By Kevin Nakao
The Small Business Tips Series is supported by Bantam Live, a web-based collaboration workspace with “Social CRM” for small business teams. For more information visit BantamLive.com.
With the explosion of social media sharing and help from smart search engine optimization, many web users are bypassing businesses’ home pages and landing directly on product pages and blog posts. Thus, businesses need to optimize their “first impressions” at all entry points in order to reduce bounce rates.
Bounce and exit rates are often confused, but have different definitions and purposes. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that hit a page and don’t visit any others within the same site. It should be used to measure the effectiveness of landing pages and is connected to SEO and paid advertising campaigns. In some cases, a page may be designed to give the consumer the information they need and nothing else. In this instance, bounce rate may not be a relevant metric.
Exit rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of visitors that leave a site from a given page. It should be used to monitor specific pages in a process, such as a “shipping options” page that appears during the checkout process. A high bounce rate means you are making a bad first impression; a high exit rate means you have a leak in the process.
Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik says a bounce rate of less than 30% is good, but with 60% or higher, you have a problem.
Bounce rate stats will differ depending on the type of sites and pages you’re measuring. In Google Analytics, there is a benchmarking section that allows you to compare your site’s bounce rate and metrics to other sites based on size and category.
A blog that offers all of its content on one page will have a high bounce rate. Generally speaking, blogs are reported to average an 80% bounce rate, and this paired with other metrics like time on site and number of comments could be more helpful. The best standard is to measure an individual page’s bounce rate over time.
Here are eight ways to lower your site’s bounce rate. Add your own thoughts in the comments below.