If the bounce rate in an online shop increases, this may have many reasons. However, one thing is for sure: if visitors leave an online shop without browsing further, this has a negative effect on the conversion rate. A high bounce rate in online shops is also usually accompanied by low user satisfaction. It becomes clear that the bounce rate is an important key figure for online merchants.
What are the reasons for high bounce rates and how do online merchants reduce bounce rates? We will answer these questions in this blog post.
What is the bounce rate?
But first, let’s talk about the importance of this KPI for your online shop. To understand what exactly is so important about the bounce rate and why you as a shop owner should reduce the bounce rate, let’s take a look at what Google says about the KPI:
“A bounce is a visit to a single page on your website. In Google Analytics, a bounce is counted as a session in which only a single request is triggered to the Analytics server, such as when a user visits a single page on your website and then leaves the page without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server for that session.”
Thus, the bounce rate measures the percentage of website visitors who have accessed a page and left it again without accessing another sub-page. A visitor comes to a page and bounces off again – like a ball bouncing off a wall.
A bounce can take place in several ways: Clicking on the back button in the browser, closing the tab, calling up an external link or manually entering another URL.
What bounce rate is “normal”?
A clear answer to this question is not easy and cannot be given as a general rule. As already mentioned, visitors can also be very satisfied with the content of a website without calling up another one. Therefore, it depends above all on the goals you are pushing with the page and the content. With a purely informational page, visitors get everything they need to know and leave the page again. Despite the high bounce rate, everything that was searched for was found.
A high bounce rate is also normal on landing pages with the goal of an action, such as downloading a white paper, signing up for an email list or buying a product.
The situation is different, however, if the landing page is intended to encourage visitors to browse the online shop. If many visitors bounce in this context and the bounce rate is high, they do not seem to find what they are looking for and the content offered is probably not relevant enough. It is then recommended to analyse the reasons for the high bounce rate and to take measures to reduce the bounce rate.
Every well set up online shop has different pages that serve specific purposes. Neil Patel, one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the US and a top marketer, provides some values for orientation:
- For simple landing pages, the average bounce rate is 70% to 90%.
- Service pages, such as FAQs and guides, show an average bounce rate of 10% to 30%.
- Content pages with high visibility in search engines show an average bounce rate of 40-60%.
- Sales pages with targeted traffic have a bounce rate of 20-40%.
What are the reasons for high bounce rates?
If you have a page that should lead to further interactions with other pages, it is important to improve the bounce rate. In the first step, this means looking at why visitors leave the page without going to another page. There are different reasons why there is a high bounce rate in online shops. In the following, we have taken a look at the most important ones:
Content without additional value
A customer comes to a page with a certain expectation. Either because he is looking for something specific or because the information in the search results has made him interested. If they do not find any added value on the page or if the content does not meet the expectations from the search query, it can quickly happen that they classify the entire shop as irrelevant and leave.
If the visitor does not know how to get to the next page or what awaits him at which point, the risk increases that he will leave the page without calling up another page. It is simply not clear what happens next. Therefore, users can quickly be overwhelmed, which is a conversion killer in e-commerce.
Long loading times
One of the main K.O. points why a website is closed again is a too long loading time. Most internet users today hardly have the patience to wait long for a page to load. With a delay of just 2 seconds, the conversion rate drops by more than 36%.
Too much advertising
When visitors come to a site, it is important that they can also engage with the content without being distracted. If intrusive advertising has to be clicked away directly in order to get to the actual content, or if advertising banners are too distracting, the chances are high that the user will leave the page annoyed. The assumption is obvious that all the other pages do not look any better either.
Automatic sound and video
Most visitors find automatically starting videos or audios when visiting a website annoying. It is better to let them decide for themselves at what time they want to consume which content. In addition, it can put the customer himself in an embarrassing situation if he has forgotten to turn off the sound and is currently at work or in a library, for example. No online merchants wants to be remembered in such a bad way.
Missing mobile version
Optimisation for mobile versions, whether with Responsive Design or an app, is absolutely necessary today. More and more people surf and shop via smartphone or tablet. Not only a high bounce rate in online shops is the result, but also Google punishes pages that are not mobile accessible.
Required login before access
Many users jump straight off if they first have to register for something or even pay for it without being convinced first. They want to have the chance to check content for relevance and quality. In addition, the barrier to entering data is very high. A high bounce rate is the result.
The website design
The design, structure and readability of the content on the website must be user-friendly and convincing with a corporate design. A user-friendly, stylish website that is adapted to the target group makes a positive first impression and sets itself apart from the competition. A harmonious overall design makes you want more and arouses interest. Remember: the competition is only a click away.
If the content is no longer up-to-date or is not updated, it is often not only new customers who will leave the site again. There is also a risk that you will lose existing customers, as they will not find any updates and thus leave the site again directly.
Hands-On Tips: 10 tips to reduce bounce rate
Now we have looked at some reasons for high bounce rates in online shops. But how can the bounce rate be reduced? With these 10 tips, many of your visitors are guaranteed to click through to your online shop.
1. Improve the readability of the content
If a user comes to a page that has articles and text in an easy-to-read font, a good size and a clear structure, this will reduce the bounce rate. A good first impression that immediately gives the visitor a good overview creates a positive user experience.
In particular, short and concise text blocks with exciting subheadings should be created. Embedding graphics, videos, diagrams, screenshots or even quotes provides variety and excitement. Bullet points that focus on the benefits also make sense. A font size of 16px is a good benchmark for good readability.
2. Optimise page speed
If you optimise your loading time, you can reduce the bounce rate in the long term. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom provide an initial indication of how quickly your online shop loads. The ideal time should not exceed 3 seconds. The motto here is: the faster, the better. Measures could include:
- Optimise CSS files and remove comments, superfluous spaces or line breaks.
- Reduce the size of files or compress them.
- Optimise images or integrate them in an optimal image format right from the start.
- Install suitable plugins and remove unnecessary ones.
3. Individual and situational popups
The increasing use of AdBlockers shows that few visitors have any interest in ad banners, popups and annoying advertisements.Nevertheless, it shows that especially pop-ups at the right moment and with the right approach can reduce the bounce rate.
The exit intent popups and newsletter popups from uptain are intelligent and always appear appropriate to the situation. Customers are not annoyed, but feel well looked after and supported in their current situation. The popups integrate effortlessly into the shop design and can be controlled by intelligent parameters. With the tools, the high bounce rate in online shops can be actively reduced.
4. Optimisation for mobile content
Around 80% of Germans use the mobile internet – and the trend is rising. It is thus important that online shops are optimised for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. With a mobile-optimised page, not only the bounce rate is reduced. The ranking with Google is also improved, because with the change to the mobile index, the search engine clearly shows where it should go. Take the following measures to make your online shop more attractive for mobile users:
- Adapt images and fonts according to the smaller formats
- Make buttons and links larger
- Bring the search function into focus
- Keep checkout short with as little data entry as possible
5. High-quality content
Another way to reduce the bounce rate is to create high-quality content that is relevant to the target audience. The more interesting and exciting the content, the more likely it is that visitors will dive deeper into a website and visit several subpages. This also increases the probability of a successful order. It is important that the content is always up to date and that an appropriate approach is chosen. Online merchants have several options for creating suitable content:
– Detailed product descriptions strengthen trust
– Blog posts that deliver added value increase the user experience
– Reviews encourage purchases
Furthermore, the embedding of important keywords should not be forgotten. With a keyword research, relevant signal words can be identified that also interest the reader accordingly. Make sure that keywords do not disturb the flow of reading. Long-tail keywords, for example, can help here.
Work actively with questions. These invite the reader to participate, because when the brain is asked a question, it immediately searches for an answer, which is of course in the text that follows. These interactions bind the reader to the text.
6. Embed videos
Video content is becoming increasingly popular. With a video such as an image film, an educational video or a tutorial, the page becomes much more attractive for visitors. The content is easier to consume, especially when people are on the road. With the combination of moving images and text, you let the visitor decide for himself how he wants to get information. This reduces the bounce rate in your online shop.
7. Engaging meta descriptions
The meta descriptions, which are shown below the title of a web page in the SERPs, are often overlooked. But the “mini-information” should invite the user to click on the link and visit the online shop. It is important for the bounce rate to write the meta descriptions in such a way that the visitor is offered on the page what the meta description promises. Otherwise, there is a risk that the user will leave the page disappointed.
This is important for the meta description:
– maximum 160 characters, better 150 to 155 characters
– Unique content
– Use an active approach
– Include the main keyword
– Set a call-to-action
– Integrate emojis
8. Place internal links
Internal links help to reduce the bounce rate. Visitors are immediately directed to other pages and provided with further helpful information. The aim is to keep visitors in the online shop for longer. Ideally, a new article in the blog is provided with three internal links that refer to another helpful post. The same applies to product pages where similar or popular products can be placed.
9. Make external links open in new tab/window
External links should ideally open in a new window. If an external link opens in the same window, the visitor will be redirected away from your own website. The return to the page is not guaranteed. Thus, make sure that external links do not open in the same window. This can be done either by the setting in the content management system or by the target attribute: target=”_blank”.
10. Place forms at the bottom
A high bounce rate in online shops is often a question of trust. Visitors who are on a page for the first time must first establish a relationship in order to gain trust accordingly. If a form is already located high up on a web page and asks for personal data here, the probability of a bounce is high. It thus makes sense to place them a little further down and use the space for product explanations, advantages, unique selling points or other informative content.
Excursus: The problem with measuring the bounce rate in Google Analytics
The bounce rate is measured in Google Analytics independently of the length of stay. This indicates the average amount of time a visitor spends on the respective website. The decisive factor here is the period from calling up the page to leaving it. Google can measure and evaluate the length of stay. A short length of stay signals that the content is apparently not relevant, so that the page is devalued in the rankings.
Now the crux: the bounce rate does not include the length of stay. A visitor who finds a relevant article in the search results may spend 10 minutes on it and then return to the search results. This is still counted as a bounce. Consequently, this can lead to a false evaluation, especially in the case of blog articles or other informative pages.
Our tip: Set the adjusted bounce rate in Google Analytics.
To ensure that a high bounce rate is not also measured when visitors find what they are looking for and then return to Google, the tool offers the option of setting the length of stay for an event. To do this, you set a certain length of time after which the event is transferred to Google Analytics.
If the visitor stays longer on the page and returns to the search query without another click, this is not counted as a bounce. This gives you better measurement values, you can assess the quality of a page much better and still see all visitors who have not visited any other pages.
The advantage of the adjusted bounce rate is obvious: you don’t have to spend time optimising pages that perform well. You can devote yourself to those pages on which the bounce rate should actually be improved.
Quick effect: uptain
The bounce rate can be reduced significantly with a few measures. It is important to put the values in the right context. Use the adjusted bounce rate in Google Analytics to also take the length of stay into account. This will give you much more reliable results and allow you to identify pages that have real optimisation potential.With the tips from this article, you have some practical implementation ideas at hand to reduce the bounce rate in your online shop. A first step, which above all has a quick effect, can be the integration of the tools from uptain. With the Exit Intent Popups and Newsletter Popups, you actively reduce the bounce rate.
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