So, what is bounce rate?
When a site user leaves your store without visiting another page we give it the ironically cheerful title of ‘bounce rate’, which is measured as a percentage.
Say you have 200 visitors in one day and 50 of those visitors only visit a single page of your site, then your bounce rate is 25%.
One thing to remember about bounce rate is that it is a KPI (key performance indicator). Keep in mind that it’s not a definite signal to failure or success - a high bounce rate does not necessarily decimate your sales. However, it’s good to keep improving your site’s design and layout to improve overall sales.
What is the difference between bounce rate and exit rate?
Browsers who exit your site rather than bounce have a longer, more interactive journey on your site. They will visit multiple pages on your store.
The last page they visit before leaving your store is referred to as the exit page. This metric is useful as you can analyse which pages have a high exit rate and work on improving them.
You can check these stats in Google Analytics and even segment the data by platform, and find out whether it’s mobile, tablet or laptop users that are contributing to exit rates. You can also spot pages that aren’t optimised across all devices.
Why is it important to monitor your bounce rate?
Generally, a high bounce rate indicates that you’re not giving your customers what they want. So, it’s hard to deny that it’s not a valuable metric to track.
Monitoring this number overtime gives you insight into what engages your window shoppers. Does your new layout appeal to them? Can they easily navigate the store and discover what they need? This prevents bottlenecks within the sales funnel.
Ecommerce sites require customers to interact with multiple pages to secure an order. You’re not getting business out of bounce rates (although they may, of course, return to your site).
Each page should give visitors enticing options to interact more with your store. If you get this right, your bounce rate should experience a bounce-back (sorry!)
How to determine a good or bad bounce rate for your eCommerce store
A high bounce rate doesn’t necessarily foreshadow a doomsday for your sales. This rate is dependent on a whole lot of variables: eCommerce niche, the type of page, misleading titles and irrelevant referral links being just a few. For example, the average bounce rate for online fashion stores is 35.52%, as opposed to 44.75% for electronics stores. Why? Electronics generally require more research, meaning a product page might receive several visits before a consumer decides to make a purchase.
The biggest Shopify stores have bounces rates under 40%, and if we zoom out to retailers at large, they experience a similar score of 38%. A ‘good’ benchmark would be 47.5%. For now though, I’d suggest that you focus more on the strategies in this article rather than being fixated on a scoring a low percentage. If your sales are thriving and your bounce rate is at 50%, then it’s not something to keep you up at night!
Information pages such as FAQ pages will often have a high bounce rate. Your users will generally find what they are looking for on this one page, and it is separate to the customer journey. The places you should be monitoring for high bounce rates are pages such as your landing page or product pages.
How to monitor your bounce rate
Now that you’re familiar with bounce rate, it’s important to know how to actually monitor your bounce rate. Below are the steps for tracking your bounce rate in Google Analytics:
- Within Google Analytics, navigate to the Audience Overview dashboard, where you can track the bounce rate for your entire site
- Next, you want to dig a little deeper. So, head to Behaviours > All Pages and you’ll be able to view the Bounce Rate for each individual page
- In the top right-hand corner, you can also set different time frames so you can evaluate how it has changed over time.
What are the causes of a high bounce rate and how do you reduce it?
Page load time
There are two major reasons to work on your store’s loading times:
1. Upgrading your website’s loading speed gets a thumbs up from Google’s search engine results page (SERP)
Although your ranking doesn’t really improve by using this step, failing to do so will cause you to drop down the SERP. So, use this as a chance to get ahead of your competitors!
2. The more time a page takes to load, the more frustrated your user will become
53% of visits are abandoned if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load! Endeavour to improve your site speed so that the customer has a better user experience and can reach the checkout stage with ease.
You can reconfigure your Google Analytics to reduce your bounce rate by incorporating virtual page views into your bounce rate.
You may see this as cheating initially, but let me explain.
It doesn’t artificially inflate your bounce rate but instead acknowledges when customers interact with elements within a single page.
Misleading titles & page summaries
It doesn’t matter whether a user reaches your website via ads or organic searches: if the content on your site isn’t consistent with the info in the ad or the meta description, then the user will become frustrated and often immediately exit your site.
Title tags and meta descriptions should be in tip-top shape to inform both the Google crawlers and people browsing the web exactly what a page contains.
It’s like advertising a fantasy book as chick literature: you’re not reaching your target market. On top of that, you’re managing to annoy those who actually view your content. Another tip is to make sure your meta descriptions are within Google’s required character limit.
It’s not just for marketing purposes that your content should be engaging and easy to understand. Here are some tips for creating quality content for your eCommerce store:
Have engaging and up-to-date content
Your content needs to engaging - this includes both text and images. If your content isn’t valuable to your users, they’ll up and leave. Moreover, users won't be impressed with dated articles and neither will Google’s SEO rankings!
Incorporate internal links
This is an obvious one, but it effectively prolongs your leads’ visits to your store.
Reduce broken links
In these cases, you should attempt to optimise your 404 page so that users can be directed to other areas of your site instead of bouncing. Read our tips on optimising your 404 page here.
Don’t include too many pop-ups
Make sure to use pop-ups cautiously, only when necessary, They tend to annoy users, especially if they clutter the page. If you're interested in incorporating pop-ups into your eCommerce store and need some inspiration, check out this article.
Use readability tests on your content to make sure it’s accurate, flows nicely and conveys its message concisely.
Include graphics and videos that are high quality and add entertainment value to your site’s experience. Here's 5 statistically proven ways that product videos increase conversions.
Browsers who are bored with your content will skim read a few sentences before clicking out. Creating a store that is high quality in both design and content slows the window shopper down and invites them to consider a purchase.
Users should be able to find the information quickly and intuitively. If they can’t, you're effectively letting leads slip through your fingers.
It takes a lot of marketing to get traffic to your site, so don’t let investment in the earlier stages of the sales funnel go to waste because of a chaotic website structure. Your site’s navigation should be easy and intuitive to follow.
You can read more about why navigation is so important here.
Mobile users are even less patient than desktop users, so ensure your site is mobile friendly. To do this, you’ll want to keep the UX structure as simple as you can and test your site’s responsivity.
Want to know more?
If you're looking for more tips and tricks on converting tech know-how into sales for your Shopify store, check out our blog. We’d also love to help you personally or else, you know, you can just bounce right out of here.