How to Fix Your Bounce Rate Now, with Stephen Woessner

Episode 89

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We are going to continue the momentum we have been building over the last several solocasts where we have begun to uncover what I call the Money Draining Mistakes. These are the mistakes that we all make – yes, everyone one of us from time to time – have made these mistakes in our business – and the net result is that cash has been literally sucked right out of our companies.  And yes, I know that sounds a bit overly dramatic but when I share today’s Money Draining Mistake with you – by the end of this episode – my hope for you is that you will see why I consider this one – this mistake – to be one of the most expensive – which is: High Bounce Rate.

What Is A High Bounce Rate?

Let’s start this off with a scenario that happens every day within a typical business…

Someone visits the website’s home page, a product page, or perhaps a blog post the business owner wrote.

The person quickly scans the page from top to bottom, left to right, and after a second or two, they decide they hate it. They puke in a bucket and then immediately leave.

And they continuing searching…except they continue searching SOMEPLACE ELSE.

That person “bounced” because he or she was not motivated enough to make one single click within the site.

Bounce rate is one of the most powerful metrics we have because it gives us insight into whether or not our customers believe we are delivering the value they want and need.

Most un-optimized websites have a high bounce rate between 50 to 60 percent (this represents huge opportunity for you if you apply steps 1-2-3 below).

In other words, after all of the hard work you put toward building traffic through trade shows, advertising, public relations, email campaigns, content development, social media, and search engine optimization, between 50 and 60 percent of the people you attract will immediately leave without making one single click.

And that is why I called this mistake the silent killer way back in my introduction to this episode.

High Bounce Rate | How to Fix Your Bounce Rate Now

High Bounce Rate Test

Let’s do a quick test. Pause this episode, open your Google Analytics dashboard, and check your bounce rate.

If it 30 percent or less, give yourself a pat on the back because that is the target you should strive to reach.

But if your bounce rate is above 50 percent, then the rest of this article will provide you with three steps you can apply to drive down bounce rate while converting more of your traffic into leads and sales.

Let’s first calculate the dollar value that the bounce rate is currently costing you.

Say your website attracted 12,539 unique visitors during the past 12-months.

And let’s say your website bounce rate is currently right in the middle of the 50 to 60 percent range (54.88 percent to be exact).

That means 6,881 site visitors immediately bounced from your website during those 12-months (12,539 x .5488 = 6,881).

The remaining 5,659 were the suspects you could attempt to convert into a lead or sale through some form of call-to-action, such as a phone call, visit to your store, etc.

Now, let’s say your call-to-action process has been fine-tuned over the years so 4.77 percent of your suspects are converted into leads (between 2 to 4 percent is the global standard).

This means 270 leads, phone calls, store visits, etc. were generated during the 12-months (5,659 suspects x .0477 conversion rate = 270).

And lastly, let’s assume you have a history of converting 50 percent of your leads, such as inquiries, phone calls, store visits, etc. into sales, and each sale has an average value of $500.

The revenue generated via your website should have been approximately $67,500 (270 x .5000 = 135 sales x $500 value = $67,500).

Now, let’s lower bounce rate to the target level of 30 percent.

How to Lower Your Bounce Rate

I first learned about the 30 percent target from my friend and mentor, Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google and co-founder of Market Motive.

You can learn more about Avinash in episode 40 of Onward Nation.

Now only 3,761 of the visitors bounce during the same 12-month time period (12,539 x .3000 = 3,761).

You now have 8,778 suspects instead of 5,659. Big difference.

Let’s also assume you maintained your 4.77 percent conversion rate into leads and your average order remained at $500.

Your 8,778 suspects would convert into 418 leads, and those leads would convert into 209 sales, which would result in $104,500 in revenue (418 x .0477 = 418 x .5000 = 209 x $500 = $104,500).

This represents a 54.81 percent increase in sales. Awesome.

And the only thing that changed was bounce rate.

Here’s the good news…any business owner can apply three simple steps to reduce bounce rate.

At the bottom of this today’s Show Notes you will find a mini-class I recorded to provide some additional high bounce rate insights. Free video training resource – I hope you find it valuable.

So what is the first step?

We – and our business – must be distinctive.

Now, distinction is not just about being different. Distinction creates loyal customers who continue coming back to you over and over again.

If you want to learn more about distinction – go back to episode 1 and listen to the words of wisdom from Scott McKain, the leading authority on the topic of distinction and its importance in your business.

And one of the very best recipes for how to create distinction is one that I learned from Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS Magazine.

Darren calls it the X-Y-Z Exercise and there are 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Complete the X-Y-Z Exercise

Just answer three questions and blend the answers into a clear and concise statement. Caution: the questions are simple but they are not easy to answer. It will likely take you and your team about 60 to 90-minutes to complete this exercise with excellence.

  1. We do X (X equals the products and services your business provides to customers)
  2. For Y (Y equals the profile of your typical customer)
  3. So that they can Z (Z equals the result outcomes your customers receive from your products or services)

Then place your X-Y-Z statement on your website above the fold – meaning – so the visitors to your website do not need to scroll in order to read it.

Why above the fold?

So your visitors will see it right away and they will know they are in the right place.

When that happens, bounce rate goes down.

Step 2: Eliminate Visual Clutter

The January-February 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review reported the results of a study on consumer choice, which confirmed that providing more options did not increase choice. In fact, more options actually decreased choice.

So instead of having 15 options on your website, i.e. photos, copy blocks, or calls-to-action, just have three easy-to-understand options and eliminate all the rest. Your customers see a multitude of options as visual clutter and that encourages bounce.

Step 3: Create Clear Calls-to-Action

Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, Director of Marketing Experiments once said to me, “Clarity always trumps persuasion.”

So are you being clear with customers regarding the steps they need to take along the decision-making path?

Have a clear and concise path to purchase. That’s all you need.


Okay, Onward Nation – that was Money Draining Mistake #3…High Bounce Rate.

Now, if you are hearing those voices in your head – if you are having thoughts that are even remotely similar to what I described at the beginning of this episode – don’t run — let those thoughts be your litmus test – they are telling you that you are heading in the right direction.

Push forward – don’t stop – don’t let your fear hold you back from breaking through to that next level.

And remember, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with…and look who Stacey Alcorn from episode #3 is spending the most time with.

She refers to herself as “A billionaire in the making.” And in order for that vision for her life to become a reality – she knows that she needs to spend as much time as possible with other billionaires.

Well, I will let you in on a secret she told me during our interview – Stacey didn’t have those connections several years ago.

But she DECIDED that was going to change and then she took action to make it happen.

I hope that makes sense.


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