Bounce rate

Bounce rate is one of the most discussed areas of analytics. It measures how long someone stays on a page of your site before leaving. Our system looks at this in a particular way. It measures a visit from the first moment the person views the site until the person leaves. Bounce rate is defined as a bounce is made when someone leaves the site after staying for 15 seconds or less.

So in simple terms the bounce rate is the number of people who come to your site and spend less than 15 seconds looking at your content. In simple terms they came, they saw and they went away unimpressed!

Clearly if this happens there is only two possible explanations:

  1. The content wasn’t very good
  2. They arrived at your site by mistake

If you have a high bounce rate (over 30%) then you’re either attracting the wrong type of visitor or you don’t understand what your visitors want. Regardless of the reason a high bounce rate is something that needs action on your part. You need to figure out what’s happening otherwise you’ll keep working away and no one will read what you put up on your site.

Tackling a high bounce rate, however, can seem a daunting task. Where do you start? How do you figure out what you’re doing wrong? Well you need to start by looking in more detail at your analytics (don’t forget that we provide in depth analytics in addition to the monthly summary). This will let you find out if it’s every page on our website that has a problem or only one or two.

Once you’ve figure out where the problem lies you can start to tackle it. The first place to start is to think about your visitors. You need to think about who they are and what they are looking for. I’ve written about this here before so I won’t go into huge detail. 

You have three types of visitors

  1. People who find you through a search engine
  2. Directed visitors
  3. Church members

For most churches the first group isn’t particularly important. You might get 5 people a week in this category. People looking for a church in a given area are the most common. So making sure your basic information is up to date is probably sufficient (this changes when you start to get a lot of visitors – if that’s you then get in touch and we can provide extra information).

The second group is the directed visitors who are those that you have given the website address to. You have directed them to come to the website. This might be for the Christmas or Easter service or perhaps the summer club. Whatever the reason they have arrived at the site because you have sent them there. These are important visitors because you might only get them to your site once or twice a year. You need to make an impact. For these visitors you need to create individual pages for them to come to. Pages that are targeted directly at them. It’s no good sending them to the home page. Write a page for them and check it answers their questions. Times, dates, booking forms, whatever they might want to know. If you do it well then they’ll go on to other pages on the site.

The final group is your church members. You should know what they want from the website. If you don’t you should go and ask them. Perhaps they want to know the rotas or they want to know who is preaching, whatever they want to know you should make it easy to find and ensure it’s up to date.

So in broad terms think about your visitors. Segment them into types and think about what each group wants and make sure the pages are available for them. Don’t send everyone to the home page instead send them directly to the information you think that they want to find. Once you’ve rejigged things then watch your bounce rate. If it goes down then you’ve done well and if not try again and again and again. 

Finally if you’re stuck or don’t feel too confident give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to help out.