The bounce rate is one of the more alarming aspects of google analytics for your doula website and can send those who are paying attention to their analytics into a tailspin of worry… A “bounce” happens every time someone visits just one page on your website, or left your site from the first page without going any further. Oddly it can also happen if someone leaves your page open for more than 30 minutes without activity. One of our goals in good SEO is to lower the bounce rate, meaning that more site visitors choose to stay on your site to take the next step and learn more about your services.
Stop – What on earth are Google Analytics & a bounce rate?
If these terms are completely mystifying to you, a great place to start is my SEO for doulas ecourse called the SEO Birth Plan. Designed for beginners, it will take you step by step to understand how to help your site show up in search, and understand the analytics for your site.
How do I find out my bounce rate?
Inside Google Analytics, go to the orange menu at the top. Click on Standard Reporting, hover over the Audience Menu, and click on Overview. The bounce rate will be one of the statistics listed there.
What’s a normal bounce rate?
If you look at your bounce rate in Google Analytics, you may notice it hovering somewhere around 50% – don’t panic. While yes, that means that roughly half of the folks visiting your site will leave the site without exploring further, a normal range for most sites advertising a service is 30 – 50%. Remember also that some of those people will have visited your site, gotten the information they were looking for, such as your phone number, and left again. Still, ideal website stats should show a good % of site visitors who are taking at least a 2nd step on your site, perhaps clicking on a contact button, checking out a blog post, or signing up for your newsletter. Lowering your bounce rate by even 5% will help increase your conversion rate from site visitor to client.
Key steps to lower your bounce rate
1) Improve your page load time.
You can check your page load time following the instructions on my post “Faster Websites Have Better SEO“. An easy way to address your load times is by reducing the size of the image files you have on your site. If you’re on WordPress, check out the Imagify plugin to help optimize your images and reduce load times.
2) Make sure people can easily find what they are looking for.
Again, a lot of this comes back to simply having good content that is well organized. Chunking information into sections, clear headlines and subheaders, and graphic buttons that help people click through to the information they need are all great steps.
3) Don’t send people away.
Check to be sure any external links you may have are opening in a new tab or window. For example, if you link to the website for your local doula association or cloth diaper store, you don’t want clients clicking and leaving your site. Links are good, just make sure that site visitors don’t get whisked away from your site unintentionally.
4) Choose the right keywords.
Imagine searching for a nanny and instead ending up on a site about birth doula care. When you choose the right keywords for your doula website, then the clients searching for your services are more likely to find us – and stick around on the site once they’ve found you. We can all remember web searches that have required us to muck around through the search results to find what we were actually looking for. Learn more about choosing the right keywords in my Search Engine Optimization 101 course for doulas!
5) Give clear directions.
Make sure that your site content gives your visitors ample opportunities to take the next step in learning more. Links to recent blog posts, contact or register buttons, newsletter signups, free offers, and even simple links within the text leading to other content on your site all help guide the site visitor from the first page they land on, to all the great additional content they will now discover on your site.
6) Improve your website design
This one is harder, because so much of design is influenced by our personal tastes, and by the tools / skill set / investment capacity we have available to us. The hard truth is that even if you succeed in getting people to your site if they are turned off by your design they will leave very quickly without ever giving you a chance. You may also notice that your bounce rate is higher on mobile devices if your site isn’t fully mobile responsive or your design doesn’t translate well on smaller screen sizes. Here are some common design mistakes I see on doula websites.
Do you really need to worry about your bounce rate?
Yes, and no. I know you have a bajillion things on your to do list that have more of a direct impact on building your business, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to pursue these. Still, for those of you who are digging deep into seeking ways to improve your online presence and conversion rates, the bounce rate is a valuable indicator to take into account. There is so much fantastic free information out there for us to take advantage of to gain insight into our business – why not take a look and learn something new?