If you have done any research into SEO or discussed it when employing an SEO agency, you may have come across the term “bounce rate”. Nothing to do with trampolines, it is a term that may at first seem rather simplistic, but unfortunately for many website owners, it is also something that can cause them a large amount of consternation.
Bounce rate, when being applied within SEO, is a metric that measures how quickly a visitor to a website leaves it after landing there. Consider it the online equivalent of you walking into a restaurant talking a quick look around and deciding to walk straight back out again. That is not good news for the restaurant, and for a website owner, it paints a dark picture too, especially as it can have negative consequences for their SEO.
The reason for that is much to do with Google’s obsession with user experience, or UX. UX is top of Google’s priorities because it is a measure they use to try to ensure they remain, not just the most visited search engine on the internet but the most website. They want anyone who searches on their search engine to find as close to what they were looking for having clicked on one of the results Google serves up.
Google has several ways of evaluating the experience a visitor has, and the bounce rate is one of them. If it finds that people are clicking through to one of the websites it has given a high ranking, but the majority of them are leaving that website again almost immediately, it throws up a red flag. It suggests that the website is not worthy of a high ranking and thus Google moves it down, and worse still, down to a lower page.
If you want to gain better rankings or maintain the high rankings you already have, you need to ensure your bounce rate is low. There are several checks you can make to achieve this, and here are our top suggestions.
Monitor It On Google Analytics: You cannot fix a problem if you do not know what it is, so the first task is to monitor your bounce rate using Google Analytics to assess its severity, or even if you have an issue at all.
Review Your Web Design: When someone lands on your website, what is the first impression they have? If you’re unsure, ask others or conduct a survey. If the visuals are poor and unappealing, consider having your web design updated to make it more inviting when someone lands on it.
Assess Your Website’s Navigation: Confusion is the quickest way to lose visitors and that is likely to happen if your website navigation makes it seem like a maze. Ensure you have a website navigation menu that is easy to follow and is clearly visible on every page.
Evaluate Your Content: We are especially referring to your written content, but it also applies to other media such as images and videos. Determine if it is informative, entertaining and of sufficient quality that someone would be induced to stay and consume much of it.
Check Your Page Relevancy For The Keywords You Rank For: An issue that increases bounce rates is the keyword a page is optimised for and thus ranking for, does not particularly match the content on that page even though it might be about a similar subject. if so, this means you must update your content to match as closely as possible the keyword it ranks for.