A client recently asked us to define “bounce rate” and undoubtedly the question arose from a supposed red flag on their analytics report. We’re trained to perceive bounce rates as bad things – flat-out rejections of our content – bringing on plenty of professional anxiety. This can be true in some cases, but not all. Depending on what the “post-click landing page” is designed to do, spending a short amount of time there may actually indicate that our content is on the right rack.
Bounce Rate is is defined as “the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate from the site after viewing only one page”. Quelle horreur! Why did they leave? How could they not have clicked onto our products page and exhaustively explored all of our offerings? Where did we fail? Does our website have bad breath? Well, your website only failed if the page the visitor was looking at was designed to have them stay awhile and perhaps navigate to other pages. High intent, long-stay users on B2B websites are few and far between in general, so unless your website is deeply enriched with in-demand resource content, visits are going to be on the shorter side.
There could be many reasons that a user has left your domain, such as, yes, low-engagement copy or their finding that what they thought they were getting was something very different. Those are relatively simple fixes. Copy can be rewritten to be easier to read and more engaging and referring links can be more clear. But what if the page is actually set up in such a way that the user gets exactly what they want quickly making it easy to do their business and immediately embedding them into the marketing cycle? For B2B websites that primarily exist to capture qualified leads through forms and RFQs, in many cases the faster the bounce the better.
What we’re talking about, essentially, are websites with pages that are adequately optimized for conversions. The post-click copy is easily readable and closely matches referral links, forms are only as long as they absolutely have to be, CTA buttons are easy to find (inside 3 seconds!) and don’t resemble ads, and page loads are quick and breezy. If your linked pages don’t match these descriptions, you may see them back-buttoned or closed out. In some cases, users may click around the site because they’re not getting enough info from the page they landed on. This kind of extended site engagement can be a false positive, as users have clearly become fatigued with a landing page that was intended to convert.
Incidentally, the use of of the term “landing page” here is multi-fold; any page can be considered a landing page if it results from a clicked link. Many refer to “landing pages” as those pages that convert from a Google ad. It’s a good place to start because if we’re carefully designing our paid traffic pages to convert, why not handle the free organic ones the same way? Content is key to organic SEO which could suggest that more is better, but not always on the same page unless the content is specifically written to be read, as in blog posts. Blog pages are ideal for adding content and are an efficient way to compete organically without overloading the website and fatiguing the user. Elsewhere, brief, image-accompanied bursts that deep-link to extended content works fine but overall it’s best to keep it light, tight and driving the conversion.
So, try and relax. In an ever-expanding field of competition where huge sites from giant industry juggernauts often dominate traffic, there is still plenty of market share for smaller websites that are well-suited for engaging the user, quickly servicing their needs, and sending them on their way.
For more information on how well-optimized landing pages can transform your website into a lead conversion machine, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation or simply fill out our short contact form.