Platonik
bounce rate

Tips to Improve Website Bounce Rate with Google Analytics

Improve your website bounce rate by 4.4% in 12 weeks using these Google Analytics tips and see an increase of up to 43.7% in website conversions.

That’s the results I achieved and I’ll explain how you can lower your bounce rates.

bounce rate improvement

Definition of bounce rate ?

Website bounce rate is a symptom of other issues or problems with your content, navigation, brand or products.

There is nothing more soul destroying than someone visiting your website and leaving straight away.

The problem is that you don’t see this bounce problem unless you look for it.

Bounce rate, as defined by Google, is a user opening a single page on your website and then exiting without visiting another page during that session visit.

If 100 people visited by website total and 80 of them visited one page and left then my bounce rate would be 80%.

Bounce rates versus exit rates

The difference between bounce rate and exit rates is this; bouncers only visit one page and leave, exit rate is the percentage of people who left from that one page and may have viewed more than one page before they left.

Bounce rates by channel

I have an 80.93% bounce rate on my website.

That means 80% of people who visit my website leave after looking at one page.

However, my bounce rates are higher from organic traffic and lower from direct visits, social, referral and email visits.

bounce rate report in google analytics

Still fairly depressing right ?

So how do you go about identifying your website bounce rate ?

Google Analytics Bounce Rate Report.

Here’s how to find the bounce rate report in Google Analytics.

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Select Acquisition from the left menu.
  3. Select Overview.

On the centre of the screen you’ll see the behaviour column highlighting total bounce rate and by channel.

I’ve chosen to display conversions to review and compare traffic source, bounce rates and conversions.

What does the bounce rate report tell me?

My conversions come from the 20% who look at more than one page.

I’m fairly happy with my conversion rate of 3.94%.

(doubled my conversion rate in the last month.)

But still, 96% of people leave without taking any action.

Bounce rates by website type

  • Content websites 40-60%
  • Lead generation sites 30-50%
  • Blogs 70-98%
  • E-commerce 20-40%
  • Online services 10-30%
  • Landing pages 70-90%

These bounce rates are simply a benchmark based on data from a report by Ecommerce Europe .

Diagnosing the bounce rate problem

If you look at the layout of my site most pages are one long vertical column.

I don’t give people much opportunity to view other pages of content.

The next thing to look at what devices people use to access your website.

bounce rate caused by poor navigation and UX

65% of people visit my website using a desktop computer.

I looked at how people found my site.

audience mobile and desktop report

65% use a desktop device.

You can find this report in Google Analytic as follows:

  1. Audience
  2. Mobile
  3. Overview

75% come to my website from a Google search result.

As I mentioned above, 75% of my website traffic comes from Google search results.

First time visitors report.

The report below shows how to find first time visitors versus returning visitors to your website.

  1. Audience
  2. Behaviour
  3. New vs Returning

Another fairly depressing statistic.

I have neglected this issue for a while instead focusing on organic traffic and my conversion rate.

google analytics audience behaviour new v returning

Engagement Report

Another report is the engagement report in Google Analytics.

google analytics audience engagement report

Engagement is a horribly term that has crept into the marketing vocabulary.

(engagement is a formal agreement to get married)

Just because someone looks at 3 pages on my website doesn’t mean they’ll get in touch and buy from me.

Rant aside, if 75% of people only look at one page you know you have a website problem.

To find the report go to :

  1. Audience
  2. Behaviour
  3. Engagement
  4. Select Page Depth

In my report, you can see page depth of 1 is 2797 sessions out of a total of 3450.

The page depth of 2 is probably those people who looked at a page (1 page depth) and landed on the thank you page (page depth 2) after filling out the web form.

If you want, you can choose to segment this report by search traffic or other segments.

Interpreting high bounce rate

People visit my website from Google, most look at one page, leave and don’t return.

99% of my visitors and subscribers are non transactional.

Solution to reducing my high website bounce rate

So I decided I would address my bounce rate and transactional issues by adding a right side bar to every page.

At the top right of each page I added links to main categories and a banner ad areas showing images of website projects I’ve worked on.

improve bounce rate with better UX

As you scroll down the page there’s a sticky bar.

The screenshot above is from the planning a website page.

And the right side bar contains links to articles related to planning a website.

Then, my transactional banner in green; the first step in a website project is keyword research, click here.

It’s unlikely first time visitors will click and buy.

However, I’ve reinforced the message that keyword research (my service) is vital in website projects.

I’ve created 3 sticky sections.

  1. One for planning a website.
  2. One for improving website content and conversions.
  3. And one for increasing traffic from google.

The image below is taken from an SEO page.

The message on the right side bar is “need more traffic from Google” with links to 3 SEO articles.

Hopefully people read more than one page about SEO.

Then underneath, the green banner ad, the link to contact me about help with more Google traffic.

Site Speed Suggestions to reduce bounce rate

There’s a feature within Google Analytics called Site Speed Suggestions you can use to identify page speed issues and bounce rates.

First identify the pages on your website with the highest bounce rate.

Then go to :

  • Behaviour
  • Site Speed
  • Speed Suggestions

Look at the page speed score of the pages with the worst bounce rate.

Now click the link eg: 5 total on the page row and a window will pop up with the page speed insights and provide recommendations.

Image size is typically a problem so you can download the images that Google have optimised or optimise yourself.

You will see these other technical solutions.

  • Leverage browser caching
  • Eliminate render blocking javascript and CSS in above the fold content
  • Minify Javascript
  • Minify CSS

This is above my skillset but if you use WordPress there are plugins to help with these recommendations.

I recommend you back up your website before installing these plugins and/or getting a web developer to do this for you.

Summing Up Bounce Rate

I spent 3 x 10 hours days working on implementing this new layout, adding illustrations and creating the side bar content links.

3 months after making changes saw my bounce rate reduce from 81.90% to 78.29% and my website conversion have increase from 2.48% to 3.57%.

bounce rate improvement