Bounce Rate: What Is It and How You Can Improve It
Digital marketers typically track bounce rates of websites to assess traffic and user engagement. But what exactly is bounce rate? Is it an important metric? What is a good bounce rate? This guide will answer these questions and more.
What Is a Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate is used to measure the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page without further interacting with it.
In other words, visitors "bounce" off the site without exploring other pages or taking any action, such as filling out a form or making a purchase.
Bounce rate can be calculated by dividing the number of visitors who bounce by the total number of visitors to the site, and then multiplying by 100% to express the result as a percentage.
Bounce rates are seen as a lost opportunity. A high bounce rate is often seen as a negative indicator, suggesting that visitors did not find what they are looking for or were not engaged enough to explore further. However, in the case of a single-page website, a high bounce rate does not necessarily indicate poor performance or bad user experience.
Does the Bounce Rate Matter?
According to Google, it does not use bounce rates to rank websites. Google has also removed bounce rates from its Google Analytics reporting.
However, this does not mean that the bounce rate is unimportant.
Some studies contend that bounce rates do impact website ranking on Google. In any case, they indicate that the landing page does not satisfy visitors. It also informs marketers about technical or content problems a website may have. A look at this metric, then, prompts them to fix the website and improve user experience.
What Is a Good (and a Bad) Bounce Rate?
The benchmark about bounce rate is: less is better.
A bounce rate of 40% or below is considered good, whereas a bounce rate of 55% or more is considered bad.
However, bounce rates also depend on the type of website. Despite the general rule, high bounce rates are not always negative. What is considered a bad bounce rate for one kind of website may be positive for another.
The average bounce rates for different websites vary:
- Landing pages: 60-90% is typical, indicating that visitors were prompted to respond to a CTA (call-to-action) and take further action.
- B2B (business-to-business) website: 25-55% is standard, as visitors are looking for specific information and are unlikely to spend time browsing through more pages.
- eCommerce websites: 20-45% is good, as visitors are expected to spend some time browsing products before moving further.
- Blogs, news, and events websites: 65-90% is the general rate as visitors leave after locating relevant information.
- Lead generation websites: 30-55% is normal, as their purpose is only to generate leads.
Thus, when assessing the bounce rate, marketers must also consider the category which their website belongs to before drawing conclusions.
Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
Although they sound similar, bounce rates are different from exit rates.
Exit rate is calculated for multi-page sessions. If a visitor lands on a webpage, clicks on an internal link, and moves to another page, it is not a bounce. If they then close the website, the exit rate of the second page increases.
Bounce rate is calculated for single-page sessions. So, if a visitor exits a website after viewing the page that they landed on, it is counted as a bounce.
What Impacts the Bounce Rate?
Several factors impact the bounce rate of a website such as:
- Content: Low-quality content does not satisfy visitors, prompting them to exit quickly.
- Page load speed: A slow website frustrates visitors, causing higher bounce rates.
- Website design: Poor website design, pop-ups, and auto-plays increase the bounce rate.
- Technical errors: Errors and blank pages upon loading lead to higher bounce rates.
- Mobile optimization: Websites not optimized for mobile screens tend to have higher bounce rates.
How To Improve the Bounce Rate
Some ways to improve the bounce rate are:
- Boost the load speed: Make sure the website is quick to load. To do so, optimize images, compress files, and reduce the number of plug-ins.
- Enhance usability: Keep website design appealing by avoiding poor color schemes, cluttered content, and too many ads.
- Satisfy search intent: Attract the right audience by selecting the right keywords. Use them strategically on multiple landing pages to boost engagement.
- Improve readability: Choose the right font for the content, break it into paragraphs, use headings, and add visuals and videos.
- Insert clear CTAs: Guide visitors to the next step with clear calls to action. Use buttons and links that stand out.
Bounce Rate: Key Takeaways
- Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who exit a website after viewing a single page.
- In general, a high bounce rate hints at underlying issues in a website.
- However, bounce rates also depend on the type of website. Some categories of websites have higher bounce rates than others.
- Bounce rates are calculated for single-page sessions as opposed to exit rates, which apply to multi-page visits.
- Poor content and website design, slow load speed, and technical errors lead to high bounce rates.
- Bounce rates can be improved by ensuring the speed and website design are user-friendly and the content satisfies user intent.