Bounce Rates and Conversion Rates, what you need to know and what affects them
You have probably heard someone talking about their bounce rates and conversion rates when they talk about the performance of their website. So, what exactly is a bounce rate and a conversion rate? The bounce rate and conversion rates are metrics that are easily tracked using Google’s Analytics tool. Simply put, the bounce rate is the number of visitors that left your site without clicking beyond the page they landed on. The conversion rate is the number of visitors to your site that proceeded to complete an action that you defined. This could be a sale, filling out a form or signing up for a newsletter.
The goal is to have a very low bounce rate and a high conversion rate. Generally speaking if your bounce rate is below 50%, you are doing pretty good. If it is higher than 80%, things are not so good. Conversion rates are very hard to give a baseline too as it varies so much from business to business. However, since we want a higher conversion rate, changes to your website should never negatively impact your conversion rate.
So what affects bonce and conversion rates?
The design and layout of your homepage
In most cases your homepage is the first impression a visitor gets when coming to your site. If your homepage is poorly designed, the visitor is not a likely to click through to other pages of your site. This would be a bounce. Your homepage needs to be designed so that it leads visitors to other pages on the site in a way that is enticing without seeming desperate.
Ease of navigation
How easy is it to get around your website? Everything should be clearly labeled and you never want to lead a visitor to a page that is unrelated to what you had implied. Correctly and accurately labeled links to your products and services will help increase your conversion rate while simultaneously decreasing your bounce rate. You visitors want to find what they are looking for quickly and if it takes too long, they give up and leave.
The quality of your content can greatly affect your bounce and conversion rates. High quality and relevant content will decrease your bounce rate and increase your conversions and low quality and irrelevant content will do the opposite. Basically you want to provide the information that they need and it to be presented in a clear way. Using technical jargon that is specific to your industry may help you with your peers, but your visitors may not understand it and give up.
So get out to Google Analytics and take a look at how your pages are performing. Even if they are performing well, what can you do to help them improve?
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