When Sandeep Mallya of 99 Signals asked Dmitrii Kustov from Regex SEO for advanced tips on bounce rate and UX signals, Dimitri suggested focusing on a couple of relatively basic tips. Sometimes we may look at problems from an over-simplified perspective. And other times, crucial insight can come from a very simple approach. Let’s find out why Dimitri says: Give it to grandpa!
Analyzing Bounce Rate: Use your Google Analytics to drill down
Your bounce rate tells you whether you are capturing visitor interest or losing potential customers. If you just benchmark your bounce rate for your website as a whole, you may be missing problems. A good average can represent astronomical bounce rates offsetting pages with super low bounce rates. You can break it down by channel, for instance comparing Adwords PPC and organic traffic. You should also consider the bounce rate of particular pages. You may find different browsers have different bounce rates, revealing problems with compatibility.
Bonus VO Tip: To really optimize, look at the bounce rate for different types of traffic for the same page. You might find an opportunity to create a new landing page to reduce bounce for a certain type of traffic.
Give it to Grandpa – and your Niece
You are too familiar with your brand to predict how new customers will react to your website. It is hard to look at something so close to you with a critical eye. And you can’t escape the curse of knowledge; you can’t forget the things you know. Formal user experience testing can give a deep insight into problems. That can be expensive. It might seem out of reach for smaller businesses.
But there is an easier way to get some quick insight into where users may have trouble. Just show your website on a mobile phone to your grandpa or another older friend or relative. Ask them to do a task on your website and “the way they do it, they’ll tell you exactly how people are interacting with your website when they’re having issues”.
Dimitri also suggests asking a younger relative to try your website, observing: “kids are also very interesting to see how they interact with websites because they think in a completely different way… They will tell you something different in terms of flipping user experience upside down.”
Inside Out and Upside Down
Get to know your website inside out and really explore the power of your analytics to understand where there are problems revealed by bounce rate. You can use Google Analytics to compare bounce rates for combinations of traffic sources, landing pages, and browsers, just to name a few factors. For some businesses, regionalization may be important. Customizing pages for different types of traffic can reduce bounce rates.
Look at your website upside down. Who knows what users can fail to understand? You, if you watch some real users! Everyone probably has someone in their network who is an expert in not understanding things. Load your website, hand them your phone and discover a new version of the customer journey you never realized existed. Improving user experience can be cheap and easy. Just give it to grandpa!