To calculate the bounce rate, the process is to find out the percentage of visitors to a web page leaving it. The reasons they would be leaving the website could be many, but they could be grouped under the reasons of the web site being boring or the web site navigation being annoying to the visitor. Whatever the cause, the bounce factor gives a very true index of the website’s value and content. A low bounce rate indicates that the visitors are finding what they are in search of. Also, the site presents it in a manner that is conducive to increasing the visitor’s interest.

What this means is that the bounce rate has to be calculated with a time factor in mind. Just to amplify the bounce factor with an example, if there are 100 visitors and 80 leave without clicking anything or remaining for any length of time on the website, the bounce factor would be termed 80%, and it’s an indication of a poorly set-up web site. On the other hand, if 20 visitors left, then the bounce factor would be 20%, which indicates a good web site comparatively.

If we look at the reasons why visitors did not remain on the web site, it would be easy to compile the steps required to make the web site interesting, thereby reducing the bounce rate.

#1. Page Design:

This is the foremost point to note. The first impression may not be the last impression on web page visits, but it sure is the most important impression. It also encompasses many different aspects, a few of which are very important for the bounce rate.

  1. At first glance, if the visitor finds anything jarring to the eye, there is very little chance that they will continue remaining on the web page. It is to be understood that the issue being referred to here is purely one of looks. Not the content at all. The color of the web page, if it is bright and not a soothing one, would sure be a negative issue if the page is related to something soft and somber. The visitor would be approaching the page with a calm mind. Anything that is jarring would not be appreciated. On the other hand, if it is a site related to something jazzy, then the color sequence also has to be bright in color. The color, in short, must relate to the idea that forms the content of the web site.
  2. Another issue with page design is the layout. A cluttered or dense layout of contents would not be appreciated by the visitor. It should make for easy reading or viewing as well as navigation.
  3. That is where the next point on page design comes in. visitor must be able to navigate between different sections of the page easily. Content that forms the main crux of a web site can never be accommodated in just one screen. For that reason, visitor would need to navigate different sections of the web site where content of relevance would be available. When it comes to page design, even the font used for the content is important. It must be the correct size and character set that is used.

#2. Page loading time:

It is not just the net speed that determines the time taken for a web page to load. A web page or site loaded with heavy graphics would take a long time to load. The longer the time taken for a web page to load, the higher the chances of the visitor losing patience and terminating the visit. It is to be remembered that the same content or information is available on some other web site. A visitor would therefore only visit or remain on a particular page if it loaded quickly.

#3. Content Interest:

Next comes the issue of the meat of the website, which is the content. The visitor has arrived at a web site for this part. There is no other reason for the visitor to have landed on this page. Keeping all other factors that make a web site nice to visit, the content is the final authority that would keep the visitor engrossed or bored to death. To start with, the title of the web page has to give the correct and true picture of what the web site is all about. Relevance to the web site must always be kept in mind, as a visitor has arrived to seek particular information and not just get entertained in general with irrelevant issues.

#4. Linking to pages outside the parent website:

There will always be occasions where the content has to be drawn from some other web site that is related to or may not be related to the parent site. Links would be placed on the parent web site to go to that other web page. The link itself must be placed in such a manner that the visitor feels the flow is smooth. In which case, the visitor would return to the parent web site on completion of viewing the related page. When the visitor returns, they must be taken to the spot where they left off. All this produces an easy and continuous read for the visitor, which retains interest and, therefore, stays. Otherwise, the visitor, upon leaving the parent web site, would take an interest in that other web site and its contents.

#5. It is normal design practice to include keywords in website content.

This is done to ensure higher relevance for the search engines. These keywords usually appear in highlighted form in the web site content. If there are too many keywords used in the content, there will be a lot of highlighted text. It has been noted that visitors do not like such dense occurrences of highlighted text. The optimal usage of key words is therefore necessary to reduce the bounce factor. As mentioned at the beginning, it is the visitor’s mindset that needs to be studied to ensure a low bounce rate and higher visitor interest on a web site.