If you’ve been struggling to increase traffic to your site and generate more leads and customers, it could be because of your PPC bounce rate. If visitors come to your site from a PPC ad and quickly “bounce off,” you’re missing out on a chance to convert them.
What is a bounce rate? The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your web page without taking the desired action, whether making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. While most metrics should increase if performing well, a lower percentage bounce rate indicates better performance than a higher percentage.
Let’s take a deeper look at PPC bounce rate, why it matters, and what you can do to improve it.
Understanding PPC Bounce Rate
As mentioned, the bounce rate is the percentage of people who click on a page on your website and leave before they click on anything or navigate through your site. The bounce rate is different from the exit rate, which is the percentage of visits that were last in the session. Exits can occur after a visitor spends time on multiple pages, so it’s not always a cause for concern.
The visits that are the only one of that session, or “one-and-done” visits impact your bounce rate. People come to your site and leave before spending time exploring your site.
The bounce rate is calculated by dividing the total number of single-page visits by the total number of sessions. The ideal, if unrealistic, bounce rate would be zero percent, but the average falls somewhere between 26 percent and 70 percent. The optimal rate would be below 40 percent.
The Variability of PPC Bounce Rate
Here’s the thing though — realistically, your bounce rate will vary. Not just from time to time, but it also depends on a LOT of variables:
- Load speed. With over half of traffic coming from mobile devices, a slow loading page will cause users to leave.
- Ad-heavy pages. Users can’t find the content they’re looking for if the page is bombarded with above-the-fold ads and pop-ups, leading them to click away.
- External links. When a user clicks on an external link, they’re clicking away from your page. Set links to open in a new window or tab to keep users on your site while they explore the other content.\Different traffic sources, such as a search engine or display ad, can impact your bounce rate, but it’s not always a matter of “good” or “bad” percentages in these cases.
- Landing page. If your ads aren’t relevant to the content on the landing page, or the site has a bad user experience (UX), the user may click away. Unclickable links, pop-ups that won’t close, inaccessible areas, and bottlenecks contribute to poor user experience.
Instead of viewing bounce rate as X percentage is bad and Y percentage is good, bounce rate needs to be analyzed as one part of the analytics pie. While it’s important, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum — it should be viewed alongside other factors to find areas for improvement.
Google benchmarking can help you put bounce rate into context with your analytics and see how you stack up against the competition. With this tool, you can analyze traffic by device, country, and channel and compare your data against the benchmarks for bounce rate and other vital metrics.
What to Do About a High PPC Bounce Rate
A high paid campaign bounce rate could be because of one factor that’s turning visitors off, such as poor site design, browser incompatibility, errors in tracking code, and excessive bots. A lot of competitor traffic could also increase your overall bounce rate.
If you address these issues and still have a high bounce rate, the landing page may be confusing or irrelevant to visitors. Here are some steps to take to improve your bounce rate:
Optimize for Mobile — Make Sure Your Website is Responsive
Mobile is bigger than ever, and every business needs to offer a mobile-friendly and mobile-engaging experience in addition to their traditional desktop site. In addition to the technical aspects of making your site mobile-friendly, such as load times and text size, it should also be engaging and interactive.
One of the best ways to correct this is with video content. A video showcasing your brand or product not only holds the visitor’s attention better, but it can communicate the real-world value you provide.
Videos should be short, however. Long videos can consume a lot of data and may impact the site’s speed (and customer experience), causing them to bounce. Keep it short, simple, and direct.
Page Load Speed — Make Sure Your Landing Page is Fast
UX is vital to a positive impression of your website and brand. Your site should not only be responsive to whatever device your user is on, but your landing page and overall site need to be fast and relevant. Load speed is a huge component of positive UX, and slow load speeds can cause a user to bounce quickly. Google PageSpeed can help you assess and optimize your load speed on both desktop and mobile devices.
Another element is loading performance, which isn’t the same as load speed. This refers to the perceived time it takes for important website components to load. Users are typically looking for the above-the-fold content and videos or images. If these take too long to load, a user may give up and bounce. Google has a benchmark for page-loading time at under three seconds, so ensure that all your elements load within that time frame.
Eliminate Disruptions — Don’t Spam Your Users
While pop-ups can be helpful when done correctly, they can be disruptive and annoying to visitors. Full-screen pop-ups, pop-ups without a clear “close” button, or multiple pop-ups prevent your visitors from taking in what you have to offer on the page.
Remember, correcting a high bounce rate is all about keeping them on the page long enough to keep interested and hopefully convert. Pop-ups and other disruptive experiences can annoy your visitor and cause them to leave just to get away from it, hurting your conversions.
Check Keywords — Make Sure You’re Driving the Right Traffic
If you want to lower your bounce rate, the search the visitor performed, your ad copy, and your landing page all play a role. If you’re not strategic about your keywords, your ad could be popping up for irrelevant searches and attracting non-relevant traffic. Visitors come to your site but quickly realize it’s not intended for them.
Going through your search term reports regularly and adding in negative keywords will help to make sure your PPC campaigns are driving the right traffic to your site. Regardless of how good your ad copy is, it’s not going to convert a visitor if it’s irrelevant to them or if it promises something different than your website. This can all lead to a high bounce rate.
Improve Your PPC Bounce Rate with Full Circle SEM
Bounce rate can be a mystifying metric, but it has plenty of value for determining what you could do better to convert visitors into customers and correct other aspects of your marketing strategy.
Just remember that bounce rate is only one piece of the puzzle for determining if your PPC campaigns are working well. There are a LOT of other important benchmarks to look at for PPC campaign success. Working with a PPC agency like Full Circle SEM that offers detailed metric-driven results can help you know that you’re working with someone who is committed to providing you not only the best results but also full transparency.
If you’re looking for expert guidance with PPC ads, Full Circle SEM can help! We offer a full range of marketing services, including web analytics, search engine optimization, and website design and development. Contact us for a consultation!