The Bizarro World of Bounce and Stick
Stickiness is bad in the following pairs: shoes and gum, clothes and candy, hair and just about anything.
Bouncing is usually good: bouncing baby, bouncing ball. You get the idea.
But with websites, a high bounce rate is bad and exceptional stickiness is good.
There’s Two Sides to Every Story
To understand why, realize that stickiness and bounce rate are flip sides of the same website coin. Stickiness is a popular term, describing how long the average viewer tends to spend browsing your website or how many pages they view before surfing somewhere else. Usually, the longer someone lingers on your site, the better it is for you as a business.
In contrast, bounce rate is a statistic used by web developers to figure out how many viewers visit your home page and then go away without checking out the rest of your website. Obviously, that’s bad.
Decreasing the Bounce Rate
A website with a high bounce rate might be misdirecting its efforts to attract page views, perhaps pulling in the wrong demographic from search engines. For example, let’s say you sell measuring devices that can be used internationally. On the other hand, some web users are searching for information about famous international politicians. They type “world rulers” into Google and up pops your page selling metric tape measures. As a result, you have a high bounce rate because your content is pulling in the wrong online users. So one part of lowering bounce rate, besides first having a professional looking website that fosters customer trust and interest, is making certain that your content is targeting the right people.
Boosting your stickiness also revolves around content, both pictures and words. Once people find your website, you need to provide them with the commodity or information they’re after and an easy way to find it. The more information you provide on topics related to your business, split across multiple pages that are regularly updated, the more likely you are to keep people on your website (session stickiness) and to get them to return, like snappy elastic (site stickiness).
It’s Like Spaghetti On the Wall
Basically, we want your websites to be like perfectly cooked spaghetti. Spaghetti is great stuff — nutritious, tasty, and versatile — but you never want it to be overcooked. My mother gave me a simple method to tell when spaghetti was done. While it’s boiling, you pull out a noodle and throw it against the wall. If it bounces off, it’s still undone. The moment a noodle first sticks to the wall — ah, just right!
And that’s what we want for your website: useful, tasty, and just right for your customers.