Most website owners have some sort of analytics tracking installed on their website but I find they do not look at the results regularly and quite often they don’t really understand what they mean.
In this article I am going to examine a couple important search engine results and what they mean for your website.
Visits vs. Unique Visitors
Visits (or sessions) is the number of times people have visited your site. Unique visitors are the number of people that have visited your site.
An individual may visit your site 5 times in a month and all 5 of those sessions will be counted in your Visits total. However, that same individual will only be counted once towards your unique visitor total.
Sometimes I find that site owners focus too much on the number of visits or unique visitors to their site and judge their success on the how high this number is. A high amount of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean a successful website.
You could have 1 million visitors but they are invisible unless they are talking action by buying from you, or contacting you for your services.
Of course, you want more traffic but ideally you want targeted traffic that is interested in your products or services. Once of the best indicators of the type of traffic you are getting is the bounce rate.
What is Bounce Rate?
Very simply, bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that only view a single-page (or single event trigger) during their session. Some examples of a “bounce” are:
- A visitor lands on your homepage, looks it over and leaves your site without taking any further action.
- A visitor arrives on a page of your site from a link in social media or from a friend. They read that page and then leave the site without taking any further action.
- A Customer arrives on your site, finds your telephone number and then calls you.
As a website owner you should be looking for a low bounce rate. Of course not all bounces are bad (for example #3 above) but you should have a pretty good idea if your phone has been ringing off the hook! In most cases, a high bounce rate is a very good indicator that it is time to make some changes on your site as you need to find a way to get your web visitors engaging with your or site content more.
What Causes a High Bounce Rate?
Here are a few reasons websites experience a high bounce rate:
- Search phrases for the site are not really relevant to the actual site – In this case site visitors arrive at your site expecting one type of content and find something different, so they leave.
- Layout & Navigation – your website layout or navigation may be distracting or confusing. Site visitors may not be able to find what they are looking for, so they leave.
- No Call to action – Your website doesn’t seem to serve a purpose. Web visitors don’t take further action because you haven’t asked them to! What action do you want visitors to do on your site? Shop, subscribe, contact you…
- Too many options –Your website is too overwhelming and your visitors don’t know where to begin.
How to Improve a High Bounce Rate?
- Related content – Increase the number of internal links on your site by linking to other related content.
- Redesign your homepage to make it more effective with a clear call to action
- Add more navigation in your sidebar to popular content.
- Improve your content
- Create targeted landing pages for web advertisements. If your visitors are landing on your homepage when they clicked on your Pay Per Click advertisement for Contact Lenses, they are likely to bounce. Take them directly to your information on contact lenses.
Do you have other suggestions on how to improve your bounce rate? Share them with me!