On websites where the purpose of the home page is to guide visitors to the right page or pages within the site, a high bounce rate suggests there’s something wrong.
If you have a one-page website or a home page which is more of an end point (with content or calls to action that don’t lead further into the site), then this article probably does not apply to you.
The bounce rate of a web page is the percentage of visitors who entered your site at that page and never went anywhere else on the site. But what counts as a high bounce rate for a home page?
First, here’s where you can check your home page bounce rate using Google Analytics:
In most cases you’re looking for the page with the single / slash, although it may be index.html or index.php or something similar depending on you have your site set up. Be sure not to confuse your site’s overall bounce rate with the home page rate – they’re very different statistics.
In my experience, if more than 40% of people arriving at your home page leave without clicking on another page, then you need to look at possible causes:
- You have too much on your home page and people are feeling overwhelmed with choices
- Your navigation is too complex or unclear
- Your copy is not enticing or clear enough to convince people to click to important areas of your site
- Your site is being indexed for keywords that are ambiguous or not relevant – in other words, people are arriving at your home page expecting to find a different sort of content.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but to get you thinking about the issue.