Unlike the joy and excitement of bouncing on a trampoline as a child, experiencing a lot of “bounces'' on your bank’s website is something you want to avoid. But overcoming high bounce rates is a big challenge for bank websites. Why? Because most people visit a bank website and go right to their account information. When a visitor comes to our site and the next thing they do is log in to online banking, that counts as a bounce, so it makes getting accurate numbers pretty tricky. In this article, I’ll cover average bounce rates for community banks’ websites, why banks should pay attention to bounce rates, and how to find your bank’s bounce rate.
What is a Bounce Rate?
A “Bounce” defined by Google is a single-page session on your bank's website. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, like when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.
Your “Bounce Rate” then is these single-page sessions divided by all sessions to your website, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.
According to research performed by Semrush - one of our partners and a leading provider of SEO data and analysis tools - “A bounce rate of 56% to 70% is on the high side, although there could be a good reason for this, and 41% to 55% would be considered an average bounce rate. An optimal bounce rate would be in the 26% to 40% range.”
That being said, we rarely (if ever) see a bounce rate for a bank under 50% due to the common activity of visiting a bank’s website and clicking on the Online Banking login (resulting in a bounce). That being said, there are a number of things to think about when you’re looking at your own website’s bounce rate to figure out what’s ideal and how to improve the bounce rate over time.
How to Find Your Bank’s Bounce Rate
To find your bounce rate metric in Google Analytics, click “Acquisition” and then click “All Traffic.” Go to “Channels,” and under the “Behavior” heading you’ll find the “Bounce Rate.” Since user behavior is different on banking websites, it’s not the end of the world if your bounce rate is high. Use bounce rates to determine what needs to be re-worked.
Where to Improve Bank Bounce Rates
Bank Bounce Rates NOT from the Homepage
Bounce rates on pages other than your homepage help you identify where your site needs improving. High bounce rates on these pages typically show where visitors are interested in, but not engaging with particular content. You want visitors to spend time on the site (looking at many pages), learning about what your bank has to offer. Content that is educational and helpful tends to improve bounce rates. Plus, educating your customers builds trust and loyalty. Consider an internal page linking strategy to pull visitors into other areas of your site.
When doing so, be sure to use clear and conspicuous CTA (call to action) text as well so that visitors don’t have to “think” they can “react” and follow the path you’ve set for them. Another tip to help with your SEO rankings is to use keywords as the link text if you’re linking inside paragraph text, not just the word “here”. For example, “We also offer a variety of great home mortgage loan programs,” is better than “Click here for our great mortgage rate programs.” Notice in the first example “great home mortgage loan programs” is being used as the link text, which is what you want!
Bounce Rates from Multiple Channels
You can also search for your bounce rates by the different channels you have coming to your site. Traffic Channels can be classified as either direct, referral paid search, organic, or social in nature. These rates may be dramatically different from one another and will help you find where drop-offs are happening.
For example, landing pages used for paid visitors (advertising) may have a very high bounce rate if your main CTA is linking them to a third-party platform to apply for a mortgage loan or new deposit account. However, if your strategy is lead generation, then you should be able to get at least two page views (which won’t be counted as a bounce) when someone visits the page, completes your online form, and THEN is taken to a thank you confirmation page. Of course, this assumes that your website CMS provides form and thank you page capability, but that’s pretty standard these days.
Look at all the different channels that are coming into your site and think about the visitor's “journey.” What do you want them to do once they get there? Your direct traffic may still have a high bounce rate since it’s likely your customers visiting the site just to access their account information. Your referral, organic, and social traffic can provide more helpful information for determining what’s happening (and if it’s what you want to be happening) and what needs improvement.
How to Minimize Your Bank’s Bounce Rate
Banks experiencing high bounce rates (when it comes to the traffic that “should” be sticking around - but is not) would certainly benefit from blogging. Keep your visitors interested by creating content, articles, and guides they can consume when visiting your site. Blogs should be financially-minded, and not overly sales-focused. Look for ways to educate, inform, and even entertain the visitor to encourage readership. If you know the niche interests of your community (i.e. agricultural, business, first-time homeowners, etc.), sprinkle those in as well.
One of the ways to do this is to include blog posts that website visitors will stick around and read. Blog topics can be as vast as your clients are, but here are some ideas:
- Banking tips
- How to choose a credit card
- What you need to know to open a savings account
- How much money you should save
- How to create a budget
- How to prepare documents for tax time
- How to create a family budget
- Ways to save money on date night
- Retirement tips
- Staying safe online/security tips
Segmentation Is Your Friend
This may be a bit technical for some non-HTML nerds out there, but one of the strategies that we’re exploring here at WSI with our bank website customers is “tagging” the login button on a bank’s website to identify traffic that has clicked the link and left the site. This information can then be used to create a Segment in Google Analytics that can be applied to all the visitor data.
With the “Customers” segment identified (as they are logging into their account via your website), you can hide those visitors and then only look at what is likely a much better representation of non-customers coming to your website. While the total number of visitors and overall traffic will decrease significantly, there’s a good chance that many metrics will adjust in a positive way - decreased bounce rates, more page views per session, higher time on site, etc. We suggest reaching out to your website provider for additional details on their ability to “tag” the login area and setting up these custom segments inside of Analytics (or reach out to us and we can help. Just put “tagging” in the subject on our contact form, and we’ll help out!).
Could You Use Some Help?
Interested in lowering your bank website's bounce rate and getting a better understanding of your visitors’ activity? Contact WSI today - we’ve got the digital marketing knowledge and banking background for setting up a successful online content strategy for your bank that will keep your visitors coming back!