Reduce Bounce Rate Of Your Online Store – Ask 3 Super Simple Questions

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Do you know why people land on your online store and then just leave…sometimes within just a few seconds? No? Why not ask them? What’s the worse that could happen? They might not answer or perhaps they might go on a rant. Believe it or not, the latter might be a source of very useful information to help reduce bounce rate and increase conversions on your online store .

The Problem – High Bounce Rate = Low Ranking

People leaving your store right after they land on it is a huge problem if too many visitors do that. That would contribute to a very high bounce rate. And in Google’s eyes, that’s not a good thing. A high bounce rate might tell Google a number of things:

  1. The query to content matching is not accurate.
  2. Site has really poor content.
  3. Site’s user experience is really poor.

Google uses about 200 factors to rank a site. And bounce rate is a major Google ranking factor. Google is in the business of providing accurate search results in reply to search quires. If a user clicks on two results for a search term, bounces off one right away but continues to navigate the site with the other, it does not take a genius to guess which site would then rank higher for the search term used.

Not All Is Lost – There Are Exceptions

But don’t panic. It also depends what kind of pages have high bounce rates and it also matters how much time a visitor spends on those pages before leaving.

For example, if a visitor lands on an information page on your online store – About Us – and spends 5 minutes reading the content before leaving. It’s a pretty good bet that the query to content matching was accurate. The visitor came, got the information he or she needed and left.

It’s the same if a visitors searches for a restaurant’s menu of the day, lands on the page which displays the menu, reads it and leaves.

If you’ve got Google Analytics’ tracking code on your store, you can track your store’s bounce rate. You should aim for at a 40% and below. It’s practically impossible to get a zero bounce rate so do not lose sleep over it.

The Solution – Ask Visitors These 3 Questions And Reduce Bounce Rate

Ecommerce “experts” have a billion theories among them as to why people bounce off sites but they do not know for sure. Google Analytics can give you loads of data which will help you identify pages which need looking into but that won’t tell you why they left. Ultimately, you’ll need to ask you visitor 3 questions to solve this riddle.

Question 1: Why did you come here?

Sounds like a stupid question but the answer might give you a hint if you’ve incorrectly optimized your store or Adwords campaign.

Premise: a visitor clicks on your ad or text link and bounces off your page just as soon and he lands. The ad reads “Nike Luna Trainer Half Price”. The landing page is product page for a red 2016 Nike ladies Luna trainer.


So, if you were to ask him why he was at your store, he’d tell you that he wanted to purchase a pair of shoes. This brings us to the next question…

Question 2: Did you complete what you wanted to do?

Obviously the answer is “No” otherwise he wouldn’t have left. Naturally, you’ll have to ask the third question…

Question 3: Why not?

As it turns out, the guy was looking for the 2017 model in blue for men. He bounced off as soon as he realized the page he was on didn’t have what he was looking for (…unless he spots the 2017 model in red for men in the cross sell. That’s a bonus tip right there).

If he is like me, he would have clicked on more than just one link on the search results page. So, it might be easier to close a page and check out the next one unless there’s something on the page that can convince him otherwise. e.g. a banner add on the page promoting the 2017 model he was looking for, the target product in the cross sell, and a very far stretch is the hope that he uses the product filter or search function.

What does his answers tell us? 

It’s pretty obvious the ad needs to be tweaked to be more accurate/targeted. Aim to give people exactly what they’re looking for. No one wants their time wasted even if it’s just for a few seconds.

The same thing applies to text links, image names, mentions, titles and descriptions, and so on. Be as accurate as you can.

Let your users know before hand what your page is all about before they click on your link. Targeted keywords will help you attract the right visitors who will have a higher chance of converting into customers.

To Sum It Up

To reduce bounce rate and increase conversion of your online store, you really need to find out from your visitors exactly why they left and address that. You can use exit pop ups or information from your aborted orders list to try to engage them. The example in the article looks at inaccurate key phrases in ads but there are other reasons why a visitor would leave immediately – product was out of stock/no longer in production, price was too high, size was not available, page load took forever and so on. Attend to the issues you can fix immediately and if you can, let the customer know they’ve been fixed and entice them to pop by for a visit. You’re not going to please everybody but you want to please the majority.

Keep in mind that you’re bound to get people coming in to do price comparisons or checking product specs but that’s fine. Those can fall in the 40% or less who bounce off.


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