When running a real estate website, a major goal for many agents is to keep a low bounce rate. But what exactly is a bounce rate? How does it impact your site’s SEO value? And what does it mean for the success of your website?
According to Google, a bounce is “a single-page session on your site.” A bounce rate is defined as “single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page…”
In simpler terms:
Bounce: when a user views a single page on your website and leaves without taking any further action (navigating to another page or signing up for a showing).
Bounce rate: a measurement of how many users only visit one page of your website.
Bounce Rate and Your Website’s Success
When it comes to determining whether your website’s bounce rate is good or bad, it is helpful to know the difference between high and low bounce rates—and what exactly “high” and “low” bounce rates mean.
A high bounce rate means that many users visit a page on your site for a brief period and quickly leave.
A low bounce rate means that many users spend time on your site, reading the content, clicking through links, and filling out forms.
According to Semrush, a high bounce rate is between 56% to 70%. An average bounce rate is between 41% and 55%. And a low bounce rate is between 26% to 40%.
What Makes a Bounce Rate Good or Bad?
It’s helpful to understand that a high bounce rate isn’t always a red flag. “Good” and “bad” bounce rates are subjective and depend on the criteria you think are important.
Many people think that high bounce rates are “bad.” A high bounce rate would indeed be considered bad, for example, if visitors do not spend more than two seconds on your listings page. A high bounce rate would be normal on pages where you expect users to visit once, such as a single-page blog or resource page.
How Can You Lower Your Website’s “Bad” Bounce Rate?
If your criteria deem a high bounce rate as a bad thing, there is no need to panic. There are many things you can do to lower your bounce rate:
1. Revise your content
Content that is difficult to read will ultimately drive traffic away from your website, leading to a high bounce rate. Content with poor readability usually has formatting issues, such as large blocks of text. Verbose language, or content that is full of industry-specific jargon, is also likely to cause users to bounce.
Go through your website with a fine-tooth comb, seeking areas where you can improve your content’s readability.
• Break up large paragraphs and add headers and subheaders
• Find lengthy sentences and shorten them
• If your website is geared toward the general public, revise technical or jargon-filled content and reframe it in a way that everyone can understand
• Use bulleted lists to highlight important points
• Incorporate images, charts, quotes, and other aspects where appropriate
2. Eliminate pop-ups
When overdone or done incorrectly, pop-ups can be very annoying. Who wants to spend time on a website with too many pop-ups or with pop-ups blocking important content?
If your website incorporates pop-ups, check to see if they are placed in a non-intrusive area. Depending on your website design and strategy, pop-ups can be done well and benefit the viewer.
3. Tell your story well
The content on your website is your chance to tell your brand’s story—to tell it well. While your clients want to read high-quality and interesting content, they also want to read it quickly. Web users are notorious for scanning web pages in hopes of finding something that stands out to them.
When writing, or revising, content for your website, don’t be afraid to incorporate some storytelling into the mix. This way, your content will “hook” your followers in an emotional and well-rounded way.
4. Blog well and blog often
Blogs are an ingenious way for real estate agents to stand out from the crowd, grow their brand, and establish trust with their clientele. If you do not have a blog on your website already, it is a good idea to create one and commit to writing regularly. Consistent blog posts filled with original, helpful, and targeted content can work wonders for your site’s SEO value and bounce rate.
Pro tip: when it comes to measuring bounce rates for blogs, it is important to set your goals appropriately. Criteria for blog bounce rates often include how long visitors stay on a blog post and how many blog posts they visit in one session.
5. Use targeted keywords
Incorporating targeted keywords falls into the same vein as writing quality blog and web content. If you just write content for your blog or website without considering keywords, you will not likely make a dent in your bounce rate (or draw much traffic).
When you include carefully researched and thoughtfully targeted keywords, however, you will find that you are not only drawing more traffic to your website – you are drawing more quality traffic to your website. With the right people visiting your site, you are likely to reduce your bounce rate, increase conversions, and grow your following.
When generating keywords, keep in mind the fact that there are two categories of keywords to choose from:
Commercial keywords: revolve around a product and impact sales
Informational keywords: revolve around a question or need and educate or create awareness
Be sure to target the keywords that best match your blog or website’s purpose!
6. Draw the right traffic
When writing or revising content to improve your bounce rate, one of the most important aspects to consider is whether or not you are targeting the right audience.
If you generate content that appeals to the questions asked and needs required by your audience, you will experience a low bounce rate. However, if your content has nothing to do with your audience, does not answer the questions they are asking, and does not fulfill their needs, you will experience a high bounce rate.
One way to ensure you are drawing the right traffic to your website is to create an overall content strategy for your website before you get to work. List out your target audience, the information they are seeking, the questions they are asking, and what is important to them overall. Incorporate these aspects into your content, and you are sure to find success in improving your bounce rate.
7. Improve your page speed
Web-users demand results quickly. If your website is running slowly, users typically bounce after 3 seconds. Each bounce due to slow page speed could mean losing a client to a competitor! It is crucial to ensure that your website loads quickly.
You can easily check a webpage’s loading speed, and determine what is slowing your page down, with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights.
8. Optimize navigation
A cluttered and confusing website is not likely to hold a visitor for long. Navigation bars that are messy, unclear, or nonexistent make it that much harder for users to explore your website and understand what you have to offer.
Most users do not have the patience to spend excessive amounts of time trying to find your blog, a resource page, or how to hire you as their agent. If this information is not clearly laid out before them, they will likely bounce.
9. Create a helpful 404 page
When a user clicks on a link that is no longer available, it does not help them (or you) when your 404 page simply says, “page not found.” Coming up with a helpful 404 page that leads the user to a similar page (or your homepage if a similar page does not exist) keeps the user engaged with your website and prevents them from bouncing.
10. Use Google Analytics
Once you have optimized different aspects of your website to reduce your bounce rate, you can track the health of your website (and whether your changes worked) going forward using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics allows you to successfully track how long users spend on your site, your bounce rate, how many pages users visit per session, which pages are visited most often, and which pages are rarely visited at all.
By following these helpful tips, you will successfully lower your website’s bounce rate. Tracking your changes and continually improving your website using information from Google Analytics will help you grow your following (and your authority on the web) for years to come.