Help, My Bounce Rate is High!

At some point in time, you’ll take a look at the analytics package linked to your favorite Joomla website and notice a column named ‘Bounce Rate’. While popular metrics include ‘Visits’, ‘Page views’ or even ‘Pages/Visit’, bounce rate is an often overlooked measure. Assuming you’re not into measuring the bounce rate of a bouncing ball, I am sure I can teach you a thing or two about it.

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is defined by Wikipedia as “a term used in web site traffic analysis. It essentially represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who ‘bounce’ away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.”.

How do you measure bounce rate?

Most popular web analytics packages (such as Google Analytics) track the bounce rate for every tagged page by default. It measures your bounce rate by dividing the ‘total number of visits viewing only one page’ by the ‘total number of visits’. If you’re using custom code to analyze your traffic, don’t forget to exclude bots and crawlers from your data, because they are likely to skew it.

What causes a high bounce rate and how to reduce it?

High bounce rates can be caused by a variety of issues. Several of those are discussed below, with possible solutions presented:

Your website is loading extremely slow

If your website is loading very slow, this will probably cause visitors to abandon it as soon as possible. They simply do not want to have to wait another 10 seconds for the next page to load. The full range of solutions for this problem is outside the scope of this blog, but easy fixes include reducing the amount of Javascript files that are loaded, and reducing the file size (and amount) of images used.

Your website isn’t triggering users to visit other pages

The design of your website might be boring, the content plain, or there aren’t any links showing content in which your visitors might be interested. Solutions on how to reduce your bounce rate in this scenario sound simple (but I know they’re hard): improve the design of your website, write content that is tailored better to your (projected) visitors and show related links or articles.

Your website isn’t offering any options to interact with it

A sure way to reduce the average bounce rate of a web page, is to offer users way to interact with it. For example adding a comment feature under your blog, or a way to present feedback might do the job.

Is my high bounce rate a problem, you might ask?

Well, yes and no. For example the pages on your blog will almost certainly have a higher bounce rate than other pages on your website. This is just the nature of a blog, people will come in with long tail queries (often containing more than four keywords each) and find the information they are looking for, after which they leave. On most other pages of your Joomla website (and especially your landing pages) a high bounce rate is most likely unwanted. Getting your visitors to interact more with your website will most likely result in a more active website and a higher conversion rate, but that is an interesting subject for another blog.

Comments are currently closed.