You can easily see your bounce rate on Google Analytics. Your bounce rate is the percentage of single page sessions on your website. In general, as your site attracts more potential clients, your bounce rate will decline. There are measures that you can take to reduce your bounce rate and, more importantly, convert more visitors to appointments.
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Bounce rate is not the same as exit rate
Bounce rate for your site represents the percentage of people who just viewed a single page on your site. An exit rate for a page is a a measure of the percentage of visitors who left your site from that page. At some point, all visitors will exit from your site. However, we hope to reduce the percentage of visitors that bounce from your site after viewing just one page.
Not all bounces are bad
If a potential client heard about you through a reference and goes straight to your bio page before calling for an appointment, or if a current client just needs to find your phone number, then why should they stay a moment longer or look around on other pages? In these cases, a visitor bounces but your site is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.
However, if your bounce rate is high, it is generally because your site has a problem. Understanding and addressing the problem will help you grow your practice. Ignoring a high bounce rate is not a good idea. Reducing the bounce rate on your most popular pages means that you have more chances to convert visitors to appointments.
Are you attracting people outside or your target audience?
The visitors to your website are the wrong kind of traffic. That is, they don’t need your services, can’t pay for your services, or are too far away to become clients.
You will get a high bounce rate if you are attracting clients that are outside of your catchment area, or have needs that you can’t meet. Imagine a case where you describe at length your experience with substance abuse, and recovery from addiction, and have links to your site from other web pages that discuss additiction, but your site focuses on couples therapy. You will get search results from people searching for help with addictions. When the visitor gets to your site and sees that the tagline is “help for your marriage“, and the menu items are all related to relationships, and the graphics show couples walking hand in hand, the visitor will bounce.
In this case, the problem is not the bounce rate. The high bounce rate is a symptom that you are attracting people outside of your target audience.
A high bounce rate may indicate that you are not delivering a compelling experience
If you are attracting the right people, people who are potential clients, but your bounce rate is high, consider if your visitors arrived based on a false promise. This is traffic you really want to engage with, but they may be leaving because your site is not delivering a compelling experience.
How does your website work on the visitors device? Does your website address the needs of your visitors? Here are a few items to check for when you consider your bounce rate.
Make your website easy to use on a smartphone or tablet
Is your website effective when accessed and used from a mobile device or tablet? Is the site mobile “responsive”? Is the language short and to the point? Are menu items easy to read on smartphone? Can visitors contact you easily?
Are you delivering on your promise? Optimize For Intent
When a visitor arrives on your site, are you addressing their expectations? If a visitor reaches your site through a link or search result that mentions “repeating the same patterns”, does your website talk about how to avoid being stuck in a rut? You need to close the loop between the visitors expectations and your content. The visitor is more likely to reach out for help, to ask for an appointment, if he or she feels that you can address their pain.
Keep visitors engaged with related content
Do pages that have a high bounce rate offer links to related content? Do you tease visitors in to view additional pages or posts with a hook or teaser. Linking to related content gives the potential client more time, and more motivation, to reach out to you.
Related content helps you engage with visitors and move visitors towards making an appointment.
Do your pages have a clarion “Call to Action”?
Congratulations. A visitor who is a member of your target audience is on your site. Make sure that each page and each post has a clarion “call to action“. The visitor may need some encouragement to reach out. Let them know that there is no charge, for example, for an initial phone consultation. Define what you want to happen (the conversion), and then make sure that the client has an easy path to convert to a client. Your bounce rate will go down if you help clients understand that they can reach out for help or read on for more information.
Focus on the pages that are most important
Not all pages are equally important. Focus your efforts at reducing the bounce rates for your highest traffic pages.
Your next step
Reach out for help! Your next step is to call TherapyEverywhere and ask for a free consultation. We are here to help. Let’s get your bounce rate down and your appointment book full!
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