Bounce rate is a marketing metric that measures the percentage of people who land on a website and do nothing on the page they’ve entered, often leaving within seconds. For example, if you have an eCommerce site, a visitor may come across your website, not click on any other links or respond to any further calls-to-action, and exit within seconds. Simply put: Google describes a bounce as “a single-page session” on a website.
Marketers tend to interpret this metric as an indication of whether a page provides what potential customers are looking for and use it to assess the quality of the audience who visits. To Google, high bounce rates mean low-quality web pages. As marketers, we translate that to signify one of two things; either the visitor didn’t find what they were searching for, or the website was too difficult to navigate, AKA poorly designed.
Let’s take a look at why bounce rates matter, how they’re calculated, and what you can do to improve yours.
To calculate the bounce rate for eCommerce, divide the total number of one-page visits with the total number of entries to a website. For example, if you received 150 clicks and 50% of those bounced, then your bounce rate would be 30% (it’s always worked out as a percentage.) While that’s the theory, no one actually works it out manually.
Most marketers let Google Analytics do the math. It will give you each page’s bounce rate as well as your site-wide bounce rate and the time visitors spend on your eCommerce store. However, you can’t review bounce rates in isolation. If you notice the average time users spend on your site is high, and your bounce rate is also high, it may indicate your target audience has achieved what they want to without having to explore further. Only when low visitor engagement is coupled with a high bounce rate should you have cause for concern.
(Marketing Tip: Don’t get confused between bounce rate and exit rate. Exit rate looks at the number of people who exit your website after landing on a page and compares it to the total number of views the page received. Pages with the highest exit rates need the most improvement)
The average bounce rate is between 26% and 70%, with 26% to 40% being the optimal range. Generally, landing below 20% isn’t very likely, so if your data shows that, you should double-check your website for mistakes. For mobile devices, it generally is at 49%, with tablets and laptops close behind at 42% and 45%. Below are benchmark averages according to Google, published by HubSpot.
However, these averages aren’t a paint-by-number. Ideal bounce rates vary from industry to industry. eCommerce bounce rates will be different from news sites, for instance. Think about it: Online store visitors are much like customers in a store. They’ll browse through items. Once they find the specific information or product they’re looking for, they’ll leave, either with or without making a purchase.
On the other hand, a news site might experience a far higher bounce rate as visitors scroll through a page to get a gist of the headlines and may not even click on any article to read. This is because a visitor’s intention to a news site or publication is entirely different and usually culminates in a single-page session.
Breaking down and understanding different bounce rates will help you understand your visitors’ intent and why your site’s performance didn’t meet their expectations.
A hard bounce rate is when visitors have no interest in your web page at all. Upon entering a landing page, they will leave immediately, with no time spent scrolling or clicking on any of your call-to-actions. When hard bounce rates occur, we assume visitors have landed on eCommerce sites accidentally. For instance, they might search “buy bat” on Google and land on a page about flying mammals instead of a baseball bat.
This is when visitors show slightly more engagement across a single page and stay a few seconds before leaving. They have the potential to return and explore further. For example, let’s say a user is searching for something general like “home decor,” they may browse your site and then leave if your products aren’t appealing to them.
If a visitor lands on a web page and stays for more than just a few seconds, scrolling down the page, clicking on links to other pages, and reading the information, but they don’t follow through on calls-to-action, they’re considered a soft bounce. Spending a decent amount of time on a web page indicates interest and the potential for re-engagement. Often, they’ve stumbled upon the right site but just can’t find what they want.
Bounce rate tip: Unless a website’s bounce rate is highly problematic, you’d generally tend to ignore hard bounces as these visitors have no intention of browsing through your online store in the first place.
If your page level bounce rate is higher than your industry’s, it may be due to one of these common causes. However, it’s always advisable to evaluate bounce rates in the context of your eCommerce store.
Meeting customer expectations is vital. If there’s a mismatched expectation on eCommerce sites, visitors will leave. This can happen because your paid advertising for a specific offer is linked to a generic home page and not the product advertised. Sometimes, this isn’t a mistake, and companies mislead users with meta titles and descriptions that don’t match with what their pages are actually about. This type of dishonest marketing and should be avoided, as it won’t ever yield fruitful results.
An eCommerce website must be designed for users to find what they are looking for in as few clicks as possible. If product pages are challenging to find, you’ll likely lose many potential customers. Including a search bar and a clear navigational structure will improve engagement, especially if your website offers a variety of products or services. eCommerce stores like IKEA and Superbalist are good examples.
In addition to altering menu structures, you may also need to improve the quality of graphics, copy and modify text and font size spacing. Removing pop-up ads and other heavy data can also reduce the bounce rate. This is particularly pertinent for mobile users, where pop-ups can block the entire screen. A/B testing to correct poor site navigation can help you determine exactly what changes to make to improve your bounce rate.
There’s too much to mention when it comes to website optimization. If you’re new to eCommerce, it’s probably best to familiarize yourself with the basics. It’s common practice for companies to hire digital marketing companies to help optimize their websites and ensure they’re following best practices, as the process can be intricate.
When a website is poorly optimized, it may have slow loading pages that directly impact bounce rate. According to Google, two seconds is the “threshold for eCommerce website acceptability.” As soon as a page load time surpasses three seconds, the bounce rapidly increases to 38%. Slow site speed also negatively affects a page’s rank on Google search engine results. Therefore, addressing this issue can resolve two marketing challenges at once and create a positive customer experience.
When new visitors arrive at a website, they should be promoted to do something, whether it’s to learn more about a company’s offerings or to shop the discounted section. Well-designed CTAs don’t just reduce bounce rates; they also increase conversions. Once visitors have gone through the page they landed on; you should be guiding them to actions you think are optimal to nudge them further down their customer journey.
A good call to action is seamless; it leads a visitor towards doing something without them having to think too much about it. For example, if a potential customer stumbles upon your site via a Google search, that’s great because it increases your traffic. But, it’s even better if they make an unplanned purchase. This is the power of a good call to action.
Once you know what the average bounce rate for your industry is, you can use these tactics below to achieve more positive results.
Before you do anything, you should double-check your analytics tool is correctly configured. If Google Analytics is not set up properly, it will not capture a bounced visit on your website, giving you a false read that’s either too high or low. Always check the tracking code, goals and events, and any plug-ins. With Google Analytics, you can test traffic and review a real-time report to verify everything works.
The best way to convert medium bounces rates to soft bounce rates or even paying customers is to hook visitors with top deals and discounts. It’s even better if there’s a time limit attached. You can do this via pop-ups or ad banners on your website. This tactic works very well to convert potential customers who do comparison shopping, provided your deal is better than your competitors.
First coined in 1970, choice overload is a cognitive impairment in which people have a hard time deciding when faced with too many options. The same logic applies to product pages and website design. If you want people to stay on your website and ultimately convert, the design must be simple with a clear CTA. In addition, you should have a clear checkout button and key information about product specs and shipping rates.
The less work your visitors have to do to get what they want, the longer they’ll stick around. Page design in terms of balancing graphics, copy, headings, and margins make pages easy to read. Don’t overwhelm them with weighty paragraphs and too many images. Some ways to make content less intimidating may include; appropriately using headings and subheadings, selecting suitable images, and using bulleted lists.
Your website can have the best content and user experience, but you won’t get the appropriate response if you’re targeting the wrong kind of visitors. Understanding your target audience and utilizing the keywords they use to search the internet will translate into high traffic potential and quality leads. Remember, the most successful keywords have high transactions user intent. Doing keyword research will reveal which keywords are best for your industry and website.
65% of users block websites with too many ads, autoplay content, and pop-ups. Auto-play videos that start the moment a website opens can be highly annoying to users and stop them from further exploring your product’s services, increasing your bounce rate. This is exactly why ad blockers exist! There’s nothing wrong with advertising, so long as it’s cohesive and fits in with your website’s design. Banner ads displayed along the top, sides, or bottom of websites tend to be kindly viewed upon.
When reviewed in context with other marketing KPIs, bounce rates can illustrate where and how to bring value to your eCommerce website and landing pages. An eCommerce bounce rate is one of the many metrics that can help you determine how well your website is delivering on your marketing and business goals.
Improving bounce rates takes time and hard work, of which you have to do neither if you hire qualified professionals to do the job. Comrade Digital Marketing Agency offers comprehensive digital marketing services from web development to marketing to convert leads into sales. We are recognized as a leading digital marketing agency with a robust track record; we can decrease your bounce rate and much more! Learn more about our extensive marketing services here.
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