Why Bounce Rate Can Help SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 04, 2016

Arguably the most under-valued metric for any search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is the so-called bounce rate of the website. This is the number of single-page visits on your website, or how often someone visited just one page before exiting the site. The rate can be found in Google Analytics reports.

Where should a business focus their SEO campaigns for 2016? The bounce rate might just the go-to metric here.

Reducing Bounce Rate

Sometimes, it can be difficult to reduce the bounce rate of a website, while other times it can be an effortless endeavor. As with everything else, all websites are different. For example, the desired process for an e-commerce site will be different from improving blog numbers. In fact, it is possible that bounce rates are not calculated the same across categories of websites.

Google may well follow certain footprints, categorizing websites to adjust the bounce rate based on what is expected for a certain industry. While there’s no way to get the specifics of this part of the algorithm, there are several ways you can decrease the bounce rate and get your visitors clicking and taking action.

Avoid low-value keywords
If you’re getting traffic from channels that have nothing to do with your service, then chances are good that the visitors will bounce as soon as they see how irrelevant your website is to their interests. Consider where you’re getting your traffic and either adjust or abort the campaign.

Create a satisfying landing page
If the traffic is coming from a relevant source, then your landing page might not be answering the question that brought the visitor to your website in the first place. In this case, they’re going to quickly bounce too. For example, visitors seeking “London SEO company” aren’t interested in a generalized SEO practices page.

Create digestible content
Even if the landing page answers the question, people will bounce if it takes too long to get to the meat of the content. Even if some users want to visit your website and read the content later, they’re more likely to bookmark it, return and read the content later, further adjusting the bounce rate. Because of this, it’s a much better idea to opt for content that can easily be digested or processed in the span of a few short minutes. Lengthier pages are for invested readers.

Introduce a relevant call to action for the landing page
Visitors will also bounce from your website if you don’t have a sufficient call to action. Whether it’s a button, video, link, banner or some other object that the visitor is meant to interact with, having an irrelevant call to action that doesn’t appeal to the visitor won’t be effective.

When it comes to organic searches, this call to action might be in the meta description or in the title tag. In Google AdWords and similar paid searches, this might include keywords in the ad copy. In all cases, it’s critical to point to the right page.

To provide an example, a banner ad might compel users to “download a free business ebook now” and lead users to a home page rather than the sales page. If this happens, the user won’t know where to get their free book and will instead bounce, assuming that the download does not exist. The promise needs to be fulfilled; be sure your links are correct to reduce bounce rate.

No matter what kind of SEO campaign you’re running, knowing the bounce rate can give you an idea of where your campaign could be failing. By taking advantage of these tips and reducing your bounce rate, you may notice an improvement in conversions on your site.