It’s interesting that within online marketing, there are two types of bounce rates – email bounce rates and web bounce rates. An email bounce means that the email never made it to the destination and is bounced back to the sender. A web site bounce is someone who landed on the page but doesn’t navigate any further – they leave.
Google’s Bounce Rate Definition
Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.
Bounce rate is generally viewed as a measurement that is indicative of a visitor’s engagement on the page. When advertisers are looking for sites to engage customers on, they generally look for sites with low bounce rates… but they need to be very careful.
Cheating Your Bounce Rate
If a second click is registered on a visit on a landing page, there is no bounce. This can be done artificially (and quite simply) by adding a pageview event with your analytics that captures additional data. Want your bounce rate to go down? Register an additional page click. Cheating? Sure it is… it’s nonsense but some people do it so they can send over the analytics data and snow the advertiser.
A second means of artificially lowering your bounce rate is to simply break up your post into multiple pages. If a person has to click through 6 pages to read an entire article, you succeeded in lowering your bounce rate AND increasing your pageviews. Again, this is a tactic to increase your advertising rates without adding any value or effort to your site.
I believe both of these techniques are shams and I don’t recommend either. I recognize that there are times when breaking up posts or registering additional pageview data can be helpful to both your readers or your analytics – but most people use these techniques to simply help increase their stats artificially to charge more money.
Improving Your Bounce Rate
If you’d like to lower your bounce rate effectively, there are a few ways I would recommend:
- Write great content that is relevant to what your audience is searching for. Utilize keywords effectively by doing some research on what keywords are drawing traffic to your site, then utilize them in your page titles, post titles, post-slugs, and content.
- Utilize internal links within your content. If your audience got to your site for a specific search – but the content doesn’t match – having some links to topics that are related can help retain your readers.
- Auto-generate related posts based on tagging or keywords. For my blog, I utilize the WordPress Related Posts plugin and it does a great job of providing a list of additional posts that are related to the tags you utilized for your current post.
If you wish to provide quality content to your readers and quality prospects to your advertisers, don’t cheat. Writing great content and providing great relevant links are the right way to get and keep traffic on your page.