Understanding Your Bounce Rate
Google Analytics is a crucial tool for anyone with a website. There is an almost unlimited about of data you can extract from your analytics account and your bounce rate is a great place to start. Navigate to your Audience tab before selecting Overview.
There's a lot of information out there about what a bounce rate is and what it stands for, yet depending on the purpose of your website, a high bounce rate doesn't always equate to a redesign. Read through the following to determine exact how to understand your bounce rate and how you can utilise this data for long-term goals on your website.
What a Bounce Rate Represents
According to Google directly, a bounce rate is the percentage of single page view visit to a website. This is typically true, but it also can easily be labelled a single interaction to a website page (yes, any page, not just your designated home page.)
Determining a Good Bounce Rate
There's no set rule or amount of page 'bounces' that define a good bounce rate. It could be anywhere from 20% - 70% and depending on who you speak to, the range to try and aim for varies. For example, if your website is a blog or portfolio, your audience could simply be returning to your page to see if you've recently published something new. That might result in a high bounce rate, which might spook a marketer, but it could mean nothing.
Another example of a high bounce rate could be that your home page has a high number of external links - to your social media, an off-site shopping cart or even a separate website. Consider what kind of content is on your website and what your audience could be engaging with before thinking your bounce rate is too high.
Check Your Browser and Devices
It's worth remembering that while your website might look great on an iPhone, it might look terrible on a desktop with Firefox. Take the time to check how your website looks across all devices and browsers. For Squarespace users, when you're logged into your site, click 'Design' and hover near the top of your page. A little arrow will appear and allow you to see your website on a mobile, tablet and desktop device. While this isn't a flawless system, it's a good starting point for assessing any design issues that might be causing a higher bounce ratw.
Reduce Your Bounce Rate with Simple Changes
There are a few key steps most websites can take to reducing their overall bounce rate, starting with a few simple changes. Focus on your links within your website to other pages. This could be older or related blog posts, similar projects or industries you've worked in - find connections between your post and pages and link those within your more recent content, driving your audience backwards and still on your website.
For publishers: utilise the summary block on Squarespace within your blog posts to ensure visitors can see blog posts that are similar by selecting relevant categories and tags. This is a great idea for any full-time bloggers or for businesses that have begun publishing useful information for their customers. Publishers have a real upper hand when it comes to bounce rates - if you've got the content, make sure it's consistently back-linked and viewed.
For service based businesses: a similar outcome can be achieved while using the summary block. You don't have to use the blog function - create a gallery showcasing your work and embed back links within those images. You can then establish this gallery on more recent pages and point perspective clients back to projects that might spike their interest.
For product/e-commerce businesses: it's typical for homepages/landing pages of online stores to be recent products, yet you can still take advantage of your new visitors by opting to promote specific collections and categories rather than just new items, especially if you're not updating as frequently as you'd like.
Any of the above suggestions can be tracked and recorded within your Google Analytics account, leading you to determine if these efforts are worthy of your time.
Scanning your website frequently for broken links to re-direct is a step anyone can regularly access and review. Re-direct broken/lost links using your URL mappings within your Squarespace site to ensure any current back links actually go somewhere.
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