The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization
Chapter 7: Reducing Bounce and Exit Rates
Your site is up and your product is out there for the world to see. Before you know it, you have visitors trickling in to see what you have to offer.
Despite the depths of the Internet and the billions of pages offered, users are arriving at your website and then without any explanation—they’re leaving.
They come and then they go, maybe after a minute, maybe even less. After all of the hours you’ve put in, the majority of your visitors aren’t staying around long enough to get past your landing page. Many of them visit once and never return.
Do not immediately move through the five steps of grief; in this chapter we’re going to go over some ways to change this trend for the better.
In Chapter 1, we touched briefly on your Bounce and Exit Rates. In this chapter we’ll look at these numbers in much more detail.
First, let’s review those key terms.
Your Bounce Rate is the number of visitors who leave your website after visiting a single page. Each page has its own bounce rate, but initially you probably want to address look at the bounce rates for three pages:
The higher your bounce rate, the lower your percentage of engaged users. Your bounce rate can be affected by your page but also by the quality of the traffic coming to your site.
All of the following ways of leaving your site constitute a bounce:
An Exit Rate is specific to each page; it’s the percentage of people who leave after viewing the page. Your exit rate lets you know the last page that users view before they move on. A very high exit rate on a specific page can be a red flag.
For example, if your product tour page that details the benefits of what you sell has one of the highest exit rates, you are likely not connecting the true value of your product with your visitors.
This is where your analytics come in. We touched briefly on analytics in Chapters 1 and 4, and we’ll discuss them in much more detail in Chapter 9, but for the sake of our discussion of bounce rates, we’re going to mention them again. They are that important.
A basic analytics report will give you an overall bounce rate, with options to dig deeper and find out the bounce rates for individual pages. In Google Analytics, you’ll find this by going to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.
But how do you find your bounce rate?
Once you have a grasp of what your bounce rate is, it’s time to figure out why visitors aren’t sticking around in the first place.
Your toolbox for determining what’s causing your high bounce rate contains many of same tools we discussed in Chapter 4. Again, we’ll discuss these at length in Chapter 9, but the basics are as follows.
Chapter 7 Notes
Now, lets take another look at the above issues:
Here are some of the most common culprits:
YOUR WEBSITE IS UNATTRACTIVE
When a user arrives at your website, is he or she greeted with a simple, easy-to-navigate site? Or is the user bogged down with pop-up ads, dated graphics and a disorganized layout? Your goal is to provide exactly what they are looking for. If any visual element of your site stands in the way of this, you are creating friction and friction kills conversion.
YOUR WEBSITE IS UNUSABLE OR LACKS NAVIGATION