The bounce rate is one of the most closely tracked engagement metrics. At first glance, it appears to be one of the easiest to read. This is because the bounce rate refers to how many visitors are leaving your page without engaging with it.
The issue is that many businesses assume that any kind of bounce rate is bad when, in reality, the average bounce rate is in the double digits. In fact, if the bounce rate is non-existant or incredibly low, businesses will often take this as a good sign and move on -- which is often a mistake. On top of this, even if there is an abnormally high bounce rate, many companies don’t know what’s causing this or how they can fix it.
High Percentage Of Bounce Rate
So what exactly does it mean if you have an abnormally high bounce rate? More often than not, it’s a technical issue. Visitors who arrive on your page and leave almost immediately without engaging in any way (meaning, they don’t click on any of your links or social buttons) are often doing so because something is prohibiting them from engaging.
However, it is important to understand that just because a visitor isn’t clicking on things doesn’t mean they’re not engaged. They may read your content thoroughly before leaving. If the content had a good effect on them, they may return to your site on a later date. This can happen more often than you realize and your bounce rate doesn’t reflect this. However, you can add a time minimum to your bounce rate so that it does take this type of engagement into account. For example, you may still see it as a success if a visitor spends more than two minutes on your page even if they don’t click on any links. By setting a time minimum, you can omit such instances from affecting your bounce rate.
Of course, if your bounce rate remains high, then you likely have some other issues you’ll need to address. The general rule of thumb is that if your page has a bounce rate that’s higher than 70 percent, then you have a serious issue that needs to be investigated. The following are a few of the main offenders when it comes to a high bounce rate:
Too Many Pop Ups
Pop ups, whether they’re in the form of ads or opt-in requests, can be effective when used sparingly and properly targeted; however, too many pop ups can annoy visitors to the point where they’ll just leave your page. Consider setting your popups to show up after a certain amount of time (such as after 60 or 80 seconds), this way, the visitor will have had some time to engage with your page instead of being bombarded by pop ups the moment they arrive.
Your visitors will only have a certain amount of patience when it comes to loading times. If your page takes more than two to three seconds to load, they won’t wait around. Not only will you be losing potential leads this way, but there’s a good chance that they’ll visit a competing website instead. Test the loading speed of your pages to ensure that this won’t be a problem.
Change Social Buttons
If visitors are reading your content but aren’t engaging, it may be because there’s not a whole lot for them to engage with. They may not be ready to click on your CTA right away, after all. Add social buttons, if you haven’t already, to encourage visitors to engage. Make it easy for them to like, share, or comment on your content through the social media channel of their choice -- and make it easy for them to find your business on social media as well.
If you notice a lack of interaction with your social buttons, you may need to change their positioning -- it could simply be because your visitors don’t see them. In some cases, the page may seem too cluttered as a result of your social buttons. The best solution in both of these instances is to use a floating social bar.
Categorize Your Sidebar
The sidebar can be a very effective way to encourage visitors to engage further. Sidebars contain content that is secondary to your main content. You can add a lot of different content to your sidebar, but if you want to encourage engagement, we recommend categorizing your sidebar. Adding links to relevant categories relating to the page’s primary content will encourage visitors to explore related content.
Absolutely Tiny Bounce Rate
Any bounce rate in the single digits should be viewed suspiciously. There will always be visitors who leave your page without engaging, even if you addressed all potential technical issues. Some visitors will read or scan your content and realize it wasn’t what they were looking for (or, in some cases, just didn’t like what they read). As such, if your bounce rate is less than 10 percent, then there’s something wrong. If you have a particularly low or non-existent bounce rate, it could be a result of the following issues:
Check for Multiple Instances of the Tags
Each page should be tagged only once with a Google Analytics tracking code. If a page is tagged twice, it could cause a 0 percent bounce rate. You can check for multiple tags by looking at your real-time reports on Google Analytics or by using the tag assistant chrome extension. You can easily remove extra tags by logging into Google Tag Manager.