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If You’re Not Converting Well, Check Your Bounce Rate

E-commerce is soaring in the Land Down Under. Australia now makes it to the top ten biggest markets in the world. This year, it might grow by nearly 9 percent.

The pandemic only increased the demand—and enhanced the value—of online marketplaces. GlobalData revealed that the health crisis could increase the industry’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by over 10 percent from 2020 to 2024.

So if your online business has not been taking off the way you like it, it is probably high time to get to the root cause. Look into the analytics and see if the primary issue is the bounce rate.

What Is Bounce Rate?

People don’t buy stuff online immediately. Instead, they go through a sales funnel, each stage having a corresponding objective.

For example, the first part of the funnel, which has the biggest opening, is usually about raising awareness of the brand, product, or service. A business’s primary goal at this point is prospecting.

As the lead goes through the deeper part of the funnel, the opening narrows down. This means that only the most qualified leads go through the succeeding phases, including sales and repeat buying.

Because every stage has its objective, marketing strategies can also vary. For instance, landing pages can work on all levels, but the content and web design are different.

However, you’ll never really know if your marketing efforts at every level are working if you don’t perform analytics.

Bounce rate is one of the performance metrics of a website. As defined by Google, it refers to the percentage of visitors who leave the site after a single-page session. In layman’s terms, the Internet user sees the page and immediately closes or leaves it right away.

Often, people confuse it with exit rate because they seem to refer to similar mechanisms. Exit rates, though, are calculated by considering the percentage of visitors who leave a site from one page. To illustrate:

  • A bounce rate is when the Internet user opens page A and then leaves.
  • An exit rate happens when the Internet user clicks on page A, then goes to pages B, C, D, etc., before they eventually close it.

You Can’t Avoid Bounce Rate

The heading is true: to dream that you can have a zero bounce rate is impossible. However, you can consider the industry standard, which is between 40 and 55 percent. If you can achieve a rate that’s below 40 percent, then you’re doing extremely well.

But studies also show that bounce rates can differ across industries. For example, landing pages seem to have the highest bounce rates, which can go as high as 90 percent. The same goes for blogs. Bounce rates are the lowest when links are referred through e-mail.

Google also said that having a high bounce rate doesn’t have to immediately mean it’s bad, but it also strongly encourages you to keep your percentage low.

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How to Lower Your Bounce Rate

While you cannot avoid having a bounce rate, you can lower the percentage. Here are some two best ideas:

1. Pay Attention to Your Web Design

One of the common reasons people leave the page is speed. Some studies suggest that an Internet user has an attention span of only 8 seconds. Google, meanwhile, recommends that the site’s download speed should not be over 3 seconds.

But many factors can slow down a site, and often, they are related to design. These can include unoptimized images, caching issues, and poorly written scripts. A company specializing in web development and web design can perform an audit to identify if the core problem is the design.

2. Provide Excellent Content

In 2002, Consumer Reports released a paper called ‘A Matter of Trust.’ In the survey, about 80 percent of the respondents considered trusting the site as one of the deciding factors to visit the page.

Over 60 percent wanted the website to contain updated information, while 50 percent said they should find valuable and important facts on the pages.

The need for verifiable, accurate information is one of the reasons long-form content sells these days. In one of the case studies, content that runs for not fewer than 700 words had a conversion rate of over 30 percent.

Long content works because marketers can provide information in different formats, such as infographics. These are shareable media. It can also boost the credibility of the data as one can add expert opinions and social proof.

All websites will have a bounce rate, but marketers can see that it doesn’t hurt the bottom line: conversion and profitability.