Is a high bounce rate necessarily bad? Not necessarily. Many sites are first optimized only on their branded searches - searches that include the company, product or service name. So they have a low bounce rate because they are speaking to friends, family, customers. Then, once they begin to SEO optimize, they get many "new" prospects and these "new" prospects often bounce. They say it takes ten touches to convert a customers; so you may have many customers that bounce ten times before they convert.
Thinking Beyond the Bounce Rate
Beyond the bounce rate, you want to think about the landing experience. I follow a CEA model: Confirmation / Engagement / Action.
- Confirmation - they need to see the same words that they just typed into Google, plus pictures that instantly convey that they are "in the right place."
- Engage - they need to be persuaded that you are important, cool, an expert, worth looking in to.
- Act - you need a defined action such as buy your product or register for something free.
To Do: Reevaluate Your Landing Pages
Your "homework" is to look at your landing pages, and be critical! Imagine you are that proverbial harried customer, just doing a Google search. What do you see? Would you stay? Would you investigate further? Customers on the Internet, Howie Jacobson once said, are like guppies: easy to scare, and nervous nervous nervous. Evaluate your landing page "as if" you were a guppy: it has one second to get them to stay, two seconds to engage, and one second to convert.