Optimizing Bounce Rates Playbook. How tu use ClickTale to reduce your Bounce Rates.
OPTIMIZING BOUNCE RATES PLAYBOOK
How to Use ClickTale to reduce Bouncing from your Landing Pages
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The Challenge: Not All Bounces Are Born the Same
Bounce rate has been regarded as an extremely effective yet simple qualifying metric. In essence, bounce rate can help determine the
effectiveness or performance of an entry page. Depending on the type of site, typically the higher the bounce rate the less effective the landing
experience. By the same token, bounce rate can also help determine the quality of your traffic. High bounce rate coupled with large volumes of
single source traffic could indicate poor referrals.
But, knowing that the experience may not be effective is not enough. We need to know the reasons why this may be happening in order to
avoid it and take the right actions. Otherwise we would be guessing what may or not work in the landing page, and guessing is not the most
We should be able to answer questions such as:
> Why are visitors not engaging with my homepage?
> How do I encourage navigation to another web page within my site?
> How do I get my visitors to advance within the conversion process?
In order to provide answer to these questions, we propose first to determine the most common hypothesis about why a visitor is leaving our
3- OPTIMIZING BOUNCE RATES PLAYBOOK
The Hypothesis: Why are visitors Bouncing from your
Home and Landing Pages?
Hypothesis 1: I am getting the wrong traffic?
Although five seconds may not seem like a long time, a five second difference between bounce rates can determine real visitor intent. The ability
to analyze your bounced visitors according to their type of bounce can determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns from PPC ads
to Homepage content and banners.
Hypothesis 2: The content of homepage does not meet customer expectations
> Menus and options are not clear. Visitors are not finding the product/category they are looking for quickly or easily enough
> Traffic source messaging does not match up to messaging on homepage (ex. PPC ads promise something different than what the website
> Slow loading time
> Uninviting page – lack or abundance of visuals, poor layout
> Poor navigation: Visitors often have a hard time navigating according to the page order you originally intended for your visitors to follow. They
either, lose interest and drop off early, or the pages they are encouraged to click on do not offer the information they need.
Hypothesis 3: Calls to action are not performing
> Calls to action on your homepage do not stand out enough on the page, blending in with additional page elements.
> Calls to action fall below the average fold line, and therefore, a majority of visitors not willing or aware of the need to scroll, do not even see
your calls to action.
> Banner blindness – There are too many ads and calls to action that your visitors become blinded and do not see.
> Whether it is the placement, the color, the messaging or the size, visitors are not engaging/utilizing your calls-to-action to progress further
along the conversion process.
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Check Your Bounces
Bounced visitors do not have to be lost customers! If you can identify the type of bounce, you know whether there is still money left on the
table. There are 3 types of bounce rates in ClickTale: hard, medium, and soft. Each one varies in amount of seconds spent using the web page
before a user bounces off the page.
Hard Bounce (<4sec Engagement Time)
Hard bounce visitors are those with no interest in your page at all. According to ClickTale, these visitors viewed a single page of your website and
had an Engagement Time (time spent using the page, i.e. moving the mouse, scrolling, or typing) of less than four seconds. They will usually
leave your page without even looking at it and probably should not have landed on your page in the first place.
Medium Bounce (4-10sec Engagement Time)
Medium bounced visitors have a little bit of interest in your web page. These visitors viewed a single page on your site and had an Engagement
Time of 4-10 seconds based on ClickTale’s definition of the segment. They are probably not serious browsers but have the potential to come
back at a later time with the right messaging or follow-up.
Soft Bounce (>10sec Engagement Time)
Soft bounce visitors are those with plenty of interest in your web page, viewing a single page of your site and having an Engagement Time of
more than 10 seconds. These visitors were interested in your page but still left. They possibly could not find what they were looking for or were
nervous about making a commitment (ex: clicking “Buy” button, filling out form).
The key is to figure out which group(s) your bouncers fit into and then to understand what you need to do to either reduce the hard or convert
the soft and medium. Soft and medium bouncers are interested in what content your website has to offer. It is therefore important to try and
encourage visitors to stay put. These bouncers are an indication that there is something missing on your landing page and by optimizing your
web page(s); you have the potential to convert many of these bouncers. Chances are your PPC ad campaigns or Organic Search content does not
quite promise what your website content actually delivers. You need to make sure that your messaging is consistent and attracts your website
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The Analysis: Scoping the Issue
Use the Page Console
Do not become overwhelmed. A great first place to start your analysis and see what’s going on is by visiting the Page Console, where you will
instantly learn the bounce rate distribution of your visitors. By default, the URL automatically set when you open up the Page Console is the
most popular page on your website, but you may enter in any other URL from your website.
Analyze page loading times – this can have a huge effect on the bounce rate of your impatient visitors. Those
not willing to wait will often run to a competitor’s site to answer their questions and deliver what they need.
Analyze the number of average errors per pageview – Page Player will enable you to drill down into recordings
of visitors browsing the homepage.
Pull Up all Heatmaps
Take note of user behavior using the Heatmaps Suite: Mouse Move, Mouse Click, Scroll-Reach and Attention
Heatmaps or Tap and Exposure Heatmaps if you are analyzing mobile traffic. Red areas of the page, while
they do indicate strong engagement, do not necessarily mean strong usability. It could be that visitors are
concentrating their attention where they were originally not intended to engage, such as an unnecessary link
or interactive visual.
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Dig deep into Link Analytics
During your Heatmap Analysis, use Link Analytics to view hover behavior (hover time, order, # of hovers) in addition to clicks and click-through
• There could be links on your web page that do not get a huge click response from visitors but that are
indeed hovered over. This makes a significant difference when gauging the level of engagement visitors have
with this particular piece of content.
• There could also be links that website visitors do not know are links and are not clicking where you had
originally intended that they click.
Watch Session Recordings
Use the Session player to segment your traffic to understand why this behavior is occurring. Drill down to individual recordings and identify
visitor trends and patterns.
Some suggested filters include:
• Bounce rates (check specially the soft and medium bouncers)
• Search keywords (is there any of our main keywords that is provoking more bounces? Maybe it is not
related to the content of the page?)
• Marketing channel – (PPC vs. organic search. How do they behave within the page differently?)
Compare and contrast all segmentations to observe what the difference in behavior is so you will be able to better customize your homepage