You may have heard about bounce rate, especially if you’ve had anything to do with website design. It’s a contentious issue with website design specialists all over the world seemingly split on its importance. We thought we’d take a deeper look into bounce rate, and what it means for your business.
What is bounce rate in website design?
Firstly, it’s important to understand what bounce rate is. In short, it’s the percentage of people who visit your website and leave after viewing one page. On one hand, this can be bad, because customers aren’t engaging with the rest of your content. On the other hand, perhaps customers are getting exactly what they need from your single page – such as a phone number which they use to call and book your services.
This is precisely why there is so much disparity on whether it really matters. But let’s look a bit closer about what you can learn from your bounce rate.
What do you learn from bounce rate?
This depends considerably on your business type. For example, consider you’re an electrician. A customer searches for electricians in their area, clicks a link and lands on your home page. They’re impressed, so they call you straight away for a booking. From a business point of view, your website is working great, and you’ve just won a customer. That customer exits your page quickly though, giving you a poor bounce rate.
However, if your website is designed to engage customers further, for example, an eCommerce Magento website, bounce rate isn’t so great. You want customers clicking through, searching products and eventually making a purchase. So, if they land on a page and go straight back to Google, it’s likely your website isn’t giving customers what they need.
Why people focus on improving bounce rate
Naturally, if your website is built for interaction, you don’t want customers leaving straight away. Businesses focus on bounce rate particularly when it relates to a specific search term that’s important to them. Because if you’re ranking well on Google, getting plenty of clicks, but not converting sales, something is wrong with the page customers are landing on.
Many people also make the argument that a high bounce rate affects your website’s SEO. Google is tight-lipped on this, so basically there’s a lot of speculation out there. If anything, a high bounce rate could indicate to Google that your page lacks relevance, which is something the search engine giant is pretty big on. However, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of conclusive evidence of bounce rate affecting SEO.
So, is bounce rate import in website design?
Ultimately, it depends on your website’s person. For the local services industry such as plumbers and electricians, it may not matter much. For eCommerce, it matters a lot. At the end of the day, if your website is generating leads and converting sales, then bounce rate shouldn’t matter greatly. However, if things are slipping through the cracks, bounce rate can be a good indicator.
You can use Google Analytics to see which pages your customers are bouncing from most. This, in itself, helps you identify which part of the customer journey isn’t working. So, while bounce rate is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all of things. Consider it as one metric among many.