the links to stores and the map. I provide a screenshot below to illustrate my point.
- Search engine optimization. Make sure the site meets the requirements of the search engines. SEO aims to improve the site’s position in the search results, creating an authoritative resource in its field. For example, Google’s latest Core Web Vitals update puts user experience first. That’s why you need to keep abreast and constantly optimize your store.
2. Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast Enough
So, the user sees a link to your site. He clicks on it and goes to the store. A second, two, three, and more passes… It seems something’s wrong: it’s still a blank page and nothing else. “Why did I come here? I already forgot. Anyway, there’s nothing worth waiting for if the site is so slow”.
That’s what your customer-to-be may think if the page load speed is over three seconds. Aside from the direct link to bounce rate, site load speed is part of Google’s ranking algorithm. Search engines better rank content that gives users a positive experience, and fast load speed is part of such an experience.
Therefore, you should monitor the website load speed first. You can check your site’s load speed yourself using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights.
What are the ways to compress, optimize and “speed up” your site? All the tweaks you make to your store can bring you noticeable improvements. Achieving fast page load speed can take the following steps:
- Create a website using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).
- Before uploading images to the site, compress them.
- Check all the external or loaded scripts, stylesheets, and plugins and remove the unnecessary ones.
- Set up caching in the browser.
- Use CDN.
3. Mobile-Friendliness Is a Priority
Mobile phones contain a whole world. Unsurprisingly, more than half of all traffic comes from mobile devices. They are accessible when we have a question or desire to buy something.
It is enough to write your query in the search bar while in the subway, at work, or at home. And in a matter of seconds, you can consume content.
By the way, mobile-optimized sites continue to rank best. Yet, despite the importance of having a mobile-friendly site, many stores are still not optimized for mobile shoppers. It is often impossible to view the content on such sites. Users have to zoom in, squint, and constantly move the page to finish reading a sentence. It’s even worse if the page load speed is very slow. Don’t expect to have a low bounce rate in this case.
Google’s Test My Site tool helps you check your site speed on your mobile phone. I checked this metric for the Coca-Cola store. As we can see, their mobile speed is relatively poor and needs improvement. The report says that the load speed should be below 2.5 seconds.
Also, an unoptimized page has an incorrect above-the-fold area. As a result, some of the necessary information is hidden below. The user believes that this site doesn’t have what he is looking for and returns to the search results.
Bounce rate is an ambiguous metric for your website. Many factors affect it, and it doesn’t always indicate something bad. However, to attract as many visitors as possible and convert them into buyers, you first need to pay attention to the ways to reduce bounce rate:
- Work with the target audience;
- Accelerate page load;
- Optimize your store for mobile screens.
About the Author
Kate Parish, the chief marketing officer at Onilab, with 8+ years in Digital Marketing. Kate constantly develops her expertise to stay fit in the progressing online world. She always does exhaustive research in such spheres as SEO, Magento PWA development, and SMM, before sharing her expertise with a broad audience.
Connect with Kate on LinkedIn
Website URL: Onilab