Google’s definition of a bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Personally, I prefer Avinash Kaushik’s definition of the bounce rate in this YouTube video. He describes the bounce rate as “The Sexiest Metric Ever” while providing the simple definition of the bounce rate as “the experience of your customer.” If your website has a high bounce rate, the experience for the customer may be as follows “I came. I puked. I left.”

Some reasons for a high bounce rate may be that your website attracts the wrong visitors, or the visitors are facing a non user-friendly landing page and are confused with the content facing them, or the landing page takes forever to load, or finally, you may have irrelevant ads in your PPC campaign.

If your website has a high bounce rate, below are 5 ways to help lower the bounce rate and improve the experience for your customers:

1. Have a visually appealing landing page

The design of your website is one of the most important factors. According to the bounce rate, you only have a limited amount of time to attract visitors to stay on your site and view other pages. Try using eye-friendly colours and avoid using animations or pop-ups that may distract users from the content you really want them to see. This reminds me; organize your content so it delivers the message to your visitors properly. Unorganized, scattered content on the page will cause your visitor to be confused and distracted from your message. Thus, leading them to leave your site and increasing that bounce rate of yours.

2. Optimize for the correct keywords

When it comes to SEO, always optimize the pages for relevant keywords. Each page should target 1 or 2 terms. Make sure they have a good keyword density and they appear in the important parts of the page such as the titles and headers. Do not try to trick the users and Google by including unrelated or too generic keywords. Even if you manage to rank first, the users will leave right away and you will increase the bounce rate.

3. Provide User-Friendly Navigation Menus

Your site needs to have a user friendly menu that will allow any visitor to find what they want easily. Try to organize the pages into categories and keep the important pages more than 3 clicks away from the homepage. Suggesting relevant products or services and placing links in strategic places in the text is something worth doing. Try using text links that contain keywords and avoid flash menus.

4. Get Quality Back-links to your website

Try to get some strong links pointing to your page. Make sure they contain the correct anchor text. You can lure other webmasters to link to your pages by placing good content in your pages (interesting texts, a free service, start a clever marketing campaign etc). Try to avoid link exchange as in most of the cases one of the 2 linkers loses more Page Rank than the other.

5. Study your Analytics Report

The Dashboard of your Google Analytics report provides the overall bounce rate of your website. However, study in depth the different pages and traffic sources to your site to truly understand why you may have a high bounce rate. In terms of SEO, I suggest viewing the Search Engine Traffic report to see how well your website is doing in terms of providing visitors what they are searching for. If your bounce rate is high for Search Engine visitors, review the search terms that were used to find your site and review the 4 previous tips to see how you can improve your bounce rate.

Improving your bounce rate means improving your customer satisfaction which can lead to conversions.

Take some time to understand the “Sexiest Metric Ever” and it could help out in the long-term of your website.