A “bounce” occurs when a user leaves your website without taking an action – such as clicking on another page or an appointment request. High bounce rates mean poor conversion rates and steep SEO penalties. In this article, you’ll learn what makes a user bounce, what a good “bounce rate” is (we’ll teach you how to check yours), and actionable tips that you can implement right now to improve your veterinary website’s bounce rate and win more business!
Users bounce when they aren’t engaged or get distracted. Whether we meet someone (or some brand) in person, over the phone, or on a website, our minds are wired to quickly form a working first impression. This gives us a working degree of interest in pursuing the relationship further. A bad first impression is the most likely cause of a bad bounce rate. This occurs when the overall look of your website is unprofessional, not user friendly, and is text driven instead of media driven. Good first impressions delight and intrigue users.
It’s important that you know exactly what your website’s bounce rate is, so now we’re going to teach you how to do that. First, you need to make sure Google Analytics is installed. If it isn’t, you can sign up here. Once you have google analytics installed, you’ll want to log in to your dashboard. It should look something like this, and you’ll notice a column for bounce rate on the page.
What’s a good bounce rate?
Excellent: under 30%
Good: 30% – 40%
Average: 41% – 60%
Poor: 61% – 80%
Dismal: 81% – 100%
Like we mentioned earlier, bounces are caused by a lack of engagement and/or distraction. The best way to improve your bounce rate is to have highly engaging media that the user sees upon entry to the website. That first impression is all important, and it really sets the tone for their experience and behavior on your website. We highly recommend having a video background that is looped at around 8 seconds (so that it doesn’t slow down the website too much), with a minimalist approach to text. If you’d like to see examples of this, just go to our portfolio page here.
Below the fold (what the user sees when he/she scrolls down), it’s OK to get a bit wordier, but you should always be integrating rich media into the experience. Humans are naturally wired to engage with images and video more than text – we process this kind of information about fifty thousand(!) times faster than we process text. Take advantage of that – most of the websites with high bounce rates are written like novels instead of magazines.
The sections below the fold should tell your story in a dynamic, interactive and enjoyable way. It’s helpful if they also link logically with the rest of your website. For example, if one of the sections on the home page acts as a high level introduction to your approach to veterinary medicine, it would be helpful to provide a link (through a nice stylized button) to your services page.
Remember, when designing your website, user experience is king. You need to always be thinking about what will cause the most enjoyable, interesting and engaging experience for them as possible. How well you’re currently doing that will undoubtedly be reflected in your bounce rate. Please contact us if you have any further questions on how to improve it!