We recently have been adding a deluge of content to our home page. It’s all nicely formated, interesting and very informative. It turns our home page into it’s own mini-web site.
The issue was that with each section we added, our bounce rate crept up slightly. Here is a nice screenshot of our bounce rate over the past month.
Bounce Rate Stats
As you can see we were around 45% to begin October. Not bad, not great, just an average bounce rate. Ideally, we would be below 20% and we get worried if we were above 50%.
We kept adding more and more content to the page over the course of the month. The bounce rate go to a ridiculous high of nearly 75% on some days.
Low and behold, we started to analyze the size of the site and decided to kill some graphics. We saved about 200KB by removing some 25 non-essential graphics.
On October 30 we made a change. When we did that the bounce rate dropped immediately from 69% to 35% in one day!” That is a 34% drop just from removing some images.
While the images were nice and pretty, they did make the page load slower. So ultimately, you have to view whether aesthetics are more important than speed. In this case, I think its clear that speed is better. Keep your site loading fast and profit.