Increasing Revenue by Decreasing Bounce Rate

Decreasing Bounce Rate

Just the sound of it - bounce rate - tells you most of what you need to know about this website statistic. Essentially, people are finding your website, only to bounce right back off.

There are differing interpretations of bounce rate. In an article named A Web Analytics Primer - What Does It All Mean?, Jordan Louis defines it as follows: "The percentage of visitors who have accessed a website, loaded only one page, and then left.")

Each page on your site will have a bounce rate and an exit rate. The difference is that when people bounce, they enter through a page and leave through the same page without having visited any other pages. Exit rate measures the percentage of departures from that page, even if the visitor entered the website from a different site and clicked on other pages prior to leaving; they just happened to exit from that particular page.

For example, say someone finds your site's homepage, looks around a few seconds, but clicks away to another website; that's a bounce. But if someone else finds your homepage, clicks on your "About Us" page, and then clicks back to your homepage before exiting, that's not a bounce, it's just an exit.

Bounce rate is the single greatest Web Metric for measuring the quality of your content, accuracy of your messaging, and effectiveness of your value proposition. If someone won't even take two seconds to click on one of your links, something is wrong with your message. Your content could either be confusing, misleading, or untargeted, meaning the person is wasting time by staying on your site - something Web users have little patience for.

To show you how important bounce rate is in terms of revenue, let's take two websites selling the same thing. They get the same number of visitors and have the same conversion rate. The only differentiator is the bounce rate.

The typical bounce rate is between 50 and 60 percent. Let's say Site A has a bounce rate of 60 percent. That means that for every 1,000 visitors, only 400 of them are sticking around to see what the site has to offer. Typical conversion rates are between 2 and 4 percent, so of those 400 visitors, between 8 and 16 people will make some kind of purchase. If Site A's average purchase price is $500, the business is generating $4,000 to $8,000 every month in revenue opportunity.

A quick note before we move on: If you compare these typical conversion rates with your own Google Analytics data and you're not seeing between 2 and 4 percent or you're on the low end of that range, you need to take a hard look at your value proposition.

Now, on with our example: Avinash Kaushik, the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google and a friend of mine, says you should have a goal of a 30 percent bounce rate. Let's say Site B has this 30 percent bounce rate, meaning it retains 700 of 1,000 visitors. Keeping in mind the 2 to 4 percent conversion rate, Site B boasts a revenue opportunity between $7,000 and $14,000. That's a whopping 42 percent increase in revenue! Over the course of a year, that translates to up to $180,000 from simply reducing bounce rate.

In working with clients, we focus on three main areas that impact this vital Metric.

1. Complete Our XYZ Exercise

I learned this message-targeting exercise from my friend and mentor, Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine and member of our Predictive ROI board of advisors. Ask yourself what you're uniquely qualified to provide and who you're providing it for. Fill in the blanks of this XYZ statement: We do ____(x)_____ for _______(y)______ so they can ______(z)_____. To help visitors immediately self-select as prospects, post this statement on the left side of your homepage above the fold. (People read left to right, and only about 10 percent of visitors will read below the fold.)

2. Eliminate Visual Clutter

Start with your homepage and limit the images, graphics, copy, links, and offers to three main items. Do the same with all content pages. A recent Harvard Business Review article reported that more choices for consumers led to inaction. Keep all graphics and copy related to the main goal of that particular page.

3. Create A Clear Call To Action

Each page should show the visitor what to do next, such as Download Free eBook, Sign Up For The Newsletter, or Buy Now. Including steps in the process (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc.) also makes the visitor feel safe and assisted.

By following these three simple steps, you can reduce your bounce rate by 20 percent or more, meaning more visitors will find your content and site valuable. After that, you'll only have to convince them to stick around long enough to buy.

Online Behavior © 2012