When looking at all the stats available for your website through the very marvellous Google Analytics tool, the bounce rate features front and centre on your dashboard. But it can be a source of confusion as to what it means, so let’s deconstruct it a little.

Your bounce rate measures the number of single page sessions your website receives. So  if a visitor arrives at your site, looks at just one page and then leaves without clicking through to any other pages on your site, it’s considered a bounce.

Although Google state that a website’s bounce rate is not a factor when it comes to search algorithms, there is still a perception that a high bounce rate is not a good thing.

This isn’t necessarily so – it could be that the page your user has landed on is so informative that they discovered everything they needed to know in that one spot! But it pays to consider each and every page on your website and decide if there is something on there that you want the user to do next. If so, tell them what it is and provide clear navigation for how to get there.

For example, if it’s a landing page that someone has landed on from your latest digital campaign, you probably want them to fill in a form to either contact you, download something or add themselves to your mailing list. Once they submit the form it’s likely they are directed to another page – so if this page is contributing to your bounce rate it means you’re not converting your visitors.

On a page that discusses or decribes your product or service you may just be providing information. That’s OK too, however consider providing a segueway to take them to a related topic to engage them further in your website and your offering. Higher engagement means they’re more likely to think of you when they need your product or service.

There are myriad ways to try and decrease your bounce rate but clear navigation, engaging content and calls to action are my top picks. First and foremost, however, is to decide what function you want each page of your site to perform. Then you’ll have a clear view of what you might want your user to do next.

Got a question or a comment on bounce rate? Let me know in the comments below or contact me here.